Introduction: Mushroom House Using Cardboard

Hello beautiful people! In this instructable I show you how I made a mushroom fairy house using cardboard from pizza boxes. I know the cardboard projects usually have a lot of edges and corners so my approach is a little different this time, as I wanted to create a round object. This project is a little bigger than usual and it took me about two weeks to complete.

Step 1: Making the Structure

I start the project by tracing half of the mushroom section on a piece of cardboard. This will serve me as a pattern and it will be multiplied 12 times. I also traced two circles, a big one for the base and a smaller one for the cap. I divided the circles with 12 lines. You can use only 8 or 10 slices, is up to you, but the more slices you have, the rounder the object. Then I glued the slices on the marked circles using hot glue. Now you should have the general shape of the mushroom.

Step 2: Making the Walls, Windows and Door Frame

It's time to make the windows and place them on the mushroom shape. I made the windows using some pieces of cardboard with cutouts and glued some volume for the window sill. I used stripes of cardboard to make the walls and better define the mushroom shape. To achieve volume for the door, mushrooms or windows I simply added more layers of cardboard and folded it in the desired shape. I think you can achieve almost any shape and volume by folding cardboard and overlapping it. The structure I had in the end was sturdy and compact.

Step 3: Making Cardboard Details

I made the chimney in two pieces, one on top of the mushroom and one just under the cap. On top of the chimney I added a small mushroom cap. I made that cap by folding a half of circle in the shape of a cone and adding layers of cardboard at the base, making almost a perfect mushroom hat. For the stones I used some paper from old paper bags. I made irregular shapes by squeezing the paper in my hand and gluing those to the base of the mushroom. I also made some vines using the paper bags. I also made cardboard leaves and placed them here and there. Nothing we done so far needs to be perfect as we will cover everything in clay.

Step 4: Covering With Paper Clay

The paper clay I use is "Das modelling material" because it has dimensional stability when it dries, which means it doesn't shrink like a regular air dry clay and won't develop cracks. (You can also use a home made paper clay. Here is an instructable where I used such a home made paper clay.) I used 3 kilograms of paper clay as this is a bigger project. The clay part should be done in two steps, one for just covering the surface and the other for details and textures. I made thin sheets of clay using a roller and covered the cardboard all around. When this layer is dry and hard it's time for details.

Step 5: Details and Texture

I made wood textures, metal elements, mushroom dots, striations and rocks. For the finishing touch I made some moss and placed it here and there. The way I made it is by driving the paper clay trough a tea sieve. You have to let it dry a little before gluing it to your project. The details make the mushroom house really come to life so be patient, take your time and work your way around it making sure you have nice details all around.

Step 6: Painting

I used acrylics for painting. I started by adding a color base for each element. I made the mushroom caps red with yellow on the bottoms, I made the leaves and the moss green, brown wood and beige walls. I made the chimney black with some metal patina. When all the main colors are dried I start adding transitions, lights and shadows. That's basically it, I hope to see your project in the comments. I was impressed by how many people made my latest instructable project, the pirate ship. Happy crafting!

Cardboard Speed Challenge

Second Prize in the
Cardboard Speed Challenge