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Everyday Objects Mandalas

Recommended for ages 3+
Estimated time: 20 minutes

Design a mandala using found objects in your home or in the natural world.

Think about…

A mandala is a circular geometric pattern that can be found in many art forms around the world. Mandalas have different meanings in different cultures and typically symbolize unity, balance, wholeness, impermanence, and cycles. 

Day Schildkret is an earth artist, educator, and public speaker known for his Morning Altars, impermanent artworks created with foraged natural materials such as leaves, twigs, rocks, feathers, etc. You may have seen his work in the Gallery of California Natural Sciences at the Oakland Museum.

Schildkret shares that “every object I use is discovered in or around the place I build it. Every altar I create is informed and governed by forces larger than me: the sun, the wind, the rain, the traveling creatures, the season, the unexpected and unpredictable, etc.” Watch this video to be inspired by his process.

Today, we invite you to create your own everyday objects mandala inspired by Schildkret’s artwork. See what objects you might forage in your home and in nature to create an original design.

Make your own mandala


1. Gather objects in your house or backyard.

Hint: See what you might find in a kitchen drawer or bathroom cabinet.

2. Lay objects on a flat surface. Either the floor or a table works well.

3. Arrange objects in a symmetrical pattern of your choice.

Take a photo of your cardboard sculpture!  Use #OMCA to share it with us, and see what others have created.

Header image: The Faded Dawn by Day Schildkret, Oakland Museum of California