Paperclay Mushrooms

Paperclay Mushroom

These ornaments wouldn’t have been possible without my Halloween Swap partner Moriah. She made me the coolest paperclay monster ornaments, and ever since I got my hands on them I’ve been wanting to dive into the world of paperclay.

This was a good first attempt. Not terribly complicated, but a good way to start playing with the medium.

Mushroom stem

Start by molding a piece of clay into a stem shape, and poke a wire through that’s long enough to go about halfway down the stem with a few inches left hanging out the top.

Mushroom cap
Mold the mushroom cap. Since there is no end to the varieties of mushrooms out there, you can make this look pretty much any way you want. I made mine by rolling the clay into a ball and then squishing it into a disc shape.

Leave to dry
Run the wire through the middle of the cap, squishing that stem and cap together, and let dry at least overnight, but a couple of days works even better to get that thick stem all the way dry.

Glue pieces together
I had a little trouble getting my pieces completely adhered, so when everything was dry I ran a line of glue around the seam, like caulk, to keep it all nicely together.

Bend the wire
When everything is thoroughly dry, it’s time to take that wire and make your hanger. You just bend that wire into a loop with a pair of needlenose pliers, but if you haven’t done this in jewelry making before, you start by bending that wire way over to the side….

Make the Loop
and then bend it around into a loop. The sideways bend keeps things centered and looking great.

Painting the Gills
The color difference is subtle, but I painted my mushrooms a light khaki color all over, and then I took a thin paintbrush and painted these gills on the bottom with a dark brown. Just regular old acrylic craft paint is all I used.

Speckle Paint
Then I thinned the paint down a little bit with water, and flicked speckles all over the top.

I have to admit, the perfectionist in me cringes a little bit looking at these photos. I wish I knew all the tricks for how to get the lumps and bumps and fingerprints out. But if I waited to try something until I knew all the little secrets, well, I wouldn’t have very much to blog about. That’s for sure.

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