Making a mandala pendant

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.

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Here you can see the start of the mandala using a dark red in the centre and a slightly lighter red around it.

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Progress – I’ve now added some orange and yellow.  Here’s a photo of the work so far, with a penny to show scale.

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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.

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I continue to add more colours and overlap my previous stitches, to build up the texture and the rainbow effect.

Green ….

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Turquoise ….

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Blue ….

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And finally purple ….

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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.

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This is what the back looks like – rather messy!

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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.

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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.

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Finished!

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And here is how the front looks now.

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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!

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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.

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I thread the beads onto silver cotton thread and then crochet the chain to go with the pendant.

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Here is the finished chain.

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Next up – sterling silver findings which I will use to finish off the pendant.

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I use clasps to finish the ends of the chain.

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I use jump rings to attach a lobster clasp to one end and an extender chain to the other.

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More jump rings attach the mandala to the chain.

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And finally we have a finished mandala pendant!

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