I first discovered Lauren Vardell‘s sticker art by total happenstance. While perusing the web,  I stumbled across a giant sticker mandala that Mrs Grossman’s sticker factory had commissioned the artist to make for them. Honestly, WTF – this thing blew my socks off! The inspiration to make my own couldn’t have come at a better time as I was looking for more wall art for my son Quincy’s room. Making these sticker mandalas is so meditative and fun, I’ve since made more for friends and expectant mamas. And really, there’s nothing more nostalgic than receiving sheets upon sheets of stickers in the mail! For a few hours, I’m a kid once again.

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You’ll need:

  • stickers
  • a large and sturdy piece of fine paper (I used a 22 x 30″ sheet of watercolor paper)
  • a pencil
  • a kneaded rubber eraser
  • a ruler
  • a yard stick
  • a compass
  • a protractor

stickermandala1Start by laying your paper down on a flat working surface. Using a yard stick, measure the middle of the length and width of the paper with a hash mark. Those intersecting points is the starting point to your mandala.

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Open the compass to about an inch radius and draw a circle from the center point of the paper. Lay the middle of the protractor on the center point and make a hash mark every 30 degrees – so 0, 30, 60, 90, 120, 150 & 180 degrees. Flip the protractor over and do the same on the other half.

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Now you have a circle and 12 hash marks. Take the yard stick and connect the opposing hash marks with a long straight line through the center point of the paper.

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Because most compasses don’t open very wide, you can tape your pencil to a 12 inch ruler and turn it into a large compass. I anchor the end of the ruler onto the center point and carefully rotate the ruler around to draw a large circle. Make sure to tape the pencil securely to the ruler, keeping it straight up and down. Now you should have about 4-5 concentric circles that are divided into 12 equal sections. This will work as your guide as you begin to add stickers.

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It’s important to use stickers that are mirrored. Mrs. Grossman’s carries a good supply of these stickers. But make sure they are mirrored before your purchase them and that you are purchasing the correct amount of mirrored sets. Start with a small sticker in the middle of the paper. I like to use a round one here. Then using the lines as a guide, start building out from the center point.

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Continue adding stickers. Mix tall ones with short ones. Some don’t even need to mirror as long as they are relatively symmetrical in shape.

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Continue to add stickers and don’t worry about small gaps – those can be filled in later!

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Keep adding and as you work towards the outermost circle, pick stickers that will keep the mandala within the perimeter.

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Once you feel like the mandala is at a good shape and size, fill in any large holes with small stickers. Take a kneaded rubber eraser, or an eraser that doesn’t leave behind any residue, and carefully erase any exposed pencil markings. Make sure to dab, rather than rub, as to prevent peeling up any of the edges of the stickers.

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A close up view . . .

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Of course, the shape is totally up to you – it doesn’t have to be a perfect circle!

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Make sure all stickers are stuck flat before framing.

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Have fun!

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(images by HonestlyWTF)