How to Make a Crochet Mandala

Marled Rainbow Mandala Crochet Pattern
Mollie Johanson

Crochet Mindfully With a Rainbow Mandala

How to Crochet a Rainbow Mandala
Mollie Johanson

Mandalas are often used for practicing meditation and mindfulness, and crochet mandalas have the same effect. Repeating a simple series of stitches around a circle feels calming and lets your mind wander as you work. Use this free mandala crochet pattern to slow down your busy day.

You can make your mandala with any colors you like, or even work with just one color. But it's also fun to crochet a rainbow. This version blends different colors with a neutral for a fun marled look.

Materials and Notes

Rainbow Mandala Crochet Supplies
Mollie Johanson

Project Level

Intermediate

Supplies

  • 1 skein of DK-weight yarn
  • 8 colors of DK-weight yarn (Lion Brand Bonbons work great for this)

Tools

Abbreviations

  • c1 (2–8) = color 1 (2–8)
  • ch = chain
  • ch-sp = chain space
  • dc = double crochet
  • dc2tog = double crochet 2 together
  • mc = main color
  • ps = puff stitch 
  • rep = repeat
  • sc = single crochet
  • sk = skip
  • sl st = slip stitch
  • st(s) = stitch(es)

Notes

Gauge: Not important for this project.

Turning Chains: Unless noted, turning chains count as a stitch.

Round 1: Start the Mandala

Crochet a Circle and Add in a Second Color Yarn
Mollie Johanson

With mc, ch 5 and sl st to join.

Round 1: Ch 3, dc 11 into the starting ring. Sl st to join, adding c1.

Note: 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.

Round 2: Adding and Dropping Colors

Add the Next Round and Change the Second Color
Mollie Johanson

Round 2: With mc and c1 held together, ch 4, (dc, ch 1) between each st. Sl st to join, changing to c2.

Rounds 3–5: Growing the Mandala

Rainbow Mandala After Five Rounds of Crochet
Mollie Johanson

Round 3: With mc and c2 held together, *sk 1 ch, 5dc in next dc, sk 1 ch, sl st in next dc, rep from * to end, changing to c3 in last sl st.

Round 4: With mc and c3 held together, ch 5, 3sc in top of shell, *ch 2, dc in sl st, ch 2, 3sc in top of shell, rep from * to end. Ch 2, sl st to join, dropping c3.

Round 5: With mc only, ch 3 (does not count as a st), *3dc in ch-sp, sk 1 st, ps 2 times, 3dc in ch-sp, ps, rep from * to end, working last ps in the turning chain from round 4. Sl st to join, adding c4.

Note: Make each puff stitch (ps) as a stitch with 9 loops on the hook before ending, finishing off the stitch with a chain stitch.

Rounds 6–9: Making it Lacy

Rounds 6-9 of the Crochet Mandala
Mollie Johanson

Round 6: With mc and c4, ch 6, sc in st between puff sts, ch 5, *sc in puff st, ch 5, sc in st between puff sts, ch 5, re from * to end. Sl st to join, keeping c4 active.

Round 7: With mc and c4, ch 4, *sk 2 sts, (2dc, ch 1, 2dc) in next ch, ch 1, sk 2 sts, dc in next sc, ch 1, rep from * to last section of chain stitches. Sk 2 sts, (2dc, ch 1, 2dc) in next ch, ch 1, sl st to join, changing to c5.

Round 8: With mc and c5, ch 1 (does not count as a st), *sc in ch-sp, sc 2, 3sc in ch-sp, sc 2, sc in ch-sp, sc, rep from * to end. Sl st to join, dropping c5.

Round 9: With mc only, ch 8, sk 4 sts, sl st, *ch 5, sk 4 sts, dc, ch 5, sk 4 sts, sl st, ch 5, sk 4 sts, rep from * to end. Sl st to join, adding c6.

Rounds 10–13: Finishing the Mandala

Finished Crochet Rainbow Mandala
Mollie Johanson

Round 10: With mc and c6, ch 1, *ch 2, sk 2 sts, sc, ch 2, sk 2 sts, 2sc, rep from * to end, working one sc instead of 2 in the first st. Sl st to join, changing to c7.

Round 11: With mc and c7, ch 6, sk 2 sts, dc, ch 2, sk 2 sts, cluster st, ch 2, sk 2 sts, dc, *ch 3, sk 2 sts, dc2tog, ch 3, sk 2 sts, dc, ch 2, sk 2 sts, cluster st, ch 2, sk 2 sts, dc, rep from * to end. Ch 3, dc in first st, sl st to join, changing to c8.

Note: 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 2 loops.

Yarn over, insert hook in same st, draw up and loop, yarn over, draw through 2 loops. 

Yarn over, insert hook in same st, draw up and loop, yarn over, draw through 2 loops. 

With 4 loops on the hook, yarn over and draw through all 4 loops.

Round 12: With mc and c8, ch 1 (does not count as a st), sc 2 in ch-sp, ch 1, sk 1 st, dc 2 in ch-sp, ch 1, sk 1 st, dc 2 in ch-sp, ch 1, sk 1 st, sc 3 in ch-sp, ch 1, sk 1 st, *sc3 in ch-sp, ch 1, sk 1 st, dc 2 in ch-sp, ch 1, sk 1 st, dc 2 in ch-sp, ch 1, sk 1 st, sc3 in ch-sp, ch 1, rep from * to end. Sl st to join, dropping c8.

Round 13: With mc only, ch 1, sc in each st and picot in each ch-sp. Sl st to join. End off yarn.

Note: To make a picot, sc, ch3, sc in the same ch-sp.

Weave in all ends and block if desired.

Tips for Making Your Own Mandala Design

Marled Rainbow Mandala Crochet Pattern
Mollie Johanson

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 rainbow order or not. But 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.

Now, take a deep breath and start crocheting your next mandala!