How to carve wood mushrooms

Wood carving is a hobby that many people indulge in for relaxation. Some even do it for profit. Collectors often pay good money for distinctive pieces. You can create a distinct and beautiful mushroom from a piece of wood to serve as a yard or home interior display piece, or as an unusual addition to a wood carving collection.

Find a suitable tree trunk. Any kind of tree will do. Maple and oak are good choices. A walk through the woods will yield plenty of raw material. Bring along a saw in case you need to cut your wood section. The size of the tree piece you choose depends on the final size you want your carved wooden mushroom to be. Do not remove the bark.

Cut away at the sides of the trunk until the stem of the mushroom takes on its rough shape. Use an electric saw for this procedure. The goal here is to remove as much of the excess wood as is necessary to taper the wood to look like a mushroom stem. Keep the saw cuts curved toward what will be the "head" of the mushroom.

Turn the wood over so the top of the carving faces down. Use a wide chisel and hammer to begin shaping the underside of the head. Start where the stem of the mushroom will meet the head and chisel away wood in deep, wide curves, creating a concave shape. Chisel deep enough to leave a good portion of wood around the circumference of the wood piece. This is the portion of the mushroom head that will extend over the stem of the mushroom.

Shape the head of the mushroom using small chisels and a large cutting knife. Cut the outer circumference of the mushroom head ragged to give it a realistic mushroom appearance. Round off the top of the mushroom head with a belt sander, then belt sand the stem to give it its final curvature into the underside of the mushroom head.

Stain and paint the mushroom carving. You can leave on any bark left over after the carving and cutting process for a realistic look. Brush on a thick coat of clear water-resistant lacquer to preserve the carving. Use spray paint or acrylics if you want to apply colour to your wood mushroom carving, then brush on the thick coat of clear water-resistant lacquer.

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