1UP Mushroom Cardboard Storage Stool




Introduction: 1UP Mushroom Cardboard Storage Stool

Another cardboard seating solution. Bonus storage for all your game gear.  Pop the cap off to reveal the spacious interior. Any bigger and you would need one of these.

If you don't have a proper gaming seat, then you could always make one that looks like a giant 555 timer chip or the infamous giant Fn computer key.  But for something cute and Super Mario Brothers themed, here is a giant 1UP shroom.

Collect a bunch of boxes and make one yourself.

Step 1: Game Gear...

For this project you will need:

Lots of cardboard.
Refer to the other cardboard projects spammed in the introduction for tips on how to work with cardboard.
Having a giant appliance cardboard shipping box is nice but you can piece together smaller scraps salvaged from little boxes.  
Cull those that are not coated or glossy with print, remove all staples, labels and tape.
Pick the sturdy boxes.

Paper for papier mache.
You can harvest the outer layers of cardboard to use as papier mache material but that is a lot of work.  
I just have a ream of 65lb paper cover stock to use.  Typing paper and newspapers will work but you will need a few more layers to build up the thickness whereas the cardstock covers nicely.

Lots of glue.
You will probably burn through a quart or more of glue.  That is why I buy it by the gallon.  
Carpenter's glue is good for it's tackiness and quick grab.  Regular white glue is more economical and better to use for the papier mache part.

Seat padding.
I had some leftover carpet padding from well, laying down carpet in the house, that could be another ible.
You can use upholstery foam, batting, fiberfill or most anything cushiony soft.

Seat cover material.
I found this green polka dot print at the fabric remnant store and purchased one yard.
It's not the giant polka dot pattern from the video game but it works.  You can get a plain green fabric and paint or sew big white dots on it if you can't find anything similar.

Hot glue gun and some hot glue sticks.

Regular stapler with staples

Paint and primer to paint the base.

CAUTION: paper cuts, hot glue burns, all par for the course when working with cardboard.  Be careful, it's a jungle out there!

Step 2: Barrel of Fun...

We need to create the base or stem of the mushroom.

It is essentially a cardboard barrel.  I guess you could substitute an empty 5-gallon bucket and go on to the next step but there is no fun in that.

Start out with a circle 12 inches in diameter.

Remember, things don't have to be too too exact.  You can beat cardboard into submission and work around it.

Cut out about three or four more cardboard circles to laminate together.

This is the bottom of the barrel.  You can piece together several smaller pieces of cardboard within each layer.  Just overlap the seam with the next piece of cardboard.  Try to alternate or change the direction of the grain or internal corrugation to give the piece more strength.

Get the feel for the cardboard if it needs another layer for reinforcement.  It should not flex and will become more rigid as the glue dries.

Laminate each layer with plenty of glue, use clamps or weigh it down as necessary.

When the bottom disk is dry, form the barrel by layering up a wall about 15 inches high.  The finished height will be about the same as a regular chair height to be comfortable.

Piece together layers if needed.  Cut tabs on each layer to help transition the joint and to attach the wall piece to the bottom.

Step 3: Paper It...

Time to papier mache the open seams and any exposed cardboard edges.

A uniform skin over everything gives the structure some strength and makes it look good.

Tear off pieces of cardstock or whatever you are using as papier mache material.  

Dip in glue/water or just apply glue and paste in position.

I added a detail piece for the eyes and papier mached over.

Step 4: Top Hat...

With the stem major construction finished, mark a piece that covers the top of the open barrel.

Form the sides that will go down about 2/3rds of the way.

Layer and laminate 3 or 4 layers of cardboard until it is rigid.

The mushroom cap is tilted on the character exposing the eyes.  We will just make the bottom edge of the cap fit around the eyes by altering the length of the seat skirt wall.

Layer and laminate the seat portion to be able to have a person sit on it without deforming it..

Papier mache the cap.

Note that the cap turns out like a Spaceballs sized Darth Vader helmet.  Hmmm,  mebbe make one for Halloween.  I think you can hear the ocean or an echo when you wear it.    Anybody for a giant Legos Minifig?

Step 5: The Prime Directive.

Prime and paint.

Otherwise the bare cardboard will soak up a lot of paint.

You only need to paint the stem since the cap will be covered in material.

You can prime everything to seal all the surfaces.

Paint the stem in an off-white color.

Paint and detail the eyes in black paint.

Step 6: Cushy for Your Tushy...

I had some leftover carpet padding to upholster the seat cap.

Cut up pieces and tack in place with hot glue.

I did happen to burn a spot in the palm of my hand when pressing down on a piece and did not see the hot glue blob that was camouflaged by the random pattern in the carpet padding.  The foam padding insulates so it takes longer for the hot glue to cool down and adhere.

When done, it should resemble something like a fluffy Kingon Bird of Prey.

Step 7: Cover Your Bottom...

Well, after smarting from the previous burn, I attached the seat fabric by stapling it to the edge of the cap all around.

You can hot glue if you have something to press against the fabric and hot glue since it will ooze through the fabric and burn you.

I think I would have tailored the cover a bit better.  It looks more like a showercap with the gathered edge.  You can take newspaper to mock up and create a pattern for the cap and then cut out your fabric to sew a better fitting cover.

I think I will get some proper batting to pad the seat and redo the covering.

But here you go, the 1UP Mushroom Cardboard Storage Stool.

Sit on it.

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    8 Discussions


    4 years ago

    This is a really cute storage unit but to be honest, but a little bit too much work for something that's this size! Haha! I think it might go well if you think of converting an entire room into a Mario Brothers themed space but if not I think I will stick with clean lines and wood textures for all of my storage solutions! But in the mean time, I will need more space so I won't be giving up my lease at the self storage facility just yet! Haha!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Wow! This is oddly unsettling because I had plans to make something frighteningly similar 2 years ago ... after inspiration from Instructables-surfing. I'm so glad it surfed the collective subconscious to emerge somewhere rather than just hiding in my brain. :)


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Not to make a plug of my own, but check out https://www.instructables.com/id/SUPER-easy-SUPER-furniture/
    for a really simple way of making one as well! It would be interesting to compare costs, I think your way would be cheapest, but not sure because of the amount of glue used??? Either way, it looks like a fun project, & a different way of doing things! Good Job!


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Nice job on yours! Half the fun really is just taking stuff you find around the house and making something unique and functional. I always have a lot of cardboard boxes waiting to recycle so I might as well use it.

    I think when you start working with higher quality glues - more expensive, you really like how they grab and dry/cure faster. It helps speed the project along, especially when working with heavy thick cardboard that resists being bent into curves and you need it to stick. Of course, superglues and polyurethane gorilla glues are good to have on hand for some applications.

    Now only if IKEA picks up on some of our designs...


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    What I like about yours, is that no sewing is required! A lot of people don't have the equipment or skills for sewing, & I myself try to avoid it whenever possible! :) Love it!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    This is super (mario) cute!

    But, "A quart or more of glue"... Really?

    Your not moonlighting at a glue factory are you? ;)


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    OK, maybe a little less than a litre. I never figured out what apply sparingly means.