Welcome to this tutorial on digital crafting using mandalas! In this guide, we’ll explore an exciting technique of filling mandalas with patterns (clipping a pattern to the mandala shape) using popular apps and graphics software such as Procreate and Affinity Publisher/Designer. Whether you’re using a mobile device or a desktop, this tutorial will show you how to create unique and attractive results without coloring.
This non-traditional approach to mandalas is an excellent way to create eye-catching designs that can be used for making cards, decor and more. And the best part is, you can use our free mandala maker to create your own unique designs and our free backgrounds to complete your projects. So let’s get started!
Create Your Mandala
The first thing to do is to create your mandala 🙂 You can, of course, use any mandala to do this, however in order to use this technique, your mandala must have a transparent background. When you create a mandala with the free Makebreaks Mandala Maker, you will find that you can select a transparent background when downloading your finished mandala.
For a full breakdown of all the features in our free mandala maker, see how How To guide HERE.
Tip: You can change the thickness lines in our mandala maker. I created one with thick lines to use in this tutorial – but there are no rights or wrongs, experiment and see which works for you!
Get Your Pattern
You can use any pattern to fill your mandala – this includes photos. We have a HUGE selection of free patterns you can choose from or use one of your own.
How to Fill the Mandala With a Pattern
This is super easy to do and can be done in most graphics apps and software. I’m going to show you how to do it in some of the main ones, if you use a different app, try to adapt the key principle or get in touch and let us know what software you would like to see us use in tutorials.
Affinity Photo / Designer for Desktop
Affinity Photo and Designer are straight forward to use and the way the layers panel makes this technique VERY easy!
Load your mandala into either application then go to File > Place to add your pattern on top.
Then drag the pattern in to the mandala layer. You will see that immediately, the pattern is clipped to the mandala shape.
I used exactly the same technique to create the mandala image below:
However, this time, instead of the pink pattern, I filled the mandala with a white square and added a red square as the bottom layer to make the mandala pop from the page.
Photopea is an amazing free browser based application. It is VERY similar to Photoshop. This is how I fill a mandala with a pattern in Photopea. In short, I add the pattern to the top of the mandala layer and then clip the pattern to the mandala beneath.
Again, it’s super simple to create this effect using Procreate. Upload your mandala then place the pattern you want on top (use the wrench icon at the top right to select ‘Insert a file’.
Then, ensure the pattern layer is active (inserted image), swipe the layer icon in the layer panel to the right to reveal the tool options and select ‘Clipping Mask’.
Use Affinity for iPad
Again the process is pretty simple and is similar to the desktop.
Load the mandala and then add the pattern layer on top. Then drag the pattern layer so it goes into the mandala layer (the layer will turn blue when this happens) and you will see the pattern is clipped to the mandala.
Tips for Great Looking Results
Here are some tips for things you can try to get great looking and different results:
Duplicate the layer and experiment with blending options
As you can see in the image below, I duplicated the pattern layer and then experimented with the layer effect. You can try this in any of the apps that use layers and it’s a great way to get different results.
Try bold color combinations
Try contrasting the background and pattern – or as I have done here, layer a bold effect such as gold over a black background. By the way, if you love this gold foil effect, you can download the file for free HERE!
I hope this has given you some different ideas for how to use our free mandala maker and inspired you to experiment – and have fun!