Doily-Inspired Mandalas


I recently purchased (ahem) a “few” doilies and crocheted pot holders.  I originally intended to use them to make a wreath modeled after one I’d seen online, and have since expanded my scope.  I’ll likely post some of these creations in the coming months, and thought I’d start things off with the simple “project” I recently worked on in my art journal.

I’m still recovering from my two hand surgeries, so I’m limited on what I can do, but working in my art journal with my right hand has been do-able.  Last week I selected a doily from my stash, and decided to sketch it.  Though it’s far from perfect, I’m pleased with the way the page turned out.


I sketched out a stylized version of the doily’s pattern and design with black micron pens, and then filled in some areas with color.  I used water color pencils, some water, and a paint brush to “render” the color.

As I continued to work I realized that the image looked like a mandala of sorts, and since I’m pretty bad at creating mandalas from scratch this is a good way for me to work with pattern, color, and to relax.



I decided to work on a second doily-inspired mandala last week on election night, and like how this one turned out as well.


Instead of using bold black ink pens, I decided to use a water-soluble pencil to lay down the pattern.


The softness of the lead pencil marks dividing the page into segments reminded me of the leading in a stained glass window, and that sense grew as I used watercolors from a pan set to add color. Does it remind you of a stained glass window too, or is it just me?



If you like the idea of working in your art journal and creating a design and pattern on your page – in color or just in black and white – consider using a doily for your starting point.  As you can see, the color schemes I put on my page aren’t based on the doilies’ actual colors – that was me using my artistic license.

Do you have any doilies laying around?  Will you give a doily-inspired mandala a try? Have you ever used other textiles or pieces of needlework to inspire other types of artwork you’ve created? Do tell…

Warm regards,

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  1. Posted November 13, 2012 at 8:42 am by Amanda | Permalink

    Hope the cleaning solution helped witht he doily. I love the one you did on election night, that is Beautiful.

  2. Posted November 13, 2012 at 5:43 pm by Melody | Permalink

    I’m trying the solution today, and will let you know how it all goes. Thank you for your kind words on my “stained glass” mandala. I expect I’ll be posting many more examples of mandalas I create since I’m now the doily queen! :]

  3. Posted November 14, 2012 at 9:36 am by oksana | Permalink

    Cute! Love the colors. My mom makes doilies and I have quite a collection already 🙂

  4. Posted November 14, 2012 at 12:30 pm by Melody | Permalink

    Thank you! How nice that you have doilies on hand if you feel like giving this exercise a try. :]