Unique Christmas Ornaments: How to Make Clay Mushrooms

If you’ve been around here long, you know I’m all about unique Christmas ornaments. And today I’m sharing a huge set of clay ornaments that I think fit into that category perfectly: DIY mushroom ornaments!

Unique Christmas Ornaments: How to Make Clay Mushrooms

I hope you’ll love as much as I do because I spend a very, very, very long time on these, truth be told. If you’ve been following along on IG stories, you already know that. BUT the good news is, they don’t actually have to take that long. Unless of course you plan to make a set of 75 or more mushrooms, like I did. Haha.

Mushrooms in general are pretty trendy right now and with a couple of containers of air dry clay I already on hand, I figured why not go for it. Want to make your own? I’ll show you how!

Did you know that mushrooms are considered a good luck symbol?

How cool is that? I love the idea of gifting a set of these to someone who has had a tough year or seems down on their luck. Even if that person is you.

But either way, luck or not, these clay ornaments are a unique way to bring some whimsical and fun to your Christmas tree. So whether you’re going them as gifts or making them for yourself, you can’t lose.  Here’s how to make your own clay mushroom ornaments:

How to Make Clay Mushrooms

Materials to Make Clay Mushroom Ornaments

  • air dry clay – any air dry clay will work (including model magic, which is very light)
  • jump rings
  • fine tipped paint brush – not for painting and could ruin a good brush so make sure you use a cheaper brush or an old one
  • small paint brush (for painting mushrooms once completed – if desired)
  • simple carving tool (I used a paper awl and the end of a paint brush)*
  • acrylic paints or gouache paints
  • matte varnish (or other sealant)
  • water – to water down the paint, if desired
  • heavy duty glue – you can use super glue or E6000
  • string and scissors

*If you want to go crazy and feel like really diving into clay projects, I like this clay tool kit (it’s only $11 on Amazon), but its definitely not required for this project.

Roll clay into a ball to form mushroom cap

How to Make Clay Mushroom Ornaments

To make clay mushroom ornaments like mine, start by kneading a small bit of clay and rolling it into a sphere.

Push ball with thumbs to create mushroom cap shape

From there, flatten it a bit and press in the center of the round clay shape with your thumbs while shaping and flattening the edges with your fingers.

Go all the way around for a even shape, but don’t stress about making everything smooth and perfect. Mushrooms are imperfect in nature, and the clay will have the same feel. You’ll just want to make sure the cap is 1/4″ thick or more (roughly – they can be thinner honestly, just not too, too thin).

Create ridges on the underside of the clay mushroom cap

Once you have your cap shaped out, turn it over and add lines on the underside with whatever you have (I used a paper awl and the end of a paint brush) to create indentions, like you see in the photos.

You can do this by making imprints with the side of a paper awl or a paint brush, like I did. OR you can scrape the lines in instead, with a pointy object. Whatever you prefer.

Just make sure that you leave a flat area in the middle of each cast so that the stems will have a good flat place to attach to when you start glueing the pieces together later. Learned that the hard way.

Add jump rings to clay mushroom caps

Press a jump ring into the top of the mushroom cap right in the center. Don’t poke it all the way in – you’ll want about half of the jump ring still exposed.

Use a paint brush to smooth out any parts of the clay that need it

Using a fine tipped paint brush, brush the clay over the jump ring so that when you clay dries, the jump ring cannot be pulled out. Set the cap aside to let it dry.

Roll out mushroom stem with clay between your fingers

Now, get another small piece of clay and roll out a tube. Roll one side a bit thinner – this will be the end that the cap sits on.

Use your table or any flat surface to make the thinner end flat by lightly pushing the thin end of the stem onto the flat surface. This will make gluing the stem to the cap much easier. I also like making the bottom (thicker part of the stem) flat as well, but that’s more a decretive thing. Not required, but wanted to mention it.

Let all clay mushroom pieces lay out to dry

Once you’ve created all the caps and stems you need, they need to air dry. I sat all of the clay pieces on a piece of canvas and let all the pieces dry overnight. Then I flipped every pieces over, to ensure the other side also had a good chance to dry (overnight again).

Drying times may vary, so follow the instructions on your clay packaging for drying time, when in doubt.

Paint clay mushroom pieces once dry

Once completely dry, the pieces are ready to be glued and painted. You can do this in any order you prefer – either painting all the pieces individually and then attaching them together with glue after the paint is completely dry OR the other way around, glueing first and then painting.

I did both and found that they were about the same amount of work either way. So, for the most part, I painted most of the pieces first and then glued them together once they were dry. Occasionally, I added little dots to the top of mushroom caps after the pieces were glued together, if I felt like it needed something extra though.

The only things I wanted to note about this part of the process would be: 1) use a very strong bonding glue (a little bit goes a long way) and 2) add a little bit of water to the paints you’re using for a more natural / watercolor effect. You can also layer different colors on top of each other this way if desired.

Once all the pieces are finished to your liking, add some kind of sealant (like a matte varnish). Then thread 4-6 inch pieces of string through each jump ring ‘hook’ at the top of each mushroom. And tie the thread in a knot, creating a circle for hanging onto your Christmas tree.

Now your clay ornaments are ready to hang or to be gifted at holiday parties, Christmas presents for loved ones, etc. Let me know if I can answer any questions for you. Happy to help where I can.

Unique Christmas Ornaments: How to Make Clay Mushrooms

How to Make Clay Mushrooms

Unique Christmas Ornaments: How to Make Clay Mushrooms

Not sure you really need any more ornaments?

I get it, I do. But I still think you should make these. So, here’s an idea: Skip the metal loops and string to create a magical set of forest figurines instead. They might just bring you luck.

Unique Christmas Ornaments: Clay Mushrooms DIY

Create these whimsical clay mushrooms for unique Christmas ornaments that might just bring you good luck in the new year.
Cost: $12 (makes 75 clay mushrooms)

Ingredients

  • air dry clay - any air dry clay will work including model magic, which is very light
  • jump rings
  • fine tipped paint brush - not for painting and could ruin a good brush so make sure you use a cheaper brush or an old one
  • small paint brush for painting mushrooms once completed - if desired
  • simple carving tool I used a paper awl and the end of a paint brush*
  • acrylic paints or gouache paints
  • matte varnish  or other sealant
  • water - to water down the paint if desired
  • heavy duty glue - you can use super glue or E6000
  • string and scissors

Instructions

  • To make clay mushroom ornaments like mine, start by kneading a small bit of clay and rolling it into a sphere.
  • From there, flatten it a bit and press in the center of the round clay shape with your thumbs while shaping and flattening the edges with your fingers.
  • Go all the way around for a even shape, but don't stress about making everything smooth and perfect. Mushrooms are imperfect in nature, and the clay will have the same feel. You'll just want to make sure the cap is 1/4" thick or more (roughly - they can be thinner honestly, just not too, too thin).
  • Once you have your cap shaped out, turn it over and add lines on the underside with whatever you have (I used a paper awl and the end of a paint brush) to create indentions, like you see in the photos.
  • You can do this by making imprints with the side of a paper awl or a paint brush, like I did. OR you can scrape the lines in instead, with a pointy object. Whatever you prefer.
  • Just make sure that you leave a flat area in the middle of each cast so that the stems will have a good flat place to attach to when you start glueing the pieces together later. Learned that the hard way.
  • Press a jump ring into the top of the mushroom cap right in the center. Don't poke it all the way in - you'll want about half of the jump ring still exposed.
  • Using a fine tipped paint brush, brush the clay over the jump ring so that when you clay dries, the jump ring cannot be pulled out. Set the cap aside to let it dry.
  • Now, get another small piece of clay and roll out a tube. Roll one side a bit thinner - this will be the end that the cap sits on.
  • Use your table or any flat surface to make the thinner end flat by lightly pushing the thin end of the stem onto the flat surface. This will make gluing the stem to the cap much easier. I also like making the bottom (thicker part of the stem) flat as well, but that's more a decretive thing. Not required, but wanted to mention it.
  • Once you've created all the caps and stems you need, they need to air dry. I sat all of the clay pieces on a piece of canvas and let all the pieces dry overnight. Then I flipped every pieces over, to ensure the other side also had a good chance to dry (overnight again).
  • Drying times may vary, so follow the instructions on your clay packaging for drying time, when in doubt.
  • Once completely dry, the pieces are ready to be glued and painted. You can do this in any order you prefer - either painting all the pieces individually and then attaching them together with glue after the paint is completely dry OR the other way around, glueing first and then painting.
  • I did both and found that they were about the same amount of work either way. So, for the most part, I painted most of the pieces first and then glued them together once they were dry. Occasionally, I added little dots to the top of mushroom caps after the pieces were glued together, if I felt like it needed something extra though.
  • The only things I wanted to note about this part of the process would be: 1) use a very strong bonding glue (a little bit goes a long way) and 2) add a little bit of water to the paints you're using for a more natural / watercolor effect. You can also layer different colors on top of each other this way if desired.
  • Once all the pieces are finished to your liking, add some kind of sealant (like a matte varnish). Then thread 4-6 inch pieces of string through each jump ring 'hook' at the top of each mushroom. And tie the thread in a knot, creating a circle for hanging onto your Christmas tree.
  • Now your clay ornaments are ready to hang or to be gifted at holiday parties, Christmas presents for loved ones, etc. Let me know if I can answer any questions for you. Happy to help where I can.
Tried this recipe?Mention @paperandstitch or tag #paperandstitch!

What do you think of the finished pieces? Do these fit the bill for unique Christmas ornaments that you might want to try?

5 comments | Click here to reply

These are awesome! They turned out great!

Paige
http://thehappyflammily.com

Paige Cassandra Flamm

Helpful one! Thank You so much.

Nippon

How fragile is air dried clay?
Can the mushrooms stand in the soil of pot pants without compromising the clay?

Thanks

Margaret

There are simply adorable! I love mushrooms, both edible and the ones that are “just for looking at”. I want to start making these so I have new ornaments for my tree next year! You know actually these would be great to just have hanging around!
Thank you for the tutorial.

Claudia W

Beautiful DIY mushrooms! Happy holidays! <3

Marisa
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