Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Mushroom Ornament Trio

I have to give this year's ornaments credit to my Pinterest images. Inspired by my DIY board, I made a big batch of homemade paper mache clay.    Jonni Good of the advises that the paper mache will keep moist for about a week, so I got busy trying to make the most of it before it completely hardened.  (btw...2 weeks later, it is still moist and usable...I kept mine in a freezer bag.)

I found an image of mushrooms again on Pinterest and decide to give them a try.

I started out by making a small mushroom mold out of paper and masking tape. For the paper,  I experimented with a mix of brown wrapping paper on some and tissue paper on others.   Also, I ran a wire through each mushroom and made a small loop at the top to hang.   So you have to kind of twist and twirl the paper around the wire and keep applying masking tape to hold the shape.
Mushrooms in different degrees of finish

It was a lot of trial and error, but the way I found what worked best was to spread the paper mache out on a smooth surface to about 3/16" - 1/4" thick.  I then picked up small little squares to wrap around the mushroom.  Here above, the one on the very right has the top drying with paper mache and the armature at the bottom exposed.  The mushroom next to it is totally done in rough form.  Then the mushrooms toward the top left were sanded and coated with an additional final smooth coat (glue and wall compound) to fill holes or imperfections. 

Just by accident did the mushrooms end up with this unique look.  I started painting them in the traditional red tops with white polka dots, and they were charming and pretty especially on a tree.  But the acrylic finish seemed to show a lot of imperfections.  So I had the idea of using the Annie Sloan french linen chalk paint.  It's made to cover imperfections in old furniture, etc. and to be sanded and waxed.  The colors all popped once it was waxed and it has such a wonderful finish and feel in one's hand.  I just fell in love with the way they turned out.   

The happy mushroom trio

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