Easy DIY Project: Color A One Word Mandala Tile With Sharpies


The adult coloring craze is everywhere. You can't walk into a store these days without running into a rack of adult coloring books. Everything from Secret Gardens to Butterflies to Mandalas. Many people are finding it to be a great way to sit and relax at the end of the day.

And I must say, although I laughed at first, I am really enjoying my nightly ritual. But it got me to thinking; why not create something that I can actually use or put out on display. So I designed a mandala around my One Word for this year, "Adventurous", and sublimated it onto a tile. Ran out to Staples and bought a set of 24 permanent Sharpies (ultra fine) for $10 and ended up with a finished project that will help me focus on my one word all year long.

Here's how to create your own mandala tile:

The Tile: you can pick up a cheap tile at your local home improvement store or one of my favorite places - the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. You get to help your local community while doing your fun little projects. [and yes, I realize buying one tile is not going to make a huge difference in someones life - but you could drop off a donation while you are there:)].

If you would like a custom one word tile with a mandala already printed on it you can purchase one here:

Sharpies: there is a lot of debate out there on the inter web as to what to use on ceramics for the best results. Feel free to use the Googles to do your own research. For this project I used regular permanent Sharpies. Because this project wasn't for an item that I needed to run through the dishwasher, I chose the cheapest route.

Draw or Color: this is the fun part! Go back to the Googles and look up "mandala designs" for inspiration. Or if you are more of a Zentangle kind of person you can go that route. Add a symbol in the center to give more focus and inspiration to your design - or choose one of ours - we are continually adding new designs.

Let it Dry: once your masterpiece is complete, set it aside to completely dry for at least 24 hours.

To Bake or Not to Bake: If you are purchasing one of our tiles we recommend not baking. Because the tiles are printing through a process called sublimation, reheating the tiles will cause them to resublimate and cause extreme discoloration. However, if you choose to use an alternative paint, like oil-based pens for your design and want to bake it, we recommend 225 degrees for two hours. Anything higher will cause discoloration.

For other tiles the recommended bake times can vary, but the standard is 350 degrees for 30 minutes. When I tried this process on a tile that I picked up at ReStore it worked beautifully.

Cleaning: for my tile, because it is for decoration only, I just wipe it with a dry cloth. Anything more will begin to slowly remove the color of the Sharpies over time.

Acrylic Seal Spray: if you want to use your tile and have that added protective coating to your design, you can add a coat of acrylic seal spray.

Show if Off: jump over to our Facebook page and post your finished project - we would love to see your work! Plus it would inspire others to do the same.

Looking for some quick coloring tips:

  • Use a pencil to draw a circle grid like this one on your tile before you get started. It helps to give you a framework to build off of. You can download my template here: Mandala_Template.pdf


  • Once you print off the template, trace over it with a pencil. Then place the template, image side down on the tile. Then gently color the back of the paper with the pencil, like when you are doing a rubbing. The template will image on the tile.



  • Keep Q-tips available for quick touch-ups and blotting. I also use rubbing alcohol wipes to clean up mistakes really quickly.


  • I found the "ultra fine" pens to work better for our printed tiles because of some of the smaller design elements, but I think the "fine pens" work really well for freehand designs.







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