Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Garden Mushrooms Made from Metal Mixing Bowls

I came across this idea many, many years ago.  I have since used it in all of my flower gardens.  When my kids were very young, I had a magazine subscription to Family Fun Magazine.  This idea was originally from there.  I think it had to have been over 6 years ago or so.

To make them you will need metal bowls such as thin mixing bowls.  You can typically find sets of these for sale at thrift stores or garage sales.  The original article also mentioned making these with pizza pans and a thick log, for stools to sit on in the garden.  My directions are adapted to what worked for me, when making these.

You will also need:
~matte acrylic spray (or)
~glossy acrylic spray
~Patio paint or other outdoor paint: red and white
~sponge brush for flat edged paint brush (for painting red)
~round sponge brush or other utensil to create a 1-1/2 inch circle or smaller (the smaller the bowl, the smaller the circle), or cut circles from compressed sponges.
~waxed paper or other protected surface cover
~scrap wood screws (just long enough to hold logs into place)
~one nail and hammer
~screw driver and drill bit for your screws
~small round tree logs or thick cut branches (this will be your mushroom stem and will need to be wide enough to support the bowl you are using on it)

Note: before you start, you can also tap starter holes for your screws, prior to painting.

1. Spray the bottoms of the bowls with the matte spray finish.  Allow it to dry.  You can do 1-2 coats.  This will help the paint to adhere to the metal.

2. Paint a coat of red paint to each bowl.  Allow to dry.  Here is a photograph of the bowls with one coat of Geranium Red Patio Paint.  It will take 1-4 coats to get a good color on these metal bowls.  Be sure to allow each coat to dry.

3. Once you have the red color you prefer, dip your round sponge brush into your white paint and paint dots onto your bowl bottoms.  Allow them to dry.  You may need to go over these with a second coat.

4. After your white dots have dried completely, spray the entire outside of each bowl (mushroom top) with your matte or glossy acrylic finish.  Allow to dry.  I suggest you spray 1-3 coats to protect your mushrooms from weather.

5. With your nail and hammer, gently tap two holes in the center bottom of each bowl.  This will help you run your screws.  In making these again, I decided to run my screws into the bowls first, then remove them, and then run them through the bowl and into the log after that.  These are cumbersome to screw together, so having a helper is nice.

(It's winter here now, so this is for picture purposes only.  We removed it after the photo and stored them all in the garden shed until winter is over.)

6. With help, hold the bowls over the tree branches or small logs and screw two screws into the bowl and into the wood.

You now have garden mushrooms that you can place in your gardens.  Dig a small hole to hold your mushrooms in place.

Be sure to remove your mushrooms after gardening season has ended.  Store them with your gardening supplies and reuse year after year.

Note:  You could also use spray paint for the base red color.  I simply used up paint I already had.

Also, if you have ants in your garden, you may have to change out the log on you mushroom after the gardening year is over.  Inspect it before you store it for the winter season.


Beansieleigh said...

Oh my word! This is the cutest idea!!! I can only wish I had an outdoor garden, but I love this idea even for an INDOOR window garden of sorts! (with somewhat smaller bowls, I suppose). A sweet idea for gifts, I think, too!.. Thanks for the inspiration and for sharing how! ~tina

Sonshine4u said...

Looking forward to seeing you "plant" your mushrooms in your garden! Super cute!

Kristina said...

These would be super cute made for indoors too. Look for the smallest mixing bowls you can find. Enjoy!

freeb said...

Those would also make cute Lady bugs!