If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you’ll know how much we love turning things into planters. From tin can handbags to leftover fast-food containers we’ve made them all. We’ve even built ourselves one-of-a-kind concrete mushrooms with succulent tops and it’s those mushrooms that inspired this DIY idea. I’m calling it my “Not Mushroom” fairy planter since there’s literally not much room for plants in this one. 😉 So it’s important to pick a trailing or creeping plant that doesn’t have a deep or invasive root system.
And since the only spot I had open in the garden is in partial shade, I chose Silver Falls to put in mine. I just love the way the pale silver-green leaves pop against the mossy background.
Unlike the succulent mushroom planters, this “Not mushroom” version is made from polystyrene that’s “dressed up” to look like concrete. And to make it extra special I turned that faux concrete mushroom stalk into a wee fairy abode.
Another thing we do a lot of here at A Crafty Mix.
Okay, before I show you how to make a “Not Mushroom” fairy house planter, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. And don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll never miss a post!
What you need
For the Not Mushroom Planter
The key to this fairy planter is a large polystyrene mushroom. I’ve added an affiliate link at the bottom of the post from Amazon, but I’m not sure if they’re the right size. I bought mine at a local craft store here in South Africa and it’s about 51 cm high (20″). The mushroom cap is 28 cm (11″) in diameter at the bottom and tapers up to 15 cm (6″) at the top.
You’ll also need a suitable plant that will fit inside the polystyrene mushroom cap. Plants that thrive in hanging baskets are a good choice. For a flowery version of the “Not Mushroom” fairy planter think fuchsias, bacopas, and lobelias. It would look beautiful filled with strawberries too. To disguise the polystyrene and turn it into a planter I used:
- Green and grey craft paint
- Electrical pipe
- Sharp craft knife
- E6000 or other clear waterproof glue
- Texture paste. We make our own texture paste, but the store-bought version will work too.
For the fairy house
- Small stones or Quikcrete
- Stirrers or popsicle sticks
- Foil tray
- Stain or craft paint
How to make a “Not Mushroom” planter
This is not our first mushroom planter tutorial, but this one is much easier to make. So many people loved our succulent mushrooms but the whole thought of mixing concrete put them off so I had to find a way to recreate something similar, without the messy hassle. The trick lies in that polystyrene mushroom form. Look for a mushroom with a top or cap that’s large enough to fit a small creeping or trailing plant. Trim the top of the mushroom off with a sharp craft knife.
Dig the craft knife downwards into the mushroom top and slice all the way around.
Carefully hollow out the top until it fits a small plastic pot.
To make a drainage hole, take the PVC pipe and push it all the way down the mushroom stalk. Cut the pipe to size. You want a piece that’s at least 10 cm taller than your mushroom. Polystyrene mushrooms are really light and that extra bit of pipe will help stabilize the planter once it’s filled with greenery 😉
Remove the pipe once it’s been cut. We’ll use it later when we plant the “Not Mushroom” fairy house.
Turning the polystyrene mushroom into a fairy house
Apply a layer of homemade texture paste all over the mushroom stalk and use this mossy mannequin tutorial to create a faux concrete look. Paint the cap of the mushroom green using craft paint. Wait for the texture paste to dry fully before drawing a sketch of where the fairy door and windows should go.
Use a sharp craft knife to cut around the outlines of your sketch.
Insert the craft knife under the cuts as shown below.
Carefully lift the cut portions away.
Do the same for the windows.
Use a piece of scrap paper and rub it over the cuts to create a template for the door and both windows. You need two door templates; one to make the stone cladding around the door and the other to make the actual door. Set one of the door templates aside.
Label the templates and tape them onto a smooth work surface. I used a glass cutting board.
Mix up a tiny batch of Quikcrete. I think I used about 1/2 cup of Quikcrete.
The mixture needs to be a little on the dry side. You want to be able to form a blob of concrete that holds its shape. Oh, and wear gloves. I always forget and then end up applying copious amounts of hand cream for weeks afterward.
Roll the blobs into small stone shapes and place them around the door and window paper templates.
Set the stone blobs to one side to cure. While you wait, grab a used foil container. Cut the container so it fits neatly inside the window holes you made earlier.
Glue on some twigs to create window panes.
Grab a few wooden stirrers or ice cream sticks to make a fairy door. We’ve already shared a tutorial on how to use craft sticks to make fairy doors, so I won’t bore you with another one. Glue the fairy door and windows to the mushroom stalk. Once the concrete stones have cured fully, glue them all around the door and the windows.
Finishing off the Not Mushroom Fairy Planter
Almost done 😀 Apply lots of waterproof glue. I like using E6000. It’s extremely durable and dries clear.
Glue moss down all over the mushroom top.
Once the glue dries, you can find a spot in the garden for the “Not Mushroom” fairy house planter. Since polystyrene is quite light, it’s best to secure it in the ground by burying PVC pipe.
Dig a small, deep hole and insert the pipe, before slipping the mushroom over the pipe.
Once the “Not Mushroom” fairy house planter is firmly in the ground, you can add your plants. If you just want a little greenery, then creeping Charlie, pothos, string of pearls, and Burro’s Tail are all good choices. I planted a Silver Nickel Vine (Dichondra argentea ‘Silver Falls’) in my “not mushroom” fairy planter. They’re drought and frost hardy and grow best in full sun. When planted in partial shade, her leaves will be a little greener and they won’t grow as vigorously. And best of all, she doesn’t mind if I forget to water her for a few days.
Silver falls can be a vigorous grower in full sun and I’ll probably need to trim her at some stage, so those gorgeous tendrils don’t take over. But for now, she can just do her thing. I added a few more fairy plants around the planter to complete the picture.
Towards the back, there’s the Blue-Eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium). She comes from the Iris family and isn’t technically a grass, but she does have the most beautiful teeny tiny blue, and purpleflowers.
Cold hardy and undemanding, she doesn’t mind the shade and should thrive in her new home.
Then there’s the dainty Blue Star Creeper (Pratia Pedunculata) that you may have seen in our fairy playground.
Isn’t she just lovely? One of my all-time favorite fairy plants.
To finish off I pushed some pebbles into the ground to form a pathway that leads to the fairy door.
Not bad for a cheap polystyrene mushroom. What do you think? Would you add a “Not Mushroom” fairy house planter to your garden?
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Or if you prefer to buy rather than DIY, then one of these beauties may appeal.
And as always, wishing you a wonderful, crafty week filled with lots of love. Thank you for popping in for a visit.