On Monday I shared with you my spring home tour in which I revealed my new geometric wood wall art that I have been working on for the past 2-3 weeks. Before writing a blog post, I had to practice for a bit and gather as much information, so I could share everything with you in detail. I also have to report that I’m definitely addicted to wood-burning now because that is how I created these little geometric patterned medallions which are usually called mandalas. (Also check out my boho DIY light switch covers)
It shows in my house with previous design decisions that I love repetitive geometric patterns. Yes, I’m a sucker for symmetry!
DIY geometric wood wall art or mandala art
My first inspiration comes from a catalog I paged through where I saw the below lacey circles metal wall art (HERE) which is pretty expensive even on sale. As always, I love the black and white pattern but since I already have so much of it in my house, I wanted to do something a little different. When I discovered the wood burned plates and bottle at the thrift shop in Germany, I knew immediately that this was the route I wanted to take.
The catalog calls it lacey circles but I would call them mandalas which are geometric mostly round patterns.
The literal meaning word Mandala (read more HERE) means circle and circle mandalas are definitely more common. They are simple geometric shapes that are made from even divisions of the circle.
Mandalas originated in Hinduism and Buddhism and are spiritual symbols. Old scriptures describe mandalas as symbols of great power or strength, the womb of creation and the connection with your inner self.
These geometric patterns are definitely something that has been done in countries all over the world and not just in Hinduism and Buddhism for hundreds of years. These types of geometric patterns and not just repetitive circle patterns appear in many different cultures and countries. There are Celtic, Indian, Asian, European and even the Pennsylvania Dutch hex signs are in the form of geometric patterns on circle backdrops but all with their own twists and designs which probably all relate back to the beliefs of sacred geometry. Even our common doilies come in similar patterns and looks.
Pyrography and Woodburning
I made a video of my own process so you can see how I made mine in addition to this blog post.
- woodworking compass
- printed geometric shapes (HERE or free downloads HERE)
- clear tape
- respirator masks to protect from burning fumes
- colored pencils (optional)
- carbon paper for transferring patterns
- unfinished wood circles (I bought 10″ and 12″ pieces HERE and HERE)
- wood burning kit
- plate hangers or hot glue and string as shown in the video for hanging the geometric wood wall art pieces
- piece of scrap wood
My instructional video
(click on the image triangle to watch or head to YouTube to watch)
How to draw a mandala (a symmetrical geometric circle shape)
There are many ways how you can draw a symmetrical geometric circle shape but I want to show you how I prefer to do it. It’s a simpler, less intricate and easier version than some of the downloads that I also showed in this post. (in my video I create a different circular shape than below but very similar)
Mark the center of the wood disc and draw a line
Draw another line through the center in a 90-degree angle.
then mark 45-degree angles through the center
Next step is to mark the circles that will cut through the center lines
Use your compass to draw the circle.
You can see the measurements I used for the different circle sections in the below photo:
draw all the circles
I decided to make smaller center circles that cut over each other as shown below…
I marked the center for the next row of outer circles.
And then drew them with the help of the compass
Below you can see the pattern before I drew in some more details by hand.
I started by connecting some of the circles starting from the centers to the outside.
And then drawing in some decorative loops.
As another detail, I drew in larger circles to the outside circles. It’s basically circled on circles and circles!
Here is the finished pattern before I started with the woodburning.
The finished Mandala
And now below is the above drawn geometric wood wall art piece burned and colored. Please watch my video to see me actually burning some of the pieces.
Here are two more similar ones I made with a circular structure.
I wanted to show you a different piece though where I only used a ruler for straight lines and not a compass. This gives it more the look of a Pennsylvania Dutch hex sign. Both pretty but a very different look.
TIP: “It is actually easier to avoid the round shapes on your first try and go with the straight lines to practice.”
Tracing a geometric wood wall art pattern
I downloaded several free patterns from a website (HERE, HERE and HERE where you can also choose others) but the sizing was off for the wood circles I had purchased. So I resized them to fit the 10 and 12 inches. The issue was that it didn’t fit on regular 8.5″ x 11″ printer paper. So I printed the same piece section 3 times and just taped the pattern in a continuous circle and cut out the shape. This is possible since the shape is geometrical. Let me show you…
For the smaller wood circle. I taped two of the same print-outs which you can see in my video.
Then place carbon paper under the print-out and secure it with tape…
…and trace the entire pattern with a pencil either freehand or with a ruler.
Below are two of the free downloaded patterns that I traced and burned. You can see more details about this in my video as well.
You can also buy different patterns on Etsy like HERE for an example.
How to wood burn a geometric wood wall art piece or mandala
I recommend using small pliers to change the tips when they are hot. I have a piece of scrap wood that I lay the hot pieces on and then cover them with a glass, so the cats and humans don’t accidentally burn themselves.
Before you start to trace the patterns I advise you to try out all the woodburning tool end tips on a piece of scrap wood to see what shapes, strokes and shading you can create with each one of them.
Click HERE to head back up to the video, so you can watch it.
Here are the DIY geometric wood wall art pieces hanging on the other side of my living room as shown in my home tour this week.
And as always, if you don’t feel like making your own, then you can always buy some lovely handmade pieces on Etsy below:
Or you can just add a large mandala wall decal to your home!
In the end, I actually want to create a grouping of all of them to hang onto our fence outside by the stock tank pool. The basket plates that were hanging there in my reveal weren’t made for outdoor use. I need to make sure that I properly weatherproof the mandalas first so they can last outdoors. I don’t want to use polyurethane since it yellows in the sun.
I will keep you updated what I come up with when the time comes.