Mixed Media Fun With Spirographs

August 2, 2017
Become a Member!

Everything old is new again – including toys! Did you have a Spirograph as a kid? (Did you find it fun or frustrating?) 😉

During one of our Mandala Madness Show ‘n Share sessions, Jennifer (a super creative class member) showed us her Spirograph Cyclex and explained how she used it in conjunction with drawing Mandalas. I don't know whether or not to thank Jennifer for enabling a whole new artistic addiction! 😉 Seriously, I've had more fun figuring out how to use this new-to-me toy! It's a bit like patting my head and rubbing my stomach, but it's portability totally made the learning curve worth it to me.

The Spirograph Shape Set is much different than the Cyclex. The box contains several large and many small pieces. As I began figuring out how to use all the pieces, I realized that patience was a virtue. 😉 The key to success, for me, is to relax and have fun and to remember that it's only a piece of paper if my pen slips and ruins a design.

I found that I couldn't tell by looking at the disks what the patterns might be. I had to play with them and enjoy the surprises they contained. Making designs with the various disks from the Shape Set and labeling proved to be a handy reference. You can see some of my experiments, including black and white card stock with Gelly Roll Moonlight pens. Yummy!

Just click the image to see examples of my test designs in detail.

For me, I'm the most creative when I feel free to play and experiment. Although I spend many hours each week on computers, recording videos, writing class notes, etc., I always squeeze in creative time. It's what keeps me sane and filled up and happy. Grabbing a few colorful pens and my Spirograph and I'm lost in my own little world for a while and that makes ME and much better ME!

During this LIVE Drama-free Friday stream, I used various gel pens to draw Spirograph designs on smooth watercolor paper. My intention was to spray the paper with diluted Tumble Dyes to colorize them in addition to the gel inks. I had done the same thing previously with great results. A new set of gel pens (as I found out) reacted differently and some of the colors bled as soon as the sprays hit them. Whoa! I didn't see that coming at all.

The moral of the story is to always test the pens if you are going to add wet media over the ink. In the end, all is well because I love the imperfection. Some of my best results come from experiments gone awry!

Below you can see the art journal page I created with the Spirograph shapes. After attaching them to a background in my journal, they looked like a flower garden, so I added stems and leaves. I may even add some words, but I'm not sure yet. 🙂 

If you enjoy being creative with a Spirograph, let me know in the comments below or tweet pictures of your fun @BarbOwenDesigns. I'd love to share what you do with my followers!

Until next time, join me LIVE Friday at 2pm Eastern for the next episode of Drama-free Friday. 

Remember to Get Creative today! It's Easy!




P.S. Please leave a comment below.


Barb Owen

About the Author

Barb Owen

Barb is the founder of How to Get Creative, author of "Normal Doesn't Live Here Anymore", a specialist at playing in the art studio and has an unhealthy addiction to smiles. ;-)

Follow Barb Owen:

Signup For Your Membership

Treat yourself to the Fun of connecting with people who Love and Appreciate the same creative things you do.    Click the "Signup Now" button!