I originally built these Giant Mushrooms for my annual Halloween walk-through but they also serve as wonderful decor pieces at music festivals, weddings and a variety of special events.
They range in a variety of sizes from 5ft to 10ft tall. They are made of wood, chicken wire, electrical conduit, 2 part spray foam, spandex and l.e.d. lighting.
Photos by HeadAboveHeart Photography at The Haunted Garden, Nightmare Festival.
I knew I wanted to replicate the traditional mushroom
I also knew these would need to be lightweight, weather resistant, transportable and storable.
I started with the stem, using 2x4s, plywood and lag screws
Once upright, I stapled chicken wire all the way around to create a surface for cheesecloth
The caps were built so I could separate them from the stems for transportation
Using a 4×4, electrical conduit, pvc tubing and chicken wire, I got that mushroom shape just the way I wanted
I screwed the caps to the stems through their wooden bases and they were ready for their skin
The skin is a layer of cheesecloth or cotton scrim material that creates a surface for the foam
Using spray adhesive, I simply sprayed the chicken wire and attached the cheesecloth
Once everything was covered, I prepared for the spray foam
Spray Foam comes in a 2 part tank system. It is traditionally used for insulation but works wonderfully when building large props
It requires safety gear including a full body suit, respirator, gloves, and goggles
The foam cures quickly, rising up and hardening within minutes of application
I let the foam cure for 24 hours
Using a paint sprayer to get all the little nooks and crannies, I got painting
Using many gallons of paint, I sprayed and sprayed and sprayed
Creating the gills was a tedious and long process that involved pleating, pinning and hot glueing
Using 10 yards of 120″ white spandex, I first pleated and stapled the fabric to the perimeter inside of the cap
Allowing for some drape in the fabric, I then pleated and pinned to the outside edge
I cut the excess fabric off
It was time to glue
I finished it off with hot glue and a couple skin burns along the way *ouch!*
I was quite happy with my build so I made many more and have been improving them along the way by adding Velcro, different paint colors, moss and lighting
Big Dub Festival
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