Create a beautiful layered paper mandala frame to showcase a favorite photo. Learn how to make this stacked paper craft with your Cricut cutting machine. Display the finished frame in your home or a gift it to someone special!
Hello Crafty Friends! I have been on a bit of a paper crafting kick lately and am excited to share this new mandala frame with you! I love how this layered paper craft turned out. It uses six different layers of paper stacked together to create a beautiful frame. I cut this using my Cricut Explore after designing the file in Cricut Design Space.
Layered paper crafts are so popular right now and after making my Paw Print Dog Frame earlier this week I was hooked! Since then I made this mandala frame as well as a 3D Paper Hogwarts Castle and a Layered Paper Christmas Ornament Frame.
Below are the directions for creating this mandala frame. It would look wonderful displayed in your home on an easel and it also makes a wonderful handmade gift. Perfect for birthdays, holidays or Mother’s Day!
How to Create a Paper Mandala Frame
Choosing the Paper
For my layered paper projects, I like to choose a sturdy cardstock that is also solid core. Solid core means the paper is the same color on the outside as it is on the inside. White core, or printed cardstock, is paper that is colored on just the front and back and the inside is white. I find with the intricate cuts of the design, that solid core cardstock gives a more polished look and there is no white visible that may distract from the design.
For this paper frame, I used textured cardstock that is 80lb, a combination of cardstock from AC Cardstock and Bazzill. Aim to use paper with a weight between 65lbs and 80lbs. The sturdier cardstock will hold up better, especially if you display the frame in an easel. I recommend using a layer of chipboard on the back to give the frame even more structure and keep it from flopping over in an easel.
- Cardstock: Six papers needed.
- Foam Adhesive Dots
- Cricut cutting machine
- Cricut Supplies: cutting mat, Cricut tools and Cricut scraper
- Wooden easel
- Cut File – you’ll find the cut file I designed in Cricut Design Space. It is free for Cricut Access.
Cutting the Mandala
Step One: Cut the mandala frame using your cutting machine. The mandala frame file can be found in Cricut Design Space. You can change the color of the papers in Design Space as well as the size before starting to cut the file. I cut my layers using the setting Posterboard+ on my Cricut Explore. This meant each layer was cut through twice which helped make sure it was easy to separate from the cutting mat.
The mandala frame is 9.5″ wide which is the size I cut my frame. It is a great size for displaying in an easel on a shelf or tabletop. If you do change the size of the frame, be sure to select all and resize all of the layers at the same time.
White the file may look symmetrical, it is not and I strongly recommend marking the top of each layer on the wrong side with a small pencil mark. it can be a dot, arrow, letter T – anything to let you know how to assemble the layers once they are all cut. Do this before lifting the paper entirely off the mat.
The papers need to line up a certain way for the mandala design to work. Marking the top will save you a lot of time trying to rotate the pieces to find the best fit. (I found this out the hard way!)
Assembling the Mandala
Step Two: Assemble the mandala by layering the paper together using foam tape. Below is the order the paper should be stacked from bottom to top.
I worked backwards starting with the top layer and covered the back of it with small foam adhesive dots. The weeding tool that came with my Cricut tools was really helpful for lifting the backing off of the adhesive dots. Place the foam dots in the same places on each layer you add.
Carefully place the top layer on the second layer matching the edges. Tip: It helped me so much to use a little painters tape to hold the bottom layer to my work surface while I attached the top layer. Once they were attached I just removed the painters tape.
Repeat this process for the next three layers, making sure to add your foam dots in roughly the same places on each layer.
Step Three: Add a photo to the center of the bottom layer. Use the layered mandala to figure out where to place the photograph, then adhere it to the bottom layer, which is the solid flower shape, using glue or tape. Make sure you cut the photo down so it won’t peek through the openings in the around the border of the mandala.
Next, adhere the bottom layer to the chipboard layer using glue. I didn’t originally have a chipboard layer but I found after a month of displaying my mandala frame in an easel, the paper started curving backwards. Once I added the chipboard layer that was no longer a problem so I add chipboard to the back of all of my layered paper projects.
Add the foam dots to the back of the stacked mandala and attach it to the bottom layer following the same steps you did for the previous layers.
Display the Mandala Frame
Step Four: Display the new mandala frame on an easel. I found a wooden one on Amazon that is a great size for my 9.5″ mandala frame. You could also hanging the mandala frame on the wall by adding a little hanging loop to the back. I love the way they look in an easel. Everyone always thinks they are wood because of the dimension!
I hope you enjoyed this paper craft! I really had a lot of fun making it. For more paper crafts, check out my Paper Crafts Project Page! If you love creating layered paper art, check out my Layered Paper Paw Print Dog Frame and my 3D Paper Hogwarts Castle.