Project: Sequin Mushroom Ornament

This project comes from the pages the December 1968 issue of Pack -o-Fun. I can always count on Pack-o-Fun to give me the inspriation to make something out of nothing. It's about as unglam and basic as it can possibly be and since there's never much in terms of instruction, there's plenty of room for improvisation.

As soon as I spotted the mushroom ornament, I knew I had my project. The instruction for the mushroom ornament simply states that you are to, "Cut plastic pen case (wha?) in half and glue onto clip clothespin. Cut a foam ball in half for tops." Dude, I can do better than that! I kept the clothespin and the foam ball, but everything else I needed to change and fancy up a bit. I decided that I needed to revisit my old fave- the sequin ornament.

What you'll need:

  • Large red and silver sequins
  • Small white sequins
  • Sequin pins
  • 2" diameter styrofoam balls (or larger/smaller if you prefer)
  • Red and white acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Clothespin
  • Craft moss
  • Hot glue gun

I started by cutting a styrofoam ball in half with a bread knife. It really is the best tool for the job. I smooshed down the edges of the mushroom cap to make them more rounded and natural-looking. I used a pencil to make a hole on the underside of the mushroom cap for the stem to fit in.

I used the remaining half of the foam ball to make the stem by cutting a basic stem shape and rounding off the cut edges by again smooshing them down.

My precious minon is not allowed to use knives, needles or hot glue guns just yet, but boy can she paint. I let her paint the tops red. It was the only way to get her to stop whining, really. The red paint is necessary before the next step because it functions as a primer for the red sequins (unless you want white peeking through). I painted the stems white too. They don't get sequins, but I didn't want them to be just plain styrofoam either.

You'll need the right kind of needles (sold next to the sequins in most craft stores) and of course, sequins. I used large metallic red ones for the cap, large silver ones for the mushroom gills, and small white ones for the spots. I applied the red and silver sequins in rows, with the sequins barely overlapping each other.

I thought about painting the clothespins green, but after I realized how difficult it was to get green paint in all the nooks and crannies, I moved on to a better solution- moss. I hotglued moss onto the top of the clothespin and trimmed off the excess dangly bits, hotglued the stem into the mushroom cap, and then hotglued the mushroom onto the clothespin. After I made the initial prototype, I ended up doing an assembly line process and made several at one go.

The result- I love them. When Christmas is over, I'm planning on wrapping these up with the utmost care to try to preserve them. The moss might need to be replaced now and then, but I hope one day Eleanor will be putting these on her own tree. D'aww!

Poopscape is written by Claire Chauvin, a craft-obsessed mother and photography teacher living in Houston, Texas. If you have a question or a compliment, have tried one of my projects and want to share with me, or just want to chat, please email me at claireATpoopscape.com.