Finished(ish) Object Friday: Crochet Mandala Wall Hanging
Ever since I moved into my apartment a year ago, there has been a stretch of wall above my piano patiently waiting for just the right wall art. I knew I wanted something handmade. I knew it had to be big. I knew it had to match the super intense colors of my room (my walls are orange and light turquoise and my bedspread is red, orange, yellow, and turquoise). I considered weaving a wall hanging, but when I caught a glimpse of the fabulous book Modern Crochet Mandalas, inspiration finally struck.
I decided to create a series of mandalas to use as a crochet wall hanging, using DMC pearl cotton for its wide variety of bright, glossy colors. I grabbed red, orange, yellow, dark turquoise, and white thread and a few embroidery hoops from the craft store and set about choosing my mandala patterns.
(Note: I did this backwards. You should definitely make your mandalas first and THEN buy your hoops. But I muddled through.)
- I made 5 mandalas from the pages of Modern Crochet Mandalas:
- Snow on Easter: A very beautiful, open mandala using only two colors.
- Candy Dishes: A delightful mandala that’s a great introduction to popcorn stitch.
- Purple Reign: An extremely satisfying mandala with little fan-like clusters.
- Dusty Rose: A very engaging mandala to stitch, with a really fun picot edging.
- Harvest Moon: A surprisingly lacy mandala using very simple stitches.
For some of these, I modified the color order or added color changes where they didn’t exist in the originals to get a better color balance across my mandalas or to make my chosen colors “sing.”
These crochet mandalas have been one of my all-time favorite projects. The variety of stitches, the quick satisfaction of a finished object, the portability, and the meditative quality of stitching mandalas made these my go-to projects over the summer.
Attaching the finished mandalas to the embroidery hoops was a little bit more work than fun, but I settled in to catch up on my guilty pleasure shows and persevered. Since I was constrained by the embroidery hoops I had already bought (again…stitch first, buy hoops second for better results), I had to get a little creative with how I attached some of these mandalas.
For the Snow on Easter, Purple Reign, and Harvest Moon mandalas, I simply threaded clear monofilament through each point of the mandala and around the inner hoop. Adjusting the tension to stretch and center the mandala definitely took work, I won’t lie to you. I achieved good results by working from the point directly across from my monofilament ends and pulling tight point by point in each direction to eliminate slack.
Once I was happy with my tension, I tied a knot, adhered the knot with some superglue, and then carefully slid the larger ring onto the embroidery hoop and tightened to secure. You can make some last minute adjustments as you’re tightening.
For Candy Dishes and Dusty Rose, the mandala extended beyond the size of the hoop. Dusty Rose was relatively straightforward; I simply laid the mandala over the inner hoop and wrapped through the half-double and single crochet stitches. It was much easier to get my tension right, and once I was happy, I slid on that outer ring and tightened it up.
In the case of Candy Dishes, I wanted the points to reach to the outside of the outer hoop. So I started by threading around the inner hoop just below the points (where the little holes are) like for Dusty Rose, hoping that the points would sort themselves out when I added the outer ring. They did not. I had to do a second wrap to secure those outer points, at which point it was very secure and easy to arrange the points just so.
I hit another snag when I went to hang up my mandalas. That wall space above my piano is truly HUGE, and the five mandalas aren’t quite enough to fill the space. I guess I’ll just have to stitch up two more!
So let me know in the comments: What size should I make my two additional mandalas? Would you move any of the ones I’ve already made around? I welcome your suggestions!
Yours in Stitches,
Decorate Your Walls with Yarn!