Children, teens, and adults generally love working with materials they don’t encounter regularly, and colored sand is one of those materials! The vibrant colors and soothing texture make sand a fantastic addition to any art project. And, when a project contains a strong connection to another area of learning, the experience is enhanced further. This paper plate sand art mandala craft does just that – blending art and history into one incredible project for people of all ages!
What are Mandalas?
Before jumping into this project, we thought it might be useful to explain what a mandala is! In its most general sense, a mandala is a circle with designs inside. More traditionally, however, mandalas are religious symbols (typically in Buddhism) that usually depict an ideal universe. Mandalas are often created with intricate designs, using colored sand, and then demolished upon completion in an act that represents the impermanence of everything.
This is just a brief overview, and to learn more about mandalas, read this article from The Asia Society. It would be an amazing addition to this mandala craft project to give some historical context.
Supplies Needed to Make Sand Art Mandalas
The supplies listed here are the ones we used to create the project as shown in this post. As with all posts on Paper Plate Fun, we encourage you to modify the supplies to fit your needs!
- Paper plate
- Small paint brush
- Colored sand
- Suggested: aluminum baking pan
How to Make Paper Plate Mandala Crafts
This project is so fun! It’s also very simple to make, especially if the designs drawn are not too intricate.
Begin by drawing a design onto a paper plate with a pencil. If you need creative inspiration, look up mandala designs on the internet and you’ll find lots of ideas for patterns. Or,just draw any design you like!
Squeeze a little bit of craft glue into a section of the design drawn on the paper plate. Use a craft paint brush to spread the glue in that area. Make sure the glue is not too thick, and try to get it to be as even a layer as possible.
Sprinkle sand over the glue – just like you’re sprinkling glitter! Once the glue surface is covered, shake off the excess colored sand into a trash can or a disposable aluminum tray.
Repeat the glue and sand process until the entire mandala design is complete.
Once all of the sand has been applied to the mandala craft, set aside to dry thoroughly.
Perhaps surprisingly, the sand sticks to the paper plates very well and does not come off easily! Definitely a bonus for keeping the mess controlled.
This paper plate craft can be modified to fit any age group or activity, making it a definite win!
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