The Mandala Strikes Back

So, to get this straight in my head, on this latest piece, there is only one piece of ply as a backer, and the rest is cardstock?
It looks amazing!

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That is spectacular! I have yet to even try one of these. But now I need to buy purple paint…LOL


So I took plywood sheets and glued different shades of cardstock to them. Then I cut each layer out of the appropriately shaded cardstock+plywood glue-up. Each layer is cut from a different piece of plywood with a different cardstock color.


Gotcha…that’s what I thought I was seeing, but was reading too much into it, I guess. Impressive process!

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@evansd2, Thanks for getting me to start down yet another rabbit hole. Here is my unfinished and unpainted first attempt at a layered mandala. These are pretty cool I’ll need to try the card stock trick.


Nice work! I like the purple! So you just purchased a standard mandala svg then made your own layers or was it specifically layered and you tweaked for Inkscape or GF?

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It was designed for cutting. Saved a ton of time.

I usually like to design my own stuff but mandala design has been thoroughly explored. There are simple ones, complex ones, literal ones, geometric ones, abstract ones… you name it. I knew I wanted a complicated geometric design — found these for sale and decided the time savings was completely worth it.

As I said in my other mandala post:

That being said I did design a small one of my own a while back just so I could say I knew how to do it. I’m stubborn like that :slight_smile:


Beautiful piece :heart_eyes:
Is there a reason not to use sealant before masking?

Other than I wanted to start cutting probably not.

Also sealing it later also sealed the edges a bit, though I wasn’t sure if that’d make a difference or not.

Was my thinking, though I fully understand wanting to get on with it. Thinking the masking might come off cleaner from sealed paper.

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Yeah you might be right, especially if you used gloss. My masking came off with no issue though.

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Sweet! Pure eye candy.

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Looks amazing in all the photos. Kind of takes you to a happy place.

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OK now that I’ve painted a set of panels, I can say this much: Paint is messy and I hate it.

Well, maybe hate is a strong term, but the cardstock is much easier to wrangle, that is for sure. No need to mix paints and rinse brushes and scrub fingernails and wipe workbench, and so on. Paint gets EVERYWHERE. I can’t confirm without a mirror but if I don’t have any on my face or in my hair I’ll be amazed.


I don’t know how you paint, but I’m wondering how the paint was worse than the glue… They both need to cover the whole sheet!

Also… spray paint?

I wanted specific colors, spray paint gets a little crazy expensive and wasteful.

So the glue was relatively painless, I poured it straight on the surface of the paper andused my rubber roller to distribute. The paint I brushed on, and mixed it to get exactly the gradient I wanted. It got out of hand :wink:

If I did this again, I’d probably use a roller for the paint too.


Yes. I’m laughing over here because trying to get a piece of paper to stick to a piece of wood without bubbles and without buckling, and then masking it without tearing when removing, all seem like a nightmare to me (and paper arts are one of my favorite things). Mixing paint and painting it on is about as simple as it gets. The only drawback for me might be some extra sanding that you wouldn’t need with paper.


well, i don’t know what @evansd2 was using, but i’d suggest card stock to do this kind of stuff. it’s less of a glue bubble risk (i.e., it won’t be as obvious if it’s tiny like light weight paper would be), you’re not going to get bleed through as easy, and it’s easier to handle.

i used cardstock on top of wood for a few different christmas ornaments. worked well for me.


the cardstock is the way to go it seems.

I don’t mean visual “bubbles” so much as spots that aren’t stuck down. When you’re cutting it as much as he is for a mandala, any spots that don’t stick down will be pretty obvious (and he mentions gluing bits down in his description). I’m typically using an archival glue with anything paper(ish), and it always seems to be watery. Even cardstock gets a bit mushy with it.

I’d use patterned card stock if I wanted that effect, but still would prefer a quality paint for plain colors.

In the end, it’s really a personal preference. I was just surprised because I would have not guessed @evansd2 would prefer paper/cardstock to paint.

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