Step 1: Tools and Materials
-Tape. Clear packaging tape is recommended, but any tape will work.
-Plastic wrap. I use wide 'palette wrap' plastic, but grocery store cellophane works just as well.
- A form. In this instructable, I use a balloon. In the past, I have used large 'yoga balls' and bowls.
-A stem/base. In this instructable, I use a LED foam stick available from Extremeglow.com. Alternately, a 'fun noodle' pool toy will make stems for quite a few mushrooms.
-Art supplies. Tape castings have an eerie translucent appearance without any additional decoration, but I like to add a little dusting of spraypaint to make them glow under UV lights.
Step 2: Plastic Wrap and Tape
After the form is completely covered with plastic wrap, you can begin to mirror that process with the tape. Coverage is especially important at this point. If you're using clear packaging tape and clear plastic wrap like I am here, it can be very difficult to tell where you have placed tape. This stage is critical, as it forms the rigid structure of the mushroom. Apply tape liberally! At least 3-5 layers are needed at every point on the sculpture for it to hold shape. More layers will make a sturdier cast, which is helpful if it will be moved often.
Step 3: Cutting and Reinforcing
Once your mushroom caps are separated, it's a good time to take a close look at them from the inside-out. Make sure there are no areas that feel or look weaker than others. More tape can be applied to the inside for additional rigidity. If your fungus sculpture will spend time outdoors, it's a good idea to seal the entire inside surface as well as the edge with tape to keep moisture from condensing between the layers.
Step 4: Paint, Mount, and Admire!
The last step is mounting. There are many, many options for stem-shaped objects to place your mushroom cap upon. In these pictures, I'm using a 'Trickystick' from Extremeglow.com. It is a little thinner than the average pool toy 'fun noodle,' but the same material and a similar rigidity. You could also tape cast a stem, the same way that you created the cap, on any cylindrical form.