Wednesday, 5 September 2012

TUTORIAL - Paper Mushrooms

These. Are. Awesome. Big and little paper mushrooms perfect for table decorations at weddings, parties or for your mantle. So VERY easy to make too - read on to find out how!

Firstly apologies I don't have a huge amount of step-by-step photos of these but the process is extremely simple and hopefully the text will be enough - the photos that I have taken were shot on my phone and point and shoot camera so hopefully they will suffice! 
My partner and I were in charge of table centrepieces at my Dad's surprise 50th birthday party this summer. As kids he used to take my sister and I mushroom-hunting all the time so it seemed fitting to create a mushroom-orientated display that would be eye-catching and a little bit different.
These were so much fun to make and look great! I now have 60 mushrooms floating about needing a home..! 

What you'll need:
  • Newspaper
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Wallpaper paste
  • Paint brushes
  • Masking tape
  • Paint
  • Glue gun

Step 1: Create your caps.
Start by cutting your mushroom caps. We had three different sizes and they all started as flat discs of thin cardboard - we just raked through the recycling and used what we could find. We'll call the different sizes S, M and L, and we used some round things as templates. S's were the open end of a champagne glass, M's were the inside of a masking tape reel and L's were the open end of a small cereal bowl. Cut as many or as little as you like - we ended up with 60 all together!

Next you want to shape them slightly, we made ours all a bit random so once they were bunched together in their displays they wouldn't look too uniform. Some were pointy cones and some more curved. The cones are simply a strait cut the radius of the circle (edge to centre) overlapped to create your cone. For the more curved ones we cut a tear shape with the narrow end of the tear being at the edge, overlapped in the same way as with the cones. We then used masking tape to secure the edges and cover the hole that was left at the centre. If my description here has confused anyone let me know and I'll draw a diagram for you!

Step 2: Paper mache time!
Mix up your wallpaper paste using the instructions on the package. Whilst you're waiting for your glue to settle, tear up a few pages of newspaper into a bowl. When your glue's all ready, cover the top of your caps with a thin layer and start layering newspaper over the top adding more glue and more paper as you go. Two or three layers should be more than enough - don't over-do it or they'll take forever to dry!
Leave to dry overnight (we put them in the airing cupboard). When they're dry, repeat with the undersides. This step's optional but if your cardboard has print on it or a shiny surface like ours did you'll want to go over it with your paper mache as your paint will adhere to it better.

Step 3: Colour!
Once dry, it's time to give your mushrooms a bit of colour! We weren't following any specific type of mushroom so went with the obvious choice of red and then mixed in a neutral yellow/brown to make them all a bit different. Paint. Allow to dry. If you want spotty mushrooms, now is the time to add some!

Step 4: Make your stems!
This step is easy-peasy once you get going but can get a bit tedious if you have a lot to do, like we did! Decide how tall or short you want your mushrooms. We varied ours from around 10-30cm. Take a sheet of newspaper, roll it up and twist it. Add a strip of paper around the base if you want to make it slightly thicker and secure by spiralling masking tape around the whole thing. For the taller stems we reinforced the centre with wire but so long as you twist your paper tight enough this may not be necessary.

Step 5: Paint!
Mix up an off white colour and paint the undersides of your caps and your stems. Using the same colour paint a couple of sheets of thin card in the same colour (this is for the rings which we'll add in step 6). Allow all your items to dry.

Step 6: Prepare and attach your rings!
Using the sheet(s) you painted in the last step, cut little strips to create the rings which will sit underneath the caps of each mushroom. Ours measured approximately 6cm X 3cm each. Carefully cut little slits along the length of each one making sure not to cut all the way across! 
Attach with the painted surface facing outwards using a thin strip of masking tape and wrapping them around the top of each stem.

Step 7: Glue your caps and stems together!
Heat up your glue gun. One at a time, put a blob of glue in the centre underside of your cap. Allow a few seconds for it to cool and go slightly tacky before poking a stem ring-side into the glue. Hold for a little while until you're happy the glue has set enough to let go. Place in a glass or jar and continue until you've completed them all.

Display however you like. We used some moss and different sized glasses and jars with a few tea lights spread out randomly (far enough away from the paper mushrooms to not cause a fire!). You could put them in little vials.. vintage bottles or mason jars. Whatever you do, I'd love to see the outcome! Enjoy ♥


  1. They look beautiful - and I imagine that 60 would look absolutely amazing.

  2. Lovely stuff, these are very cute and I bet they looked amazing as table decs :)

  3. How nice!! They look like they are really fun to make too.

  4. Thanks so much for this tutorial, you can have a look at what I've done on my blog

  5. Delphine those are AMAZING! Well done :D:D

  6. these are beautiful.. I will make with my class for prom decor.. Alice in Wonderland.. if your lil mushrooms still need a home.. they can move to my school. :).. thanks for the tutorial.. perfect! we will need a lot of them
    Cee Smith


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