Art Making, Mandala

A “CD Mandala” Adventure

by Laura L. Lansrud-López

A few months ago I came across this extraordinarily cool image of assorted CD Mandalas posted on Flickr by Mônica Chaves while perusing Pinterest (a favorite hangout of mine).

1361335482Many of us are likely familiar with using CD’s to create perfect-size circle templates for drawing and painting a mandala. These, however, appeared to be painted directly onto the CDs, capturing an iridescent effect. (You can see more images of Mônica’s CD’s here)

I was inspired to attempt it myself, but unable to locate directions or instructions on how to create this effect I thus decided to run an experiment and document the results.

First, I located some expendable CDs and gathered together black 3D fabric paint, left-over plastic stain from one of my 4-year-old daughter’s craft projects, a black sharpie.


Initially I tried to draw the mandala freehand with the 3D fabric paint. That was a bit of a disaster, so I pulled out a ruler and created a template on a white paper surface.

This allowed provide some additional guidance and structure for the design.

I attempted to draw the mandala outline directly on the CD with a thin sharpie. I imagine with practice and a steady hand this step may become unnecessary.


Once the mandala was outlined in 3D fabric paint, I let it dry overnight.



The next step was to color the mandala with my daughter’s plastic craft stain. An added bonus to this experiment was my daughter’s enthusiasm about painting with me. She insisted I include her painted ornaments in this picture:
(NOTE: you may want to consider purchasing higher quality glass stain as the viscosity of the stain in these small containers varies from clumpy to fluid. However, this may not bother a 4-year-old.)


Voila! My first CD mandala:


What I learned:
1) Practice will likely improve my skill and develop avenues for greater creative expression,
2) Never underestimate the value of using quality materials,
3) The joy of making art side-by-side with my daughter was championed only by my joy in watching her enchantment and wonder of casting “rainbows” with the CD Mandala.