By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey
One night, I had a dream about a giant orange mushroom that grew just outside the door of my gnome house (yes, I was a gnome in the dream) in the woods. So in honor of this week of celebrating the mushroom…we brought my dream to life. Here’s how we made the mushroom.
What you need:
36″ Latex Balloon
4-6′ Cardboard Roll/Tube
Large Cardboard Box
Sheets of 8×11 White Paper
Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
What to do:
Mix your white glue and water (equal parts). Inflate your balloon and lay on its side. Cut long 1″ wide strips of newspaper and dip into glue mixture. Remove excess glue and apply to balloon. Repeat until desired shape is achieved. Let dry overnight, then carefully pop your ballon. Sides may curl in which will add more realistic shape to the mushroom head.
Lay your cardboard roll or tube on its side. With your newspaper and masking tape, form balls of paper and apply to the bottom and top of the tube to create a ‘stem structure’. Next, with long 1″ wide strips of newspaper, dip into the glue mixture and apply to both the tube and the ball forms. Continue until you achieve a desired ‘stem’ look. This may take a while but you want to make sure its formed well and can stand up. Remember to keep the opening of the tube open.
Once dry, place the mushroom head onto the stem structure. If satisfied with the result, remove and paint everything a base white.
Paint your mushroom however you desire, I made mine orange with blue dots! Flip over and stuff with loose newspaper. Use this opportunity to fix any last minute forming issues you may have run into while glueing or painting.
Trace the shape of the mushroom head onto a large cardboard box then cut out. Create a whole in the middle big enough to fit the top of your stem.
Use your sheets of paper and tightly roll. One by one, hogtie them to the cardboard in a circle. Repeat until all cardboard has been covered. Once finished carefully fit the cardboard into the bottom of your mushroom head. Attach the head to the stem by inserting the stem into the opening you created in your cardboard.
For best results, ‘plant’ your mushroom outside by a tree with a lot of moss. Hopefully a friendly Gnome will come visit you soon!