Working on a mandala, it is the effect achieved by colours that really fascinates me. Creating a mandala from scratch though can be equally exciting. Seeing how the mandala changes just by adding a simple shape and arranging it systematically in a circle is what I find so appealing. Mandalas can be designed in multiple ways. As mandala-4free is a website offering templates for colouring, I would like to describe here the process of creating the mandala itself on paper.
The good thing is that all you need for your mandala is a sheet of paper and a pen. These materials are usually ready to hand and you can start there and then, no matter if you're sitting at a table or are on a train. Although a pen and paper will do, the following basic equipment will be great to have if you want to refine your creations:
If you prefer mandalas with mostly geometrical forms and symbols I also recommend you buy a good pair of compasses, which can be adjusted via a screw (see picture), and also a large set square that will cover the full width of an A4 format. The better the tools, the more exact will be the geometrical shapes in your mandala.
My first mandala
Begin the new mandala with a big circle, which will be its outer boundary. Then add two further shapes inside, for example a square and a circle, making sure that the lines of both cross each other. Now the mandala has a number of regular segmentations with enough points of intersection that can be used as a guideline for further additions. Use your imagination. There are no limits when refining the design. Add more forms to the mandala (triangles, squares, pentagons, ellipses, circles, lines). There are many everyday objects you can use as stencils here (boxes, baking moulds, coins, CDs etc.). You can also buy stencils in specialist shops or via the internet that are ideal for creating mandalas. However, enjoy the challenge and don't make it too easy, drawing as much as possible without such tools.
Mandala templates with basic shapes
As a first step when creating your own mandalas you can use one of the templates from this website that only has the outer circle and one additional basic shape inside.
Mandala design tools
There are quite a few ready-made tools for creating mandalas on the internet. These so-called Mandala Designers allow you to put shapes to paper very quickly and draw complete mandalas within minutes. As these tools don't allow you to train your motoric and creative skills, nor facilitate the meditative effect of drawing, I neither like nor recommend them.