Chicken Wire and Moss Toadstool Living Sculpture

4 Materials
30 Minutes
Easy
A recent visit to a wonderful woodland sculpture park really inspired us to try our hand at making some sculpture of our own. Our first creation was a chicken wire and moss toadstool - it turned out to be super simple to make, and has added such a magical element to our garden.
We started with an old piece of chicken wire, which we folded into four, and then wrapped around a bowl to give us a rough toadstool shape. Although we did then have to open the wire up again, to remove the bowl, I think it still really helped to get the basic form.
We then simply filled our wire form with moss that we collected from a wooded area behind our house. The area we live in has a clay soil, and is permanently damp, so we have an abundance of moss, but if you don't have access to live moss I'm sure that dried, or other organic matter would work equally well.
Once we had filled our shape, we simply folded the wire in, to hold the moss in place.
We then planted some tiny succulents straight into the top, using a pencil to make little planting holes.
To make the stem for our toadstool, we used another piece of chicken wire. This time we folded the wire in half, and then rolled it up into a tube, lining the final third with a little more moss.
We used bamboo canes to secure this to the ground, and to help secure our top to the stem.
From start to finish, this project only took about half an hour. It was super easy to make, and it really does look fabulous. I plan to move it to a more shaded area of the garden, which will be a nicer habitat for the moss, and hope that it will continue to grow and develop over time.

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Frequently asked questions

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  4 questions
  • L. Criswell L. Criswell on Oct 26, 2016
    Please let us know how this beautiful project ages! I have never had good luck with moss after a few days, as it dries out and looks dead. Spraying it with water does not help.
    • Sidney Rippy McLaughlin Sidney Rippy McLaughlin on Oct 26, 2016
      I think the southern US is just too hot for moss. I'm in Texas and we're also much too dry. It sure is a cute idea, though.
    • Craft Invaders Craft Invaders on Oct 26, 2016
      I'm in England so moss grows naturally everywhere - thanks to our lovely rainy, cool and more rain climate! You could try just planting up succulents much more densely - you get a far greater variety in the States I believe in which case you could use a water retentive compost and line the wire with something to hold it in place - perhaps just something like a hanging basket liner?
    • As a native Texan now living in upstate New York, I wondered the same thing--from the hot AND cold ends. I don't have much experience with moss, so I wonder if it will survive the cold winters of the North. I also wondered if, in the south, there is some alternative like lichens. Maybe find some wood with lichens on it to use to make the toadstool? Either way, it's an adorable idea and would be awesome for a fairy garden!
    • Carole Williams Carole Williams on Jul 06, 2017
      I have wonderful moss here in Oregon and it gets plenty cold and snowy. Really cute idea!
    • Rur13869934 Rur13869934 on Jul 06, 2017
      I live In NC and have lots of moss! I'm going to try this!
    • Susan Lundquist Susan Lundquist on Feb 20, 2019

      For those of us with 100 degree plus summers, dry moss and an assortment of green and brown paints will have to suffice. Can’t wait to try it. Will add a few artificial blooms, plus a pixie door and window in the trunk. Maybe a tiny walkway... hmm. Lots of ideas now

  • Pamela Jones Back Pamela Jones Back on Jul 13, 2017
    Could you not just use moss that is sold in the craft store?
    • Craft Invaders Craft Invaders on Jul 13, 2017
      Absolutely, I would think that the garden centres would also sell a dry moss to use in hanging baskets.
    • Rory McBean Rory McBean on Feb 11, 2019

      Garden centers, like Lowe's, sell sheets of moss. I also live in NC and have plenty of moss. I would also check the dirt on the bottom of the moss for critters like tiny centimetres and alien worms with pincers.

    • Rory McBean Rory McBean on Feb 11, 2019

      I meant centipeds.

  • Shirley lester Shirley lester on Jul 13, 2017
    Clever idea! I would like to know the name of the purple flowers around your moss sculpture. I love the wild flowers and wondered if that's what these are. Thank you!
    • Craft Invaders Craft Invaders on Jul 13, 2017
      Hi Shirley. They are bluebells and are one of our loveliest wild flowers over here in the UK (usually found carpeting woodland in spring) They really are pretty!
    • Shirley lester Shirley lester on Jul 13, 2017
      Thank you! They are beautiful. I'm envious!

    • Holly Mackey Holly Mackey on Nov 30, 2017
      They are Hyacinthoides hispanica, Spanish bluebell, it is a spring-flowering bulbous perennial
    • Shirley lester Shirley lester on Dec 01, 2017
      Thank you!
    • Jenny Dewes Jenny Dewes on Mar 07, 2018

      Oh my Goodness...this has to be one of my favorite all time things I've seen on here. I'm definitely going to try it. I live in sunny British Columbia, Canada but we have a huge blue spruce tree that shades the corner of our yard. It's a big dead space under it where nothing grows. I'm hoping to get some moss and ferns growing in there.

    • Terri Terri on Apr 17, 2019

      thank you! I can’t wait to try this!

  • Vivian Vivian on Jun 26, 2019

    Thanks this is exactly what I need for my sister-in-law’s request for a mushroom in her woodland garden. Wonderful and easy to assemble. Love it !!!!!

    • Craft Invaders Craft Invaders on Jun 26, 2019

      I'm so please you like it Vivian, and what a lovely thing to make for your sister-in-law. I'd love to see a photo when you've made it :)

    • Vivian Vivian on Jun 26, 2019

      I am trying to get to it today but may not we will see. Here is my foam and chicken wire Hugh mushroom that got her thinking. Made it though Winter I did it to cover out drilled well pipe didn’t want a wishing well. I need do a layer of something over the top. Still thinking about that.

    • Vivian Vivian on Jul 10, 2019

      Got the top and bottom pics nut forgot my iPod when I delivered the mushroom to sister in law . I will get a picture of her mushroom in her garden. She was thrilled now what is next who know ! Thanks for your post only thing I did different was to put a small piece of black screen/mesh under the mushroom cap to keep soil from coming out. I assembled top and stem with bamboo shoots just as you said it worked great.

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  • Dayna Shallenberger Dayna Shallenberger on Jun 04, 2019

    adorable! so clever and so low maintenance! we are so busy right now remodeling two rental houses that i decided to use fake flowers in my window boxes so i don't have to spend time watering. i could satisfy my inner gardener with this project. this will even last for years. thank you for sharing.

  • Sonja Horn Sonja Horn on Jun 25, 2020

    Love this idea! I just collected some mosses to add to my flower gardens. Thanks so much !

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