I thought I would share with you how I make one of my rainbow mandala pendants. This is one of my favourite designs to make – I love rainbows, mandalas and bright colours and this has all of those combined!
It all starts, as all of my jewellery does, with cotton thread and a crochet hook. For this design, I’m using 10 shades of my usual thread. It’s beautiful Egyptian cotton which comes in the most amazing vibrant shades and I love working with it. I’m using it with a teeny one mm crochet hook.
Here you can see the start of the mandala using a dark red in the centre and a slightly lighter red around it.
Progress – I’ve now added some orange and yellow. Here’s a photo of the work so far, with a penny to show scale.
Once I get to the bright green thread the fun part starts – overlapping my stitches with the ones I made previously, to give the rainbow wheel effect.
I continue to add more colours and overlap my previous stitches, to build up the texture and the rainbow effect.
And finally purple ….
Here is the finished mandala. You can see that it looks a bit wonky at this stage! Once the cotton “relaxes”, it evens out to a nice circle.
This is what the back looks like – rather messy!
Next I tie off all the ends and cut them short. To finish off the pendant, I use some card to stiffen it, and soft felt to back it. As each of my mandalas is individually hand made they all turn out slightly different sizes, so I use a compass to measure the size and cut out the card and felt to fit.
I sew the backing on to the mandala, with the card sandwiched in between. As well as making a lovely neat backing, this also stretches out the crochet nicely so it gets a perfect circular shape.
And here is how the front looks now.
For the finishing touch, I add a central gemstone cabochon. For this pendant I’m using carnelian to go with the central red thread. It’s 6mm diameter and very fiddly to put on!
The next step is to make the chain. For this mandala, I use a rainbow of beads in the chain to go with the colours of the pendant. These are 4mm beads of semi-precious gemstones: carnelian, fire agate, aragonite, aventurine, turquoise, howlite and amethyst.
I thread the beads onto silver cotton thread and then crochet the chain to go with the pendant.
Here is the finished chain.
Next up – sterling silver findings which I will use to finish off the pendant.
I use clasps to finish the ends of the chain.
I use jump rings to attach a lobster clasp to one end and an extender chain to the other.
More jump rings attach the mandala to the chain.
And finally we have a finished mandala pendant!