Miniature Toadstools

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by Vicky Guile

Items required... Polymer clay in red, white and brown.

Liquid clay or tacky glue.

White acrylic paint.

Brown chalk pastel.


Cocktail Sticks.

Ball Stylus tool.

Craft knife.

Ceramic tile or baking tray (it’s important that you don’t use a tray that might get used for real food preparation).

White paper (the regular kind, not specially coated or high gsm printer paper). 

Step 1.

Make a ball of white clay about ½” in diameter, then a ball of brown clay about 1/8” in diameter.  Mix the brown clay with the white until the colour is even, you are looking for a very slight off-white.  This will be used for the stalks and the underside frills of your toadstools. 

Step 2.

Take a small piece of the off-white clay and roll into a long sausage, you want this to be very thin, less than 1/16”, with your craft knife cut the sausage into lengths around ¼” long.  These will be used for the stalks of your toadstools. 

Step 3.

Scribble some brown pastel onto a piece of paper, then using your paintbrush, pick up a tiny amount of the chalk dust and dab gently onto the stalks, you are aiming for a patchy/muddy in places effect, so don’t shade in the whole of each stalk.  Once shaded, carefully pick them up and place onto your baking tray/ceramic tile.  I find that its best to line the tray or tile with a sheet of plain white paper, it stops the clay becoming shiny on the areas where it is in contact with the tray/tile. 

Step 4.

Take a piece of red clay, enough to make a ball about ½” in diameter.  Roll the clay into a sausage shape about ¼” in diameter, then cut into slices of various thicknesses, no thicker than 1/8”.  Roll each of these slices into a ball. 

Step 5.

This is the tricky one ball of red clay into the palm of you hand and using your ball stylus tool, make a firm indentation in the centre.  Now you want to slowly and firmly ease the stylus around in circles, pushing the clay as you do.  It takes a little practice at first, but what you should end up with is a cup shape.  Once you have shaped all of your balls of red clay, place them on the tray/tile with the stalks.  

Step 6.

Preheat your oven to the correct temperature as on the polymer clay packet instructions, this varies with each brand of clay.

When your oven has reached the required temperature, bake your clay for required amount of time as per the packet instructions.

Once it has finished baking, leave to cool and then we can continue with the toadstools. 

Step 7.

Using your remaining off-white clay, roll into a sausage about 1/8” diameter.  Cut slices about 1/16” thick and then roll these slices into balls.  Take your baked red tops of the toadstools and insert a ball of off-white clay into each.  Gently push the clay down so that it is flush with the rim of the toadstool top.   
Step 8.

Using your craft knife you can now make the frills on the underside of the toadstool.  Place the point of you knife at the centre of the off-white underside and gently indent a line outwards, keep doing this from the centre pivoting outwards around the whole of the underside. 
Step 9.

Using some of your brown chalk pastel dust, gently shade around the edges of the off-white underside, again it doesn’t have to be perfect and you only want a very light dusting of brown chalk to help accentuate the detail of the frills. 
Step 10.

Take your toadstool stalks and trim with your craft knife on one end to the required length.  Place a tiny dot of liquid polymer clay on the trimmed end (use a cocktail stick to apply) and then push the stalk into the centre of the toadstool.  Do this with each of your toadstools and then place back onto the tray/tile and bake again in a preheated oven.  This will be the last time your toadstools visit the oven  so make sure that the oven is preheated to the correct temperature and that they bake for the required length of time as per the packet instructions. 
Step 11.

Once your toadstools have cooled it is time to add the dots with your white acrylic paint.  The easiest way I find to do this is to attach the toadstools to a piece of scrap wood with tiny bits of blu-tack, if you are nimble fingered you could just hold them while you paint them, or even use tweezers, unfortunately I am not that adept, and anything smaller than a mini cabbage tends to go pinging off in all directions if I use tweezers. Dip the end of your cocktail stick into the white paint and then dot it straight onto the toadstool, after each dot load up with more paint before doing the next.  Try to make the dots appear randomly placed, you don’t want them in neat rows.  When you have finished the dots, leave to dry for at least 24 hours before removing from the blu-tack.If required you could paint a thin layer of matte varnish over the toadstools to seal the dots (recommended if you are going to place them in a mini jar of faux water) but this is not necessary if they are to be placed in a basket. 
Step 12.

Arrange your toadstools as required! 

Copyright of text and photos on this page belong to Vicky Guile of NJD Miniatures