Mushrooms are interesting fungi, and many people are fascinated by its umbrella-like shape and seemingly "magical" ability to multiply overnight. If you like mushrooms but are not terribly excited about growing them in your backyard, then creating paper mache mushrooms might just be your best alternative. Make as many mushrooms as you want, and in any size and shape based on the mould you want to use. Creating paper mache mushrooms, whether as decorative lawn ornaments or for a school project, is simple and entertaining.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Large shallow bowl
- Chicken wire
- Empty toilet paper or paper towel roll
- Masking tape
- Varnish or sealant (optional)
Mix together 1/2 cup of flour with 2 cups of water in a large mixing bowl. Add this mixture to 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and mix in 3 tablespoons of sugar. Pour this mixture into the large mixing bowl and let cool. This is your paper mache paste.
Bend chicken wire into a pyramid shape with rounded edges to create the top of the mushroom mould. You can make this as large or small as you like, based on the size you want for your paper mache mushroom.
Create the base of the mushroom by cutting a cardboard roll of a toilet paper or towel paper in a size that works with your chicken-wire top. If you are making an extra-large mushroom, simply mould the chicken wire into a cylinder shape to create the base.
Tear the newspaper into short strips that are 1 inch to 2 inches wide. Dip the strips into the paste mixture until they are wet all the way through.
Cover the chicken-wire top and the cardboard roll in two to three layers of newspaper strips. Let dry for six to eight hours.
Attach the mushroom top and base to each other with masking tape. Paint in any colours you like. A red top with ivory polka dots over an ivory base are classic mushroom colours. Let dry.
Brush on a thin layer of outdoor varnish or water-based sealant if desired to make the mushroom more durable and waterproof.
Tips and warnings
- Instead of flour and water, you can create a simple paper mache paste by mixing one part clear-drying glue with one part water.
- To avoid inhaling fumes, apply varnish or sealant outdoors.
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