December 21, 2010
Make It : Spun-Cotton Mushrooms
Posted by Hosanna Houser
For the Holiday Craft Fair, one of the things I made and sold were these spun-cotton mushrooms. I personally wanted more mushrooms for my tree and kept losing bids on eBay for glass ones. So to create the vintage feel I was looking for, I used another old-world technique to create these. They can be clipped onto your Xmas tree or branches on a mantel or, as a few people told me they would do, stay out as décor all year long. A week after the fair, I did a demo with Martha on the TV show. I am thrilled that people are enchanted with these fungi, I sold out, and have gotten request for a step-by-step demo.
When I sit down to make these, I do batches of them, so there are a bunch to play with when it's time to paint and glitter. Another great thing is the range of sizes that can be made, so there can be lots of variation. For inspiration on how to embellish them, a field guide is great to have on hand, or a quick Internet search will also provide endless images to get the creative wheels going.
1 Martha's shot from my table at the MSLO Craft Fair.
2 For the top, cut a circle out of chip board, anywhere from 1.5 inches to 5 inches.
3 Cut a pie wedge out.
4 With masking tape, tape edges together to make a cap.
5 How the cap looks.
6 For the stem, start with a rectangular piece of chip board.
7 Curl it up.
8 And tape it.
9 Add some strips of tape to one end of the stem.
10 And tape into the under side of the cap. Now the foundation of the mushroom is complete.
11 This is a puff of loose cotton filler.
12 This is cotton batting that has been torn somewhat into a circle with a tale.
13 Place the puff on top of the batting.
14 Place the foundation, cap down, into the puff.
15 Pull the edges of the batting up around the cap.
16 Use the tail to hold the batting in place, and wrap around stem.
17 The creases in the underside look like mushroom gills.
18 With another strip of batting, wrap around the rest of the stem...
19 all the way to the bottom.
20 Once it's fully covered, it is ready to be painted.
21 Insert a bamboo skewer and paint with a watered-down white acrylic.
22 Make a bunch all at once, so they are all ready for the next part when they are dry...embellishing!
23 Here is one that was painted with a red cap, and then glittered all over. The skewer could be left if you want to put it in a plant.
24 Or remove the skewer and hot-glue stem into a candle clip.
25 For added flare, anything can be wrapped around in the clip. Here it is tinsel garland. Coarse glitter is also a great option.
26 Another variation: pale browns with fluff in the clip.
27 Beautiful styling done for the TV segment.
Another variation were painted brown with gold and crystal glitter, and reindeer moss in the clip. Photo from Good Bones Great Pieces.
Subtle colors and less glitter makes these guys stand out in their own way.
I still am working on making more, believe it or not, for gifts in groups of twos or threes. I know that I'm going to have some very happy friends in a few days. I just need to remember why I created them in the first place—for my tree—and need to keep a few for myself!
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