How to Tie a Star Mandala

Mandalas are such beautiful works of art but it’s so hard to find tutorials explaining how to make them!

This is the first of three in-depth tying tutorials I have planned for the coming weeks showing you different ways to tie mandalas.

Star Mandala

1. Start by folding the fabric in quarters, then into triangles. (See the in-depth mandala folding tutorial for two different ways to form the triangles.)  

My mandala had a total of 5 folds.

2. Using sinew, tie off a little bit of the triangle tip. (Check out my tips for tying tight sinew.)

3. Fold the fabric down, even with the previous sinew. Wrap more sinew starting from the halfway point of the fold to the previous sinew. Pull tight.

The first fold was hard to see so here’s a fold farther down the mandala.

4. Fold the next section the same as above this time folding up instead.

5. Continue folding down and up until you have folded as much as the mandala as you like. I’d suggest stopping before you hit the shortest edge of the fabric.

6. Finish off the excess bottom fabric however you like. Try twisting, folding or just crumpling.

I twisted the end of this mandala into a ball and tied it up.

7. Now your fabric is ready to either tie dye or ice dye!

The folding is a little complicated on this one, so if you’re still confused check out this video from Mr. TieDye. He always does a great job at clearly explaining how to do things.

I made two different mandalas using this method, both ice dyed. Tie dyeing would give you greater control over where your colors are placed on the fabric. Ice dyeing has more of a random effect on the final result. If you want to ice dye but want a little more control over where the colors go, you could apply the dye powder directly on the fabric and place the ice over it. I happen to like the random magic of ice dyeing, so I placed the dye over the ice.

The first I dyed using greens, brown and blues. I also dyed some geode fabric along with the mandala which is why I separated the ice and dye using aluminum foil into two sections (it’s the one on the left). I wanted to make sure my geode fabrics only got specific colors on them. In the top section I put the brown and green into two repeating rows (brown, then green, then brown again, and more green). In the bottom section I did the same but with repeating brown and blue. Here’s what the finished fabric looked like:

I made the second mandala a rainbow, with red at the center going out to purple at the edge, overlapping the colors just a little bit.

Check back next week for the next mandala tutorial!

If you like mandalas but don’t want to dye them yourself, I have some hand dyed mandala quilt panels available in my store too.

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