Wednesday, January 25, 2012

DIY: Concrete Mushroom

These sweet little mushrooms were designed by my dad.  He makes many pieces for garden decorations. 
 For our wedding backyard barbecue, my dad made around 100 mushrooms, which we used to decorate the garden, and had guests take one home with them.  We helped paint them along with our moms whose hands you can see on either edge of this photo below:
I'm looking forward to sharing this project!  What you will need: 

-concrete
-water
-plastic wrap
-small bowl filled with sand
-acrylic paint

Step 1: Add just enough water to the concrete to make the mixture stiff enough to stand up on it's own.  (The amount of concrete you use depends on how many mushrooms you are planning to make.)  Mold the mushroom stem on a piece of plastic wrap, as seen below.  
 Let the stem dry.  With our cool weather, I let it sit for a full day to dry completely.
Step 2:  Fill your bowl with damp sand and cover it with plastic wrap.
Step 3:  Using your hands, or a previously made mushroom, or any object that is mushroom-shaped, make an imprint in the sand on top of the plastic wrap.  This will be your mushroom mold.
Step 4:  Mix concrete that is softer than the concrete mixed for the stem.  Then fill the mushroom mold with this mixture.  As you can see below, I mixed too much water into the concrete and it is running over the edge of my mold.  It will be ok because I can file down or chip off unwanted concrete after the piece is dry.
Step 5:  Place the dry stem into the wet concrete as seen below.  If it seems like it won't stay in place, the trick is to simply hold it where you want it to be for 30 seconds or so.  You will see that it stays right there after that.  This also works if your mushroom-top concrete is rather thick and it seems like the stem won't go in.  Just hold it there with gentle pressure.  
Here is the mushroom after it has been given plenty of time to dry in the mold:
 Paint away!  If you like the shiny look, use a super glossy paint, or spray them with a varnish after you've painted them.  I like the vibrant colors of these mushrooms:  
Interested in winning a FREE mushroom?  Visit this post to enter the giveaway!  Good luck!

34 comments:

  1. Amazing, I love it! I definitely will have to give this a try!!

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  2. Such a cute and wonderful idea! Thank you!

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  3. Thanks! I hope your's turns out super great!

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  4. Hi! LOVE this idea; thanks for sharing. We bought an 80 lb. bag of cement. Would you have an idea of about how many mushrooms this will make?

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  5. Oh. My. Goodness. I just realized I made a mistake in this post! It is actually CONCRETE, and not plain cement that is used to make these! I'm going to change it in the post. I just asked my dad and he said an 80 lb bag of concrete made 100 mushrooms for him. It may vary depending on variations in the size you make.

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  6. I bought Quickrete, and formed the stems. There were a bit of pebbles in the mix, but I only used a little of the mix. If they don't come out the way I like, I will use it to make stepping stones, and get the one without the pebbles.  Thanks for the info! :)

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    1. That sounds right to me! My concrete had pebbles, and fiber-looking things, and powdery cement-looking stuff. I bet your's will turn out great! Whew!

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    2. Lori,

      Thanks so much for letting me know that your concrete looked like that. I hope to finish up the experimental batch this weekend, since it is very hard to work on something like that during the week. So far the stems are looking fine. I will let y'all know how they turn out! :)

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  7. K, D, and I were just looking at the picture of all the mushrooms and trying to figure out which one was ours. I think we identified it :).

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  8. I love these, thanks for the great idea! I've made several concrete leaf bird baths so fun & easy. Everyone loves them.

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    1. Oh, thanks. So glad to spread my dad's idea here. He's made all different sizes of mushrooms, and even turned some into adorable bubbling fountains. I love those leaf bird baths too.

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    2. Well I have now made about 30 of the mushrooms (in 2 nights)! They are so fast & easy, the hardest part is waiting for them to dry so you can see the results! I'd love to see pictures of other things your dad has made.

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    3. Wow! Nice! I will be happy to do a post of my dad's other creations. That's a good idea...

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  9. These are so cute! I love them? Do you think the same technique would work if they were a lot bigger? Maybe a big plastic bowl for a mold? What type of paint did you use?
    Lyn

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    1. Yes, absolutely!
      I used acrylic craft paints.

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  10. now i know what to do with the extra quick-dry cement left over from my patching projects! thanks!

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    1. Perfect! Hoping they turn out great!

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  11. Hello there (:
    Just wanted to let you know that i recreated these and I LOVE THEM!!! (So does my mom, it was a birthday present for her (: )
    If you want to see, I pinned a picture right here: http://pinterest.com/pin/85638830384690461/

    Best regards,
    Christina from Denmark (:

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  12. Christina! Those mushrooms you made are so cute!! Great photo too! I'm so glad you had success with them, and thanks for sharing.

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  13. I'm in love! I'll make these for when all the flowers are withered in our... let's just say garden, and paint them in all colours under the sun. That'll keep away the nasty winter blues, and I can force the kids to help me make them :D Thanks for this, I think I found exactly what I needed to keep me happy during winter. THANK YOU!!!

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  14. Wonderful idea! Will be making some of these for my mom's fairy collection! THANKS!

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  15. They will go perfectly with fairies! I hope you enjoy making them.

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  16. love these can't wait to try this thanks for sharing

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  17. love this,will be making these for my faire garden and will be looking forward to more of your dad's crafts.

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  18. Lori,
    I have been experimenting with your technique. I have made several small ones and some really large ones. Some are sand casted and some are made from molds using bowls, cups and vases.
    Here are a couple of pics: http://pinterest.com/pin/267964246549036800/
    http://pinterest.com/pin/267964246548973274/
    Thanks again for sharing!
    Lyn

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  19. I love the way these look, they will also make a fun kids project.

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  20. That is super cool, thanks for this post. It looks like so much fun and you could use it for so many things.

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  21. Cute, but the way the weather has been in the Northeast, we have the real thing!! Will make some for camp! Thanks for the ideas! You are very clever!

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  22. Great idea, and....it just so happens...I have a spiral in my back yard I could do this with. Also paint rocks with critters on them...do a couple each week throughout the winter, and voila, I have a new look to the spiral. THANK YOU! (Facebook - Lynda)

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