How to Make a Giant Yard Mushroom

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Creating a wonderland or fairy garden in your yard can be an adventure as you fill the space with a variety of props, but no magical land is complete without a giant mushroom or two. Because giant mushrooms can be used for any number of parties or occasions, you can make yours as realistic or whimsical as desired. Once the mushroom is created, you can set it outside each day that you need it to transform your lawn into something special.

Things You'll Need

  • Styrofoam, 3 to 4 inches thick
  • Knife
  • 3 broom handles or 1-inch dowel rods
  • Saw
  • Chicken wire
  • Zip ties
  • Umbrella
  • White flour
  • Water
  • Newspaper
  • Spray primer
  • Paint
  • Cut a piece of Styrofoam into a circle as large as you want the diameter of your mushroom's base to be. Cut three broom handles or dowel rods to the height you want for the mushroom. Push the three rods into the Styrofoam near the outside perimeter of the circle to stand upright.

  • Wrap a section of chicken wire around the Styrofoam base and support rods to form a cylinder. Attach the wire to the supports using zip ties. Secure the end of the chicken wire using zip ties as needed to hold the cylinder shape.

  • Place an opened umbrella over the cylinder so the handle and stem go into the cylinder. Secure the framing along the underside of the umbrella to the chicken wire with zip ties.

  • Mix together 1 cup of flour for every 3 cups of water to form a runny paste similar to pancake batter. Rip a newspaper into strips approximately 3 to 4 inches wide. One at a time, dip a newspaper strip into the paste mixture and apply it to the outside of the cylinder and umbrella. Continue until the entire outer surface is covered.

  • Leave the paste to dry for a day and repeat Step 4 two to three more times, until the outer surface has a smooth texture and no holes are showing through. Let dry for two to three days.

  • Spray over the entire surface of the mushroom with primer and allow to dry for two hours. Paint over the mushroom stem and cap as desired using acrylic or latex paints in any colors you choose.

Tips & Warnings

  • By varying the size of Styrofoam, rods and umbrella used, you can change the size, shape and proportions of your mushroom so multiple mushrooms can all look different.
  • The amount of wire, newspaper and paste needed will depend on how large you're making the mushroom, so plan ahead to ensure you have enough material on hand.
  • Be creative with your painting. Make pale yellow mushrooms, mushrooms in pastel colors or bright red mushrooms with white spots. Also consider using faux painting techniques to create other effects.
  • Avoid getting the mushroom wet, as the newspaper will begin to break down.

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References

  • "Fairy Crafts"; Heidi Boyd; 2003
  • "The Community Theater Handbook"; Gary Philip Cohen; 2003
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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