DIY Garden Mushroom

DIY Garden Mushrooms

How to Make DIY Garden Mushrooms

Making yard art for my garden has become a bit of an obsession. I love that you can make something that is fun and unique for pennies. The best part about garden art is that it doesn’t need to be watered, or weeded, or tended in any way. Just add some spray paint and plop it in the garden for instant color and whimsy.

I fell in love with the idea of garden mushrooms after seeing so many fabulous photos on Pinterest. I just had to make some for my own garden.

DIY Garden Mushroom Supplies:

In my area you can find a pretty good selection of metal Bundt cake pans at local thrift stores for $1-2 a piece. The PVC piping was a little most costly. If you’re aiming for very low budget garden mushrooms, then the creative upcycle for the mushroom stems will be helpful here.

Tips for Choosing Materials for recycled Garden Mushrooms

DIY Garden Mushrooms

Shopping thrift stores is a passion of mine. I just love the creative process of transforming ‘junk’ into art. These garden mushrooms can be made with any round bowl or pan, but I just love using cake pans. They come in fun shapes and have excellent texture, all great features for garden art.

Bundt pans in particular are my favorite for garden mushrooms. First off, they have a tube in the middle which makes for easy attachment of the garden mushroom stem and extra stability in the garden. We have dogs running through the garden and the occasional hailstorm which can be especially challenging for delicate garden art. The sturdier the better in my book!

Second, they have tube with a HOLE in the middle for good drainage. Anything that prevents the dreaded mosquito breeding ground is good garden art in my book!

Since we’re using spray paint to make the garden mushrooms all red, it doesn’t really matter the underlying color or condition of your thrifted cake pan.

I have found that the darker colored painted metal Bundt pans took the red spray paint nicely, even with chips and scratches in the finish. The yellow and white pans needed any extra coat of spray paint to get a nice red color for the garden mushrooms.

The one thing to note about cake pans, non-stick really is non-stick. Food won’t adhere, but spray paint won’t stick either. I tried and I failed. The paint literally scrapes off with your fingernail, or from falling off the table, oops!

Note to self; AVOID the non-stick cake pans for DIY garden art.

How to Make DIY Garden Mushrooms

Start out by washing your Bundt pans. Make sure to get any crud or sticky label residue off the outside of the cake pan so the spray paint will stick well. Hot water usually gets the labels off pretty well. Adding some baking soda and soaking in hot water is amazing for the lazy at heart (like me!).

Washing the inside of your cake pan isn’t as important since we’re not painting that part. They’re going to be living outside, so dirt happens.

Spray paint your garden mushrooms

DIY Garden Mushrooms

I used two coats of red spray paint for most of the Bundt pans. I have found that the Rustoleum 2X is the best for yard art since it sticks to pretty much anything; metal, wood, plastic, unknown materials…

Paint outside or in a well-ventilated area. Wearing a face mask is super helpful and healthful, you don’t want to be blowing colorful spray paint out of your nose later in the day, trust me!

Make sure to get the spray paint all around the sides and bottom rim of your pan, and the inside tube as well.

Painting dots on your garden mushrooms

DIY Garden Mushrooms

Once the spray paint is fully dry you can start making the dots on your garden mushroom toadstools.

I used white paint left over from painting the kitchen ceiling and it worked just fine. You can use acrylic or enamel paint too since these will be living outside. Use what you’ve got. You can always add a coat of clear spray to make it extra durable.

I started by making the big dots and then filled in the space with smaller dots.

At first, I was painting toadstool dots with a regular foam paint brush, but the getting them consistently round was a little tricky.

I stumbled across these round dauber foam brushes and fell in love. They came in three different sizes and were so darn easy!

Some of the dots needed to be touched up after they were dry. I just used a regular paint brush for that touch up step.

Adding stems to your garden mushrooms

DIY Garden Mushrooms

Once all the paint is fully dry, you are ready to add the stems to your garden mushrooms.

I used 3” white PVC piping that was cut to size. I found that 6-8” was pretty good for most of the larger Bundt pans. You could also try using a large metal can, painting white, for the stem.

After running out of PVC piping, I opted for the creative upcycle for the rest of the garden mushrooms. I found that white plastic bottles from the sleep gummies we use worked great! You can use upcycled cups, vases or other taller tubes as well.

PVC pipe does have black lettering on one side. You can spray paint the PVC and other stem materials white if you’d like.

I just decided that part would go in the back, so I didn’t paint or remove the markings. Laziness for the win!

Now we get to attach the cake pan mushroom to the stem to make it a real garden mushroom.

With puppies, wind and hail, my garden mushrooms really did need to be glued to the stem. I used clear silicone, although colored silicone would work just find since nobody is going to see the inside of your garden mushrooms.

DIY Garden Mushrooms

Glob the silicone around the tip of the stem and slide over the Bundt pan tube. Working with your Bundt pan upside is ideal for this task as it shouldn’t need any added support to stay aligned.

Wait until the silicone is fully cured, the more silicone you used the longer the cure time. Then flip your garden mushroom over and plant it in the garden.

I have found that these mushrooms really do tend to multiply, so prepare yourself for a collection of garden mushrooms!

DIY Garden Mushroom

See how we used these in The Giant Fairy Garden.

Happy Crafting!


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