Introduction: 1-up and Super Mushroom Ornaments

Picture of 1-up and Super Mushroom Ornaments

Power up your Christmas and give your tree Extra Life with these super cute Super Mario ornaments you can make in an afternoon! They're fast and inexpensive, so go ahead and build an entire Mushroom Kingdom!

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
For this project, you will need:

  • Two different sizes of styrofoam balls
  • Paint (I used red, green and white, but die-hard fans may opt for the original colors: red with orange spots for Super Mushrooms and orange with green spots for 1ups)
  • Mod podge - this can be found in craft stores, and is used to fill in the pores of the styrofoam to create a smoother painting surface. Alternatively, spackle could be used, and might be quicker in the end.
  • Glue
  • Small gauge wire to make a hook (or pre-formed ornament hook)
  • Wire cutters
  • X-acto (or similar) knife
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint brush and cups for water

Step 2: Shape Your Balls

Picture of Shape Your Balls
Carve your styrofoam balls into the appropriate shapes. The larger size will become the mushroom cap and the smaller will become the stem.

  • Mark both styro balls with cutting lines. Creating cross-mark lines helped me draw a fairly even circle and provided markings for me to help cut away the styrofoam easily.
  • Cut each of the pieces flat along the lines
  • On the flat side of the larger piece, mark a circle approximately the size of the circumference of the smaller ball so it will fit inside. Don't worry too much about getting an accurate measurement. Start out on the smaller side and you can always carve away more.
  • Hollow out the inside of the larger ball, using the circle as a guide. Check to see if the stem piece will fit snugly inside and make adjustments as necessary,
  • Holding the flat side of each ball flush with the table, sand away the edges to ensure an even, smooth edge. This takes about 2 seconds. Don't overdo it.

Step 3: Add Hanging Hook

Picture of Add Hanging Hook
If you already have some ornament hooks around, then awesome, just use those.
If you don't, cut some wire to make one. I don't remember what gauge I used. Something light.

  • Measure out a small length of wire and cut with wire cutters.
  • Form small spiral around handle of X-acto knife or pencil
  • Pierce through inside of mushroom cap, flattening the spiral so it won't slip through
  • Form wire into hook shape
  • Trim as necessary (or just make a bigger hook)

Step 4: Prep Pieces for Painting

Picture of Prep Pieces for Painting
Using the Mod Podge or spackle, seal the outside of the styrofoam balls to ensure a smooth painting surface.

  • Paint a thin layer of Mod Podge (or similar product) or spackle over the outer surface of your mushroom pieces
  • Let dry thoroughly
  • Sand surface
  • Repeat

Step 5: Mask Circles

Picture of Mask Circles
To make sure you have nice circles, it helps to create a mask to block the areas that will be white. I used four circles for this size mushroom.

  • Trace something circular (I used the bottom of the paint bottles I had) onto masking tape, contact paper or something similar you might have around and cut them out.
  • Place masking circles around the mushroom cap and carefully press down all edges

Step 6: Paint

Picture of Paint
Paint your mushrooms!

  • Paint your main color over the masked mushroom caps
  • Paint the stems white
  • Let dry
  • Remove masking circles from mushroom caps
  • Paint circles white, using edges of masking as a guide. Go slowly and use just the edge of the brush to smooth out the edges of the circle.

Step 7: Finish

Picture of Finish
The rest is simple!

  • Glue the mushroom stem into the cap
  • Using paint or a Sharpie (or similar) marker, draw on eyes
  • Hang on your tree and soak up the glory of all your friends saying "Awww......."


mmaldonado8 made it! (author)2016-12-21

Thanks for the instructable! These totally got my kids involved with makimg their own for our family gift exchange. They all came out pretty good too!

StreamQueen made it! (author)2016-11-14

My kids LOVED them! Thanks for sharing!

StreamQueen (author)2016-11-10

Love it!! Plan on making these babies tonight! Great instructable!

crazymama63 (author)2012-10-26

totaly awesome can't wait to make for my 21
and 30 year olds on can't wait till xmas

glassgiant (author)2011-01-06

My friend ( was inspired by this instructable and made the attached. I love 'em!

vulcan24 (author)glassgiant2012-01-21

Boo looks so much less scary when he is an ornament XD

sbarker2 (author)2011-07-22

I am so making these!!! Might do them out of skulpy for durability!!!

ynze (author)2010-12-30

up in a tree...

St Jimmy (author)2010-12-22

I came across polystyrene balls with smooth outsides, and I thought those would be good so you don't have to do this. Not sure about the permanence of the paint though

FencingSmoker (author)2009-12-14

First of all - awesome instructable. Made some myself and my friends love them.

With my left over Styrofoam balls and scraps, I expanded on your idea and  made Bob-omb and Boo!

skerzzz (author)FencingSmoker2010-12-22

Awesome!! I would love to make both of these as well! you should post an instructable!


skerzzz (author)2010-12-22

Most instructables either sound too expensive (which scares me away from them) or too hard (also scares me away). But this one is great! Seems cheap, looks easy enough and most of all fun! Im going to make both of these and give them to my parents for presents. I am hoping to get them to remember their childhood memories again. :D

lieve (author)2010-12-13

Really like this!!
Going to make them as well with the kids in the christmas holiday!
Thnx for the great idea!

lottaboxes (author)2010-07-19

how did you get the paint so smooth? when i did mine it looked like wood :(

CraftyEmoChick (author)2009-12-22

I can't tell you how glad i am that you put this up. I have been trying to figure out something to do for my cousin for DAYS now. He loves Super Mario Brothers. i typed that into the search thing, & up popped your instructable! now i have the PERFECT thing to make him. :) thank you SOOO much! :D

flargus (author)2009-12-21

its great! im about to make one, and im gonna put an LED in the middle of the head so it lights up!

If it turns out good, ill put some pics up

jayjayec (author)2009-12-16

made them your instrutable is good easy to follow and mine look awsome that i made thx

vref_guy (author)2009-12-15

I'm in the process of making one of these and I would suggest to others to go with spackling paste. I'm using a slightly watered down consistency and I'm expecting some smooth results. The Mod Podge did a good job of sealing though and it would make sense as a primer before applying a top coat of colored paint.

Just my $0.02 though.

omninate (author)2009-12-07

Great instructable! It inspired me to make a set using a wooden ball and a dowel - Link to my instructable.

crispyjones (author)2009-12-06

Just made some with my Daughter.  She found a product called "smoothfoam" at Michael's.   They are styrofoam balls but, like the name says, they are smooth, so no mod podge needed.  I cut a 2.5" ball for the cap and a 2" ball for the body, and sharpie marker for coloring.  I used some sandpaper to smooth down a little ring that was on the smoothfoam from the forming process.

pyroape (author)2009-11-27

Wow, while just glancing over I thought it said SHAVE.  Anyways, love the instructable.  I'm making one with a digital photo keychain in it.  Family photos and pics from 8-bit glory days.

Earths_hope (author)2009-11-26

This is brilliant!

MagicScarf (author)2009-11-05

i love this, a very nice and thoughtful christmas gift! (bonus: very "cost effective" too, IE CHEAP!) :)
i will be making these for my friends, thanks!!

robobobobot (author)2009-10-11

if you stare at the bottle then it lookes like the hand is moving

MagicScarf (author)robobobobot2009-11-05

the randomness of that comment made me laugh my head off.
so then i tried it, and stared at the bottle for a while.

thepelton (author)2009-07-15

I am tempted to make them, but like real mushrooms, such as Amanita muscaria and Boletus edulis.

mainoah (author)2009-07-15

goomba i mean

mainoah (author)2009-07-15

I bet this idea would work to make some goobas as well, just use brown and black paints

chile.limon (author)2009-03-30

Sweet idea!

shootcity-instructable (author)2009-03-22

Good. nice instructable

Fasteners (author)2009-01-05

Awesome stuff

kathynv (author)2008-12-27

Terrific! How many layers of Mod Podge did you need to use to mask the texture of the styrofoam? Great job, BTW. I'm glad I saw this right after Christmas, so I have time to make a bunch for next year. Thanks for posting this very cute instructable.

scoochmaroo (author)kathynv2008-12-29

I used two layers of mod podge and sanded after both were dry. That's the part that takes the longest!

iKill (author)2008-12-22

theres some kind of candy that comes in these mushrooms, if you bought some of them emptied em then stuck in a hook it would work just as well

Browncoat (author)iKill2008-12-23

Yeah, but they're metal & might be too heavy. Also, each of those costs like $4-$5.

wolfy02 (author)Browncoat2008-12-23

you could buy one and then make a mold out of it then make them with that spray insulation stuff

iKill (author)Browncoat2008-12-23

ys i never said it would be practical but i figured its an easier alternative

mg0930mg (author)2008-12-22

Coolio! This is just an awesome craft, may have to finish it.

mg0930mg (author)mg0930mg2008-12-22

Do it, not finish. hahahahaha.

jeff-o (author)2008-12-22

Two sizes of wood balls, or just some modeling clay would work great too. Fantastic idea! :)

mbudde (author)2008-12-22

Awesome. I'm gonna have to make some.

About This Instructable




Bio: Former Living & Food editor here at Instructables, now running! Follow me @sousvidely
More by scoochmaroo:Halloween FoodSparkle Unicorn Floof HatPumpkin Carving
Add instructable to: