How to Make a Crochet Mandala

Marled Rainbow Mandala Crochet Pattern
Mollie Johanson
Overview
  • Skill Level: Intermediate

Mandalas are often used for practicing meditation and mindfulness, and crochet mandalas serve the same purpose. Repeating a simple series of stitches around a circle feels calming and lets your mind wander as you work. You can make your mandala with any colors you like or even work with just one color; however, it's also fun to crochet a rainbow. This version blends different colors with a neutral for a fun marled look.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • US J/10 (6-millimeter) hook
  • Large tapestry needle

Materials

  • 8 skeins DK-weight yarn (each a different color)

Instructions

  1. Round 1: Start the Mandala

    With the main color, chain 5 and slip stitch to join. Chain 3, double crochet 11 into the starting ring. Slip stitch to join, adding color one.

    Tips

    • Unless noted, turning chains count as a stitch.
    • At the end of most rounds, the instructions tell you to add a secondary color, change to another secondary color, or drop a secondary color. Make this change when you insert the hook for the slip stitch and yarn over with the yarn for the next round.
    Crochet a Circle and Add in a Second Color Yarn
    Mollie Johanson
  2. Round 2: Adding and Dropping Colors

    With the main color and color one held together, chain 4 (double crochet, chain 1) between each stitch. Slip stitch to join, changing to color two.

    Add the Next Round and Change the Second Color
    Mollie Johanson
  3. Rounds 3 to 5: Growing the Mandala

    • Round 3: With main color and color two held together, *skip one chain, 5 double crochet in next double crochet, skip one chain, slip stitch in next double crochet, rep from * to end, changing to color in last slip stitch.
    • Round 4: With main color and color three held together, chain 5, 3 single crochet in top of shell, *chain 2, double crochet in slip stitch, chain 2, 3 single crochet in top of shell, rep from * to end. Chain 2, slip stitch to join, dropping color three.
    • Round 5: With main color only, chain 3 (does not count as a stitch), *3 double crochet in chain space, skip one stitch, puff stitch two times, 3 double crochet in chain space, puff stitch, rep from * to end, working last puff stitch in the turning chain from round 4. Slip stitch to join, adding color four.

    Tip

    Make each puff stitch as a stitch with nine loops on the hook before ending, finishing off the stitch with a chain stitch.

    Rainbow Mandala After Five Rounds of Crochet
    Mollie Johanson
  4. Rounds 6 to 9: Making It Lacy

    • Round 6: With the main color and color, chain 6, single crochet in stitch between puff stitches, chain 5, *single crochet in puff stitches, chain 5, single crochet in stitch between puff stitch, chain 5, repeat from * to end. Slip stitch to join, keeping color four active.
    • Round 7: With the main color and color, chain 4, *skip 2 stitches, (2 double crochet, chain 1, 2 double crochet) in next chain, chain 1, skip two stitches, double crochet in next single crochet, chain 1, rep from * to last section of chain stitches. Skip two stitches, (2 double crochet, chain 1, 2 double crochet) in next chain, chain 1, slip stitch to join, changing to color five.
    • Round 8: With the main color and color 5, chain 1 (does not count as a stitch), *single crochet in chain space, single crochet 2, 3 single crochet in chain space, single crochet 2, single crochet in chain space, single crochet, repeat from * to end. Slip stitch to join, dropping color five.
    • Round 9: With the main color only, chain 8, skip four stitches, slip stitch, *chain 5, skip four stitches, double crochet, chain 5, skip four stitches, slip stitch, chain 5, skip four stitches, repeat from * to end. Slip stitch to join, adding color six.
    Rounds 6-9 of the Crochet Mandala
    Mollie Johanson
  5. Rounds 10 to 13: Finishing the Mandala

    • Round 10: With the main color and color six, chain 1, *chain 2, skip two stitches, single crochet, chain 2, skip two stitches, 2 single crochet, repeat from * to end, working one single crochet instead of two in the first stitch. Slip stitch to join, changing to color seven.
    • Round 11: With the main color and color seven, chain 6, skip two stitches, double crochet, chain 2, skip two stitches, cluster stitch, chain 2, skip two stitches, double crochet, *chain 3, skip two stitches, double crochet two together, chain 3, skip two stitches, double crochet, chain 2, skip two stitches, cluster stitch, chain 2, skip two stitches, double crochet, repeat from * to end. Chain 3, double crochet in first stitch, slip stitch to join, changing to color eight.

    Tip

    To make this version of a cluster stitch, begin as a regular double crochet, but then make two more partial double crochets and finally end the stitch.

    This goes like this: yarn over, insert hook, draw up and loop, yarn over, draw through two loops. Yarn over, insert hook in the same stitch, draw up and loop, yarn over, draw through two loops. Yarn over, insert hook in the same stitch, draw up and loop, yarn over, draw through two loops. With four loops on the hook, yarn over and draw through all four loops.

    • Round 12: With the main color and color eight, chain 1 (does not count as a stitch), single crochet 2 in chain space, chain 1, skip one stitch, double crochet 2 in chain space, chain 1, skip one stitch, double crochet 2 in chain space, chain 1, skip one stitch, single crochet 3 in chain space, chain 1, skip one stitch, *single crochet 3 in chain space, chain 1, skip one stitch, double crochet 2 in chain space, chain 1, skip one stitch, double crochet 2 in chain space, chain 1, skip one stitch, single crochet 3 in chain space, chain 1, repeat from * to end. Slip stitch to join, dropping color eight.
    • Round 13: With the main color only, chain 1, single crochet in each stitch and picot in each chain space. Slip stitch to join. End off yarn. Weave in all ends and block if desired.

    Tip

    To make a picot, single crochet, chain 3, single crochet in the same chain space.

    Finished Crochet Rainbow Mandala
    Mollie Johanson

Tips for Making Your Own Mandala Design

Once you've tried crocheting this or another mandala pattern, it's easy to design your own. Follow the math for crocheting a circle, playing with different stitches and patterns as you go. If the math doesn't always work out, don't worry—just try to keep your stitches close to the same rate of increase, adjusting as you go.

Mandalas are fun in lots of colors, whether you place them in a rainbow order or not. However, you can also create a more peaceful design with colors of similar shades or all the same color. Using all one color is especially good for showing off the texture of stitches.

Marled Rainbow Mandala Crochet Pattern
Mollie Johanson