Update: Hi, thanks for stopping in. These made it through the spring only to be broken by a certain toddler in the summer. Apparently they weren't meant to be thrown. But, that is okay because we are gearing up to make some more this year! If you like gnomes (who doesn't?), we did a gnome party for my son's birthday!! I have a bunch of garden art ideas which you can see by looking at my garden label. I also have a whole board on pinterest for garden and lawn goodness. Thanks for reading!
Henry has been all about the gnomes. Like he thinks we need to purchase every gnome we see in the store. Let me tell you, it is super hard to tell that little kid no. While I do love gnomes, I decided I might need to be a little proactive in varying our garden decor less we end up looking like the yard in this post. Naturally, since we had gnomes, we decided that that mushrooms were in order.
I formed the mushrooms out of cheap air dry clay.
This box was $7.99 at Hobby Lobby, but I got it around $4 because I used a coupon. Nice and cheap. I formed the mushrooms myself. If you have older kids it would be awesome to let them create the shapes. I, however, have a toddler who doesn't understand the concept of waiting. He would have never let them dry. If, like me, you haven't messed with clay since you were in grade school art class here is a great little refresher. The link even has a recipe for making your own but I didn't want to mess around with the slow dry time. Mine were basically dry in one day out in the sunshine but I let them set out two days for good measure. Then, the fun happened. I turned Henry loose with paint.
As you can tell, he gets very serious when he paints. We even did a little color theory. He used all of the pink, his favorite color, so I taught him how to make pink. You would have thought I showed him how to fly. He kept yelling "I make pink!" I pretty much let him do all the painting. I did encourage him to paint the entire mushroom, but he did a pretty good job of filling the white space on his own. Once they were dry, I sealed them with Krylon Crystal Clear spray sealer. This is important, you must seal them or they will just melt in the rain.
They've made it through several rains and are holding up well to the weather. They aren't super hard, I am pretty sure they wouldn't survive a freeze. I think these are one season garden art. This just means we can make more next year! And, they can be broken by toddler strength.
Henry was trying to push the big one down in the mulch and broke the edge. I just resealed the exposed edge of the mushroom and stuck in back in the flower bed. No worries. This was super fun and I am already dreaming up other ideas of outside garden sculptures we could whip up. It would be fun for a gown up to, you could get pretty creative if you didn't have a toddler to contend with.
PS. You might have missed it but Henry has a super cute art smock that his aunt Janine made him from some oil cloth. I love it! And, despite this photo Henry does to. He is two and when I asked him to take a picture this is the reaction I got. She used an free tutorial she found online, there are tons to choose from. I will say, if you aren't going to use oil cloth then I wouldn't bother. The oil cloth makes it so much easier to clean!