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Step 1: Prepare the Clay
Roll out the clay using the ¼”guides and cut into a 4” circle.
Place the circle of clay on a non-stick surface. I used a honeycomb silicone hotpad – the cells of the honeycomb pattern gave room for the skewer to go all the way through the clay when poking the holes.
Step 2: Make the Holes for the Mandala and Let the Clay Dry
Leaving the circle flat on the work surface, poke holes through the clay with a wood skewer. Start around the edge of the circle, then alternate the holes inside the outer circle. Poke a slightly larger hole in the center. To help keep the holes equi-distant, think of the circle like a clock face and poke the holes opposite each other first – 6 and 12, 3 and 9, etc.
Allow the clay to dry for several hours or overnight. Before the clay is completely dry (still cold to the touch), pick up the circle and carefully poke the skewer through each hole again, to ensure a clean opening.
Step 3: Paint the Mandala
Once the clay is totally dry, gently sand the back side to smooth around the holes.
Paint the front and sides with 1-2 coats of your desired color. After the paint is dry, use a small brush to paint color inside the holes if desired.
Step 4: Add Your Embroidery Design
Decide which hole will be at the top for hanging.
Thread a few feet of embroidery floss through a needle and start “stitching” your mandala pattern from the back to the front, through the top hole. Let an 8” length of floss stay loose in the top hole to knot into a hanging loop later.
Stitch from the outer holes to the center, zig-zag around two rows of holes around the perimeter, whip-stitch around the edge – get creative with patterns and different colors of floss!
Tie off the ends of the floss on the back as needed, then tie a loop with the floss at the top for hanging. Glue a circle of felt or cardstock on the back to cover.