DIY Power-Up Mushrooms: Backyard Seating DIY Power-Up Mushrooms: Backyard Seating

What You'll Need
Big salad bowl
Plastic garbage bags
Disposable pie tins
60-pound bag of concrete mix
5-gallon buckets
Trowel
Sandpaper
Paint and brushes

Not to endorse any particular inspiration, but it might be cool to make your yard look like Super Mario Brothers, and give your guests a place to sit at the same time. Of course, you could just throw a bunch of chairs out there, but where's the fun in that? With DIY concrete mushrooms, give your outdoor space seating that creates an enchanted look.

Step 1 - Prep Your Molds

Find a big salad bowl that you don't care too much about. This will be the cap of the mushroom, so get one the size you want - 24 inches across should be good. Line the bowl with a plastic garbage bag. This will make unmolding the concrete easier later on. Cut the bottom out of a disposable, aluminum pie tin. If your bowl is 24 inches across, the tin should be 12 inches across and 2 inches deep.

Step 2 - Mix and Pour the Concrete

In a 5 gallon bucket, mix up the concrete with water, stirring with the trowel, according to the directions on the bag. You should end up with a mixture with no dry spots that is thick but pourable.

Pour it into the lined bowl right up to the rim and smooth the surface with the trowel. Set the pie tin in the center of the surface of the wet concrete. It won't sink, but push it about a 1/4-inch into the concrete. Fill the tin with concrete and smooth the surface with the trowel again.

Step 3 - Wait

Allow your upside down concrete mushroom to dry for at least 24 hours. It will take 5 days for it to be fully cured, but you can work with it before that.

Step 4 - Unmold and Sand

After 24 hours, cut away the pie tin. The edge of the concrete foot will be brittle and possibly even sharp. Smooth it and round it over a bit with sandpaper. Now, with the help of an assistant, tip the bowl and slide the mushroom out. Peel the plastic off and smooth the edge of this with the sandpaper too. Leave it upside down for now, so the foot doesn't have to take the weight before it's cured.

Step 5 - Wait Again

You don't want to paint the mushroom before it's cured, so leave it alone 'til next weekend.

Step 6 - Paint the Mushroom

After the curing process, paint the bottom of the mushroom and the foot white. When they're dry enough to be handled, turn the mushroom right side up and paint the cap red and when that's dry paint on the white polka dots.

DIY Tip: Skip the paint and leave it natural so it looks more like stone and your seating can blend into the environment.

With mold supplies from the dollar store, you can make several mushrooms at once and populate your yard with power-ups. Achievement unlocked.

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