Mandala Stones are the latest trend in the craft world to go viral. The colorfully dotted patterns are a real eyecatcher and easy to recreate. By now you can admire a great many of different patterns and interpretations of Mandala Stones all over the internet. The great thing about it is, that you can do them without a lot of practice. You don’t need special skills or be an amazingly talented painter to get great results. It is not so hard to paint dots. With some simple tips and tricks you get the hang of it in no time!
Here you can find a gallery with a lot of beautiful Mandala Stones. Maybe you find some inspiration there to make some stones yourself. 🙂 For a simple step-by-step tutorial on a beautiful basic Mandala Stone, just scroll down this entry.
Colors and Brushes:
You can use a lot of different paints to make Mandala Stones. Personally I prefer to use acrylic paint (available here*) thinned out with water or Pelikan Plaka (available here*). The most important thing is the right consistency of the paint. If the paint is too thick or pasty, you need to add more water.
Test: Let some paint drop on a piece of paper. The paint should be liquid enough to form a rounded shape on its own. If the paint is too thick, it is very hard to draw fine details or steady lines.
Choosing the right paintbrush is equally important for nice results! For this type of craft you should use pointed round brushes with synthetic bristles (available here*). Those kind of brushes work best with acrylic paint. The synthetic bristles are firm enough to paint small details and give you maximum control.
Paintbrushes with animal hair are not really suitable for painting Mandala Stones with acrylic paint. The bristles are too soft for patterns like that. Also the tip of the brush can be too fringy for details.
If you are shopping for paintbrushes look out for brushes with yellow or artificially white bristles. This often is a good indicator for synthetic or nylon hair. The tip should be pointed and the diameter of the bristles should be rounded. For small details I recommend size 0 and size 2 for bigger dots. (Both brushes can bee seen on the left side in the picture above.) (available here*).
Heads Up: Sometimes paintbrushes have a pointed tip when you buy them but loose their shape with the first wash. That is because the bristles are dipped in starch and dried like that to protect the shape until you use them. You can see one example of that in the middle of the picture above. Take a good look at the bristles before you buy a brush. The bristles should not stick together. If they do, they are dipped in starch and the tip will become fringy once you use your brush.
Alternative Brushes / Tools: Sometimes good brushes can be hard to come by. I got a great tip from Cindy (who painted some beautiful mandala stones herself. You should check out her blog! Link >> ), that you can also use nail art bruhes! Some people find it easier to create small details (like the white dots) with dotting tools. Here is a set that combines both features: Nail Art and Dotting Set*. I think that is an amazing tip! If you are struggling with normal brushes, you should give this a try!
Do you have any more tips? Let me know in the comments! 🙂
You can find suitable stones on a stony beach or a gravel bar. The surface of those stones is really smooth and perfect to paint on.
Rounded, flattened stones work best for Mandala patterns. Before you start with your artwork, clean your stones with some soapy water. You don’t need to apply an undercoat or a layer of transparent varnish, but it can make the painting process easier. (I never do, but that’s because I am too lazy for that and want to start right away.)
Easy Mandala Stone Tutorial:
To enhance the colors of the Mandala pattern use a dark color (in this case black) to paint a rounded shape. Take your time with the shape and try to make it as evenly as possible. Leave a bit of space to the sides of the stone, because the Mandala itself will be larger than the dark undercoat.
You start this type pf Mandala pattern always in the center. Wait until the dark color has dried sufficiently and paint a big, white dot exactly in the center. (Obviously you can use different colors for this pattern.)
Now you start with the first row. Circle the big dot with a lot of small, white dots. The pattern will look prettiest if all the dots of one row are the same size and are evenly placed.
Start the second row of dots with the lightest color of your gradient. Place the dots between the dots of the previous row. It is important for later to leave a small gap between all the dots of one row.
The dots should get bigger and a little darker with each row.
I chose a purple gradient for this pattern. The lightest color should be really light. Add one or two drops of a darker color to the paint for each new row. It is important to save a small amount of each shade for later.
The gaps between the dots should also get slightly bigger with each row.
Paint the dots of the second last row close to the edge of your undercoat. If you run out of undercoat in some places, just reapply a little of the dark color to even out the shape.
Paint the dots of your last row halfway across the edge of your dark undercoat.
Now you can fill in the little gaps between the bigger dots with small, white dots. (Skip the first and the last row.) Use your smallest paintbrush.
To enhance the gradient effect and to add some depth to the pattern, paint smaller dots on the colored dots of each row. Choose always the shade of the previous row for that, as indicated in the picture. (Skip the first row again.) If the contrast between the shades is too small, add a bit of white paint to each shade.
You can add little details to the edge of your pattern. The easiest way to do that is a straight line of different sized dots. Start with a bigger one followed by three smaller ones. Keep an eye on the center of your pattern and imagine a straight line to the edge. Follow the line when you add small details to avoid wonky shapes.
You can go on as long as you want. I added a bright colored dot in the middle and small dots on the outside. Just do want you think looks nice to balance everything out. 🙂
Add a finishing layer of transparent spray paint if you want.
The finished Mandala Stone will look something like that. Of course you don’t have to use the exact same colors I used. Be creative and experiment with different colors and shapes. Mandala Stone Painting can be a kind of meditation. Just let the pattern form itself.
*This blog post contains affiliate links. You can read all about them on my disclosure page. Link >>
55 Replies to “Mandala Stones DIY”
This is a great tutorial. Thanks!
i just recently started rock painting, now I find myself painting all times of the night and early morning, I wake up thinking about it, it’s very therapeutic , each of my rocks tell a story, I love it.. Thank you for sharing your expertise✌?️!
The Stones are fantastic ?
How in the heck do you get all of the circles so perfect? I tried and it was very hard. Making a dot with something is one thing, but painting tiny , perfect circles is not easy. Is it just the brushes, or am I an idiot, have you painted 1,000 of these??? ; )
It is definitly a lot of practice in my case. But I would say, that the right brush is the most important thing! (Also the consistency of the paint is crucial. Not too thick, not too runny) You can do it! 🙂
Thank you! This really helps me 🙂
Thanks for sharing!
Thank you so much for this tutorial! I’ve wanted to paint a Mandala rock for a while but haven’t known exactly how to start. Your tutorial makes the process so much easier to tackle!
Thank you! I would love to see your results. 🙂
I don’t use a paintbrush. I use ‘dotting tools’ which I use in my nail business. The dotting tools are different size dots. It works well.
This can be a great alternative! Some people find it much easier to paint smaller dots with the help of dotting tools.
Hello. I’m interested in getting started. However, I have to order all the paints and brushes online. While you amazon links are helpful, they are no longer valid. Would you kindly update your links?
Hello! Thank you for bringing that to my attention! 🙂 I updated the links and also added some alternative brushes and tools you could use. I hope this is helpful to you!
Thanks for a wonderfully thorough tutorial from start to finish. I cat wait to have a go.
Thank you! 🙂 Let me know how it turns out!
Am really grateful for this great tip.
This is brilliant – thank you! One quick question – if you make a mistake, is there a way to fix it? Or do I have to start over…(groan!)
Thank you! 🙂 You have a little playtime before the acrylic paint dries. So you can fix mistakes with a wet cotton bud or just paint over it again. I do that all the time!
What a fabulous look, I love this. Thank you for sharing and teaching us with these step by step instructions. I want to give this a try. One can not have to many hobbies.
thank you! you are quite right 🙂
Thanks for the tip about using acrylic paint on rocks. I doubt that I would be able to recreate a pattern like yours unless I bought it online. However, my kids love painting rocks. One of the things we like to do is to paint them like the vegetables in our garden, and then we use them as garden markers.
that is such a great idea!!
I sometimes use the end of the paintbrush upside down to make the circles…perfect shape
that is a neat idea! 🙂
I haven’t tried these yet but have a few tips from years in painting ceramics. For a quick sealer use cheap hair spray. Works fine. Keeps paint sealed.
For Tiny uniform dots, turn the paintbrush around and use the other end, also bamboo skewers, toothpicks, just use a light touch to keep from leaving a (dent) in the center. Practice on paper plates. Also after washing your brushes make sure to shape them while wet to keep that pointy tip. I’m old school I always used my mouth…lol but fingers will work
great suggestions! Thank you 🙂
Btw love these Mandala makes me want go looking for rocks right now!
LOVE this! This is just the info I needed! I’ve been wanting to make mandala rocks for a while but wasn’t sure where to start! Thank you! 🙂
Thank you so very much for sharing your talent with all of us and teaching us step by step. I have a rare terminal illness and I am bedfast a lot of the time. Now, you have opened a new fun thing in my world. My husband made me a “breakfast type,” tray in which I can place my paints in the side and with a nice Ott light I have I pass many hours brightened up by you. I can’t thank you enough!
Hi Judy! Thank you for your lovely comment! I’m so glad that this tutorial is of help to you. Creating those stones is so addictive! I would love to see some of your results. You can always send pictures to Barbara@colorful-crafts.com if you like. 🙂
Hi.thanks they are beautiful.what type of paint do you use?
Thank you! I’ve added links of the used materials to the blog entry.
Excellent and creative works with Mandala Stone.
You just impressed me and my young daughter.
I was looking this mandala stone in local stone mason warehouse though i did not get that. Is there nay alternative name for this stones?
Highly appreciated your contributions.
You did a wonderful job with these tutorials, given me the encouragement to try. so thanks so much
Thank you! Take care, it’s quite addictive! 🙂
I just saw this and I guess I’m going quit doing those darn dishes and do this,
?It looks pretty cool. I usually paint w/water colors and acrylics paints so this should be a breeze.?
Haha yes! I would choose painting over doing the dishes any day. 🙂
So good and pretty to see and a wonderful tutorial.
I love it!! Thank you so much
Thank you Thank you Thank you, I’m going to love this❤️
I’m loving painting rocks with my granddaughters – what a fun thing to do together. Do you have a recommendation on a protective spray? I bought a glossy varnish at the recommendation of the craft store clerk, and for some rocks it enhances the colors – but for some it removes the depth. I’m using some metallic paints (love them!) and don’t want to lose their shimmer… matte? satin? something I’ve not considered?
that sounds lovely! Your granddaughters are lucky to have someone to do crafts with them. 🙂
I usually don’t use a protective layer on my stones, (Except when I want to keep them in the garden) for that exact same reason. Every finish (matte, glossy or satin) alters the paint in a different way. I tend to go for a semi matte or satin finish, because I like the look of it. If the metallic paints loose their shimmer, you could try to add them after the protective layer.
These are incredibly beautiful! I imagine seeing a ton of these together in a variety of colors. Stunning!
Thank you so much! 🙂
Thank you for sharing.
These are so incredibly lovely! My daughter (12yrs) and I are going to first hike to get some stones, then paint! This project seems to have not only the therapeutic benefit from the painting but also an added benefit of exercise! 😉 can’t wait to get started…thank you for such a creative and inspired idea!
Thank you for your lovely reply! 🙂 You are so right! We love to go on stone-hunting adventures and bring them home to make crafts with them. Those crafts have definitely a lot of benefits to them.
Amazing & cute arts
Que lindas!!! Gostei muito!! Obrigada por compartilhar o passo a passo! Parabéns!
Excellent tutorial. Thank you very much!!!
Brilliant tutorial – thank you for sharing. I have bought the paints and was waiting for a book that I purchased off Amazon but didn’t receive as out of stock. Your tutorial gave so much information I feel confident to start straight away. Such a lovely soothing hobby, easy quick set up and a lovely gift to share. Thank you! X
Thank you. It’s so true, painting stones is entirely addictive and therapeutic! Time stands still! My grandson (nearly 4) is captivated now too…what generous sharing, thank.you again. Xxx
Very enjoyable to learn. The only worrying thing for me is you tell people to take rocks from beaches or sea beds. These are there to do a job please do not take these. You can buy rocks from any hardware store.
this is great! I’ve already shared it with a couple of friends. I’ve created designs on pebbles using stained glass but never thought of painting them, Can they be placed outside?