How To Make a Mandala in Photoshop

Mandalas are relaxing, beautiful, and meditative. Here are step by step instructions on how to make your very own mandala using Photoshop software! If you have other software, you should easily be able to adapt these instructions to use in your software.

Part One - Making the Pie Slices
Do File - New and create a new image that is 600 x 600. That's large enough to print nicely for coloring, and small enough to fit on a typical user's webpage for viewing. Have the background be trasnparent.

How To Make a Mandala in Photoshop Make sure the "Info" window is open so you can see x/y values. This will be necessary for many of the steps.

Use the circle selection tool. Make a circle that starts at spot x=10 and y=10, and end the circle at spot x=590 and y=590.

Use the fill tool to make the circle white.

Select grow by 1 pixels. Use fill tool to make just the border black.

Save this as a base circle.

Use layer - new to add a second layer on top of this one.

Use the line tool with shift, with black color, and on the new layer make a vertical line at the 300 mark.

Use the line tool with shift, with black color, and on the new layer make a horizontal line at the 300 mark.

You should now have a cross-hairs which center exactly on your circle.

Now it's time to make two diagonal lines. Use the line tool. Put your cursor on the x=90 y=90 spot. Drag the line to go down to x=510 y=510. This is one diagonal line across the center. Next put your cursor on the x=90 y=510 spot. Drag a line to go down tothe x=510 y=90 spot. You now have 8 perfect pie slices!

Save this as your pie wedge starting point. If you want, you can download the one I made here - PieWedges.psd.

OK, now flatten the image.

Part Two - Working With a Slice
How To Make a Mandala in Photoshop With the select tool, select any random shape within one of the slices. Then use select - grow to select that pie slice.

Edit - copy. Then File - new - from clipboard. Now you have the pie slice in its own window to work with.

For now, draw random lines within your pie slice to see how this works. Keep your lines within the edges of the pie slice on the two long, vertical sides. It's OK to go outside of the slice across the top, curved piece - we'll be trimming the circle when we are finished with everything.

To the right is an example of my slice for my Expanding Star design. The way I made the circle border - which will end up being half circles in the finished mandala - is to start by using the selection tool and making a circle that is 20x20. I then use Edit - stroke outline selection to make it a 1 pixel wide bordered circle. I copy and paste those all along the edge of the pie slice.

When you are ready, select the whole rectangular image that is the pie slice workspace. Do Edit - Copy.

Go back to your pie slice image which is in another window. Do Edit - Paste. You should now have one slide pasted onto a layer in your pie slice layout.

Select the layer in your layer window, and change the layer attribute (in the drop down right over the layer listing) to "multiply". This way you can see through the layer you pasted to the bottom guidelines.

Use your arrow keys to move the layer into its proper place.

Go back to your single pie slice window. Use Image - Rotate - and flip it horizontally. Again do the select of the entire image, edit-copy, go over to your pie slice window, and use edit-paste to put your new slice onto the page. Use the arrow keys to slide it into position and set the layer to "multiply".

Keep on returning to your slice and using the flipping horizontal / vertical / 90 degrees to get all slices in all directions.

Once all 8 slices are in place, take a look at your design! Depending on what you did at the "outside" edge of the circle, you may now need to do some trimming. For example, in the below image, the tops of the circles need to be trimmed all around the edges.

How To Make a Mandala in Photoshop

If your design needs this type of trimming, here is how to do it.

Select the very bottom layer - the one with the circle on it. Select anywhere outside the circle, and then use edit - grow to select the whole outside-the-circle area. Do Layer - New - Layer and then use the layer window on the right to drag that layer so it is on the very top of the stack. The outside-of-circle area should still be selected. Use the white fill tool to fill in the outside-the-circle area with white. Since this is the topmost layer, your white "outside the circle" layer should take care of any extraneous lines or marks that fall outside your circle.

Voila! Your mandala is now complete! You can download this finished version here - ExpandingStars.psd.

How To Make a Mandala in Photoshop

This was my very first mandala I'd ever made - enjoy!

Tips on Mandala Making
When you're placing your slices on the pie form, "hide" any already placed layers to help them stay out of the way until you're done placing all the slices.

Don't worry about exact placement until you get all slices on the page. Then use the arrow keys to nudge each one into place.

For some instantly usable slice templates, be sure to visit my Mandala Slice Template Library!

Printable Mandalas
Mandala Basics

I have related pages - enjoy!
Buddhism Basics
Meditation Basics Tips
Yoga Basics Tips