DIY Mushroom Garden Ornament
Make your own garden ornaments. This pink garden ornament was made using low cost products you can buy from any hardware store. They are fun to make, and can look beautiful in your garden.
- Ready mix concrete, that you just add water.
- Plastic bowl for the top of the mushroom and a container for the stem.
- Nut and bolt
- Grout and grout sealer
- Adhesive, must be heavy duty. I used Wallboard adhesive.
- Cello tape and a marker pen
- Paint brush and paint. Acrylics work.
- Glass stones for decorating.
- Oil, cooking oil is okay.
Glass Stones Used For Decorating
You’ll need to do this outdoors or in your garage, as it can get messy.
Step 1 Making the Mushroom head and base.
Get your bowl and your container for the stem and spray some cooking oil on the inside.
Take some cellotape and cover the bottom of the nut. This is a little fiddly as you’ll need to cut the tape.
You could use another type of tape that sticks well. The tape is to stop the concrete from getting into the middle of the nut.
Screw your bolt into the nut and with the marker pen, draw a line around the bolt, at the bottom of the nut. When you place the nut into the concrete, it is going to be pushed down up to this line.
Get a large bowl or bucket to mix the concrete. How much you need will depend on the size of your bowl and stem container.
Follow the instructions on the package, for mixing your ready mix concrete. Once your concrete is mixed, place it into your bowl, then tap the bowl on a hard surface to get air bubbles out.
Take your bolt and push it into the concrete, in the centre of the bowl up to where you drew the line.
Now put some concrete into your stem container, to the desired height and place your nut in the centre. It needs to be flush with the top of the concrete. Tap the container gently to remove air bubbles. Now place your nut into the centre of the container. Make sure concrete does not go inside the nut.
Leave to set at least two days, three is even better, but it depends on the temperature of the air and time of year you are making it.
Stalk for the mushroom
Step 2 Filler.
Remove the mushroom head and stalk from the bowl and container and try screwing them together. Hopefully, they should fit snuggly, if you’ve placed the nut and bolt at the correct depth.
I have placed a hard plastic spikey garden stake at the bottom of this mushroom, as I wanted to put this one in the garden and the base is narrow. The stake will stop it from falling over.
As most bowls have a flat bottom, this means your mushroom head will have a flat top, so we need to make the top of the mushroom head smooth and rounded. I have used Selleys Perma Filler. Open your filler and with a knife, scrape some out and place it on top of the mushroom head, until you have enough, then smooth it over, so the top is nicely rounded. You will now have to wait until the filler goes hard, which could take another day.
Step 3 Decorating.
You’re now ready to decorate the head of the mushroom with glass stones. So take your adhesive and pick your stones. Place a good amount of adhesive at the bottom of the stone and stick the stone onto the mushroom head. Make patterns and get creative, for a design that you like.
It doesn’t matter if the adhesive goes around the edges as it will be covered with grout.
Once you’ve stuck all your glass stones on, you’re going to have to wait for the adhesive to set, or they will move around when you do the next step, which is grouting in between all the spaces of the stones. I used a wall board adhesive as it is very strong. PVA glue isn’t strong enough for this, since your mushroom will be living outdoors, in all weather, the products you use need to be indoor/outdoor, wet/dry products.
Step 4 Grouting
Now you are ready to grout.
There are different coloured grouts available, but you can mix your own colours by adding some acrylic paint to white grout mix. I made the pink/mauve mushroom using this method, by mixing blue and red into some white grout.
Follow the instructions to make the grout. It can set fairly fast, depending how thick you’ve mixed it, so you have to move quickly to get the grout in between the gaps of the glass stones, then smooth the grout, with your fingers, but make sure you wear gloves, as grout can suck the moisture out of your hands, drying and cracking your skin.
Don’t worry to much about getting grout over the stones at first. Once you’ve smoothed the grout and are happy with it, you can then take a rag and clean the stones or there is another method you can use, and that is to scrub the stones with a hard brush, after the grout has dried. Whatever way you wish to use. I prefer to clean the stones with a rag after I’ve finished the grouting, as the grout is not rock solid yet, so it’s not hard labour cleaning it later.
Allow some time to set.
Step 5 Painting And Finishing
To finish the mushroom, paint the stem whatever colours you like, matching the head or paint it white or black. You can paint the underside of the mushroom head too, but it’s not that necessary, just your preference. I used acrylic paints.
Allow to dry, then to finish off, paint some grout sealer over the top of the mushroom. Give it two or three coats. You can now call your mushroom complete.
I normally spray my mushroom garden ornament with a clear varnish paint after I’ve sealed it with grout sealer. This gives it extra protection, although it’s not 100% necessary.
I would recommend you watch this video by druidessinara’s who teaches how to make these mushrooms also. If you prefer a visual lesson 😀