mandala embroidery pattern

mandala dishtowelA simple design of concentric circles, this embroidery sampler provides a way to practice a variety of stitches, and maybe achieve some zen! It’s inspired by the mandala, Sanskrit for “circle,” a form often used in Buddhist and Hindu art.

I used Perfect Circles and Bigger Perfect Circles to draw these, and chose a flour sack dish towel to embroider it on.  If I was using something else I might stitch through two layers so the traveling threads don’t show through from the back.mandala embroider

You can download the entire instructions in PDF form, including the pattern to trace, or just follow along with the instructions below.  The outer circle is nearly 5″, but if you want it larger just click on this image to choose from a variety of sizes to download.

mandala embroidery template

Feel free to draw your own circles, too. There’s nothing wrong with imperfect circles either, if you free-hand it and they’re off-kilter, it will look all the more interesting! And you’ll be on a whole other level of zen. Or add more circles and try out ALL THE STITCHES.

I’ve included the DMC floss colors I used in case you want to use the same.  They were just the colors I fancied in the moment, and anything will work. If you need a refresher on any of these stitches, just consult a pocket guide or do a search on Youtube for the stitch and you’ll be sure to find a demo.

Here we go!

° symbol indicates how many strands to use from 6-strand separatable floss
Floss colors are indicated by their DMC numbers.

1—718—fill in with satin stitch, 3°
2—701—stem stitch, 2°
3—995—French knot, 3°
4—606—back stitch, 2°
5—970—eyelet, 2°
6—3812—running stitch, 2°
7—3746—blanket stitch, 2°
8—550—chain stitch, 2°
9—451—rope stitch, 3°
10—995 & 606—single threaded running stitch, 2°

mandala close-up

If you make one, be sure to add a photo of it to our Flickr pool!