Make your own Magical Toadstools
Magical Toadstools for your own piece of Fairyland
By Brenda Ponnay
My daughter and I have been on a fairy kick lately, so for this month’s craft I thought we would make little toadstools for our own little imaginary fairy woodland. We live in a small beach town in Southern California, and the closest we get to a real forest is some pine trees at the local park. I’ve never seen any real toadstools growing around here, so we took matters into our own hands and made some!
All we needed for this craft were wooden drawer pulls from a local hardware store and paint. We also bought some small wood plugs, the kind you use to cover exposed screws on wooden furniture. We used those to make little bugs to sit on our toadstools.
Our friendly hardware-store employee suggested we sand the wood before we painted it, but in our haste many of the knobs got painted without being sanded first, and that worked just fine. On some of them we taped off the bottom portion with masking tape to avoid painty fingerprints. The smaller knobs can be a bit challenging for little fingers to paint, but all the kids who did this craft with me enjoyed themselves.
We painted most of our mushrooms red with white polka dots to imitate the popular fly agaric mushroom (whose scientific name is Amanita Muscaria). To give the kids something to do while the red paint dried, I handed out some mushroom coloring sheets. You can download it here if you’d like to play along.
When the red paint was dry we turned our painted brushes over and used the handle end to create the dots like so:
While the white paint was drying, we created little terrariums for our toadstools to live in. Making a terrarium is very easy. First, we gathered up some old pickle and jam jars, soaked them to remove the labels, and washed them. Next, we put about in inch of wet rocks in each jar.
On top of the rocks we put about a half-inch layer of peat moss (which can be bought at craft stores by the bag). This creates a barrier between the rocks and the real growing moss and is supposed to keep things from getting moldy, though don’t quote me on that. Then on top of that moss we added some Scotch moss that I bought at our local nursery. I chose it because I thought the little white flowers were cute, but any kind of moss will do.
If you don’t want to spend the money to buy a flat of moss ground cover, you might try looking on the south side of your house.
I think terrariums are an experiment in general. If you are the gardening type you might have fun figuring out what will grow in a jar and what won’t. If you aren’t the gardening type you might like to create a little faux terrarium with a small jar, some dirt colored play dough and some peat moss. No water required!
Some of the mushrooms didn’t want to stay upright, so we broke some toothpicks in half and glued them inside the bottom of the knob where normally a screw would go to attach to a drawer. Thick glue, like bead and glass adhesive, worked really well. While we we had the glue out, we added eyeballs to some of our mushrooms and the little button ladybugs that we had painted earlier.
The toothpicks really helped the toadstools stay up. We had so many toadstools left over from our fun crafting session, we planted some moss in other containers too and spread the toadstool love.
If you liked this craft you might want to make some fairy wings and toadstool cupcakes and make a party of it!
Published September 23, 2009.
Last updated July 19, 2012.