Flower Suncatcher :: A Flower Mandala Kids Can Make

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Flower Mandala Suncatcher Craft for KidsThis beautiful flower suncatcher is also a flower mandala kids can easily make!

When we get on a roll, we go with it. That’s been the case lately with all of our flower petal and contact paper suncatchers. We’ve made nature suncatchers in the past, but have never quite gotten into it as much as this past month with the flower petal art box, the flower stained glass door, and subsequent flower mandalas.

And we’re still going strong!

We’re loving all these flower suncatcher crafts!

Flower Suncatcher Mandalas


How to Make Nature Suncatchers with a Paper Plate Frame


This time I cut some frames out of paper plates (the centers will be used for spin art) and then cut circles from contact paper to fit over the opening (overlapping the paper plate by about half an inch).

Making Nature Suncatchers with Flower Petals

Maia and I arranged flower petals, petal pieces, and leaves in outwardly concentric designs on the contact paper to create our mandalas. (Daphne worked on one, too, but mostly just explored the sticky nature of the contact paper and eventually crumpled the whole thing up.) When our mandalas were finished, we added another circle of contact paper over the top to protect and hold it.

Flower Suncatchers in a Paper Plate Frame

We hung Maia’s (for me) in the living room window and mine (for Maia) in her bedroom window.

Flower Suncatchers in a Paper Plate Frame

I love how well these circular frames hold the mandalas, perfectly, in the center! And I also love some of the meaning that has historically been connected with mandalas.

Here’s a description (found on The Mandala Project’s website) that I especially like:

The word “mandala” is from the classical Indian language of Sanskrit. Loosely translated to mean “circle,” a mandala is far more than a simple shape. It represents wholeness, and can be seen as a model for the organizational structure of life itself–a cosmic diagram that reminds us of our relation to the infinite, the world that extends both beyond and within our bodies and minds.

There are so many examples of mandalas found in nature: daisies, oranges, onions, the iris of the eye, starfish, and snowflakes just to name a few.

Nature Suncatcher Hanging in the Window

Not to get to woo-woo on you or anything, but I’d love to learn more about mandalas. More about them as an art form. More about the meanings associated with them. More about how they’ve been used in cultures around the world.

Have you ever made a mandala, yourself or with your kids?

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  1. says

    That is wonderful! I love these flower mandalas you have been sharing. They are so beautiful! I wish I had more flowers so we could do some ourselves. I may go buy some just for this purpose.

  2. says

    I once made a mandala when I was on a work retreat. It really was fantastic and something I think you would enjoy. A very large circle of plain material was placed on the floor. Many many baggies of coloured rice were place around the outside. We were then each invited to silently take a bag and start creating. At first people weren’t quite sure what to do but as the coloured rice flowed and people started to form patterns it really came together beautifully. Plus pouring the beautifully coloured rice into swirls was really relaxing. At the end the floor was covered with 10 huge rice mandalas. They were so beautiful – and such a shame to ruin come days end :(

  3. Adrienne says

    Such fun! Love that carpet, btw.
    One of my longest suffering knitting projects is a round lace shawl from a pattern called “Mandala”. It’ll be gorgeous when ever it gets done…all 91,194 stitches of it (eep!)

  4. says

    I am an elementary school teacher and for several years we had a Buddhist monk come and construct a sand mandala in our gym. Each morning all the students would meditate with him and then watch him add sand. You’ve never seen children sit so still as when watching that beautifully colored sand pour from his tools.

  5. says

    Looks lovely! I have loved all the flower-based art that Maia and you have made recently. Especially loved the glass door art.
    Here in India, we make mandalas on every festive and religious occasion.

  6. says

    If you are interested in learning more about Mandalas, Phyllis Frame at Round Oaks Creative Center is your “go to” person: http://arttherapyblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/29/round-oaks-creative-center-schedule/
    And if you want to pursue the topic further, perhaps for an interview on your blog, here’s a list of contacts. http://www.mandalaassociates.com/Mandala_Associates/Teachers_files/Mandala%20Life%20Cycle%20Theory%20Teachers.pdf
    I highly recommend Carol Cox, a former professor of mine and a friend. I think it’d make for a great inteview for your blog. Tell her I sent you. :)

  7. Amanda says

    We use a mandala exercise in a decision-making program I teach (and I’ve used it with my kids). We trace a circle onto a piece of paper using a paper plate (or other large circle template), then use crayons to color freeform within the circle. It’s particularly useful when you’ve been doing alot of left-brain work (learning to read, studying, etc.) Doing this right-brain mandala exercise immediately afterwards helps “seal” the knowledge in your neural pathways. My mentor, who taught this to me, also uses it at night when she can’t sleep or is overthinking an issue. It really works!

  8. says

    I’m in love with your blog! I just now found it and it’s full of all those things I hope to make one day with my baby. Thank you thank you so much for every idea and project that you share here!

  9. says

    In reference to mandala in children’s work, you can barrow this book from the library to learn more. The author writes about mandalas in one of the early chapters of, Young at Art. There are probably many other books about mandalas and children. Sounds like Carl Jung has some opinions on the matter.

  10. says

    this is so beautiful! as you might know from my blog where mandalas pop up quite a bit: http://paintcutpaste.com/tag/mandala/ and from my being a transpersonally oriented art therapist (read: woo-woo supreme! ;) i adore mandalas. we had semesters devoted entirely to them in my graduate program. they are such powerful healing tools, and i use them every single day in art therapy with adult clients. my favorite book on mandalas is: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0835608476?tag=paicutpas-20&camp=14573&creative=327641&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=0835608476&adid=134TMWF78NRB2N450X6S&
    art therapist, joan kellogg, developed a MARI card assessment tool based on using mandalas for the healing arts – you can learn more about it here: http://www.mariconnections.com/ – you can be trained and certified in using this method.
    yikes, can you tell i like to nerd out on mandalas? ;) happy circling!

  11. says

    Yes, Striker is talking about the transition young children make from scribbling to more control and early realism where they start to make enclosed shapes, primarily circles. They often add radiating lines (as in a stylized sun) outward or inward.
    Her reference to mandalas is a bit different from what I’m exploring now.
    I’ll have to look into Jung’s thoughts on mandalas…

  12. inge says

    I have been to several mandala drawing classes and have led two myself. I think it’s very relaxing, just to draw.
    One special mandala I made over and over with my kids, because they love it, is the mirrowmandala. you draw a circle and a line in the middle. Each of you takes a side of the mandala. (Then you can fill it in in ceveral ways.) The way my kids like it the most: Your child draws a form and you do the same form in your half… So on till your child thinks its ready. Than you can color it in. Sometimes I colored the whole mandala, sometimes we take turns in picking the color. Your child’s selfesteem will grow, because you mirrow him/her. He’s in charge! This is always fun, for young and old! Hope this was helpfull.

  13. Patty says

    In Family Fun magazine (Nov 2011) there was a mandala game/art project.
    Each person started with a piece of paper and 1 marker (different color for each person). They drew a circle (or circular pattern – you can use dashes, swirls, dots, etc).
    The paper then gets passed to the person on your left (or right – as long as this is consistent each time.
    Now add a new circular design to your neighbor’s paper.
    Continue until everyone has a beautiful mandala.