I've been getting my crafty on, partially due to my natural inclination, but I can't deny that Pinterest, a dry spell (no alcohol at all for a week), Christmas and school holidays haven't been major catalysts. 

After making the dinosaur habitat for us I got all excited and made fairy gardens for two families with little girls as their Christmas present. Nothing too overboard, just a few easy plants, some sparkly white pebbles, butterflies (shrinky plastic and florists wire) and air-dry clay magic toadstools and birdbaths. I thought I might so a little tutorial here while I still remembered what I did.

First I made the stem and the cap out of air drying clay. I didn't think too much about size, I just went with what felt comfortable in my hand.

Then I used water to make slip 'glue' to join the two pieces

After carefully joining the two pieces I inserted a wooden skewer. This was to enable me to stand them up in pot plants, obviously you couldn't use a wooden skewer if you were going to fire your clay.

It also made the toadstools easier to hold while I worked on them.

I used the pointy end of one of the skewers to make the gills of the toadstool. I got a bit fancy with some of them and made them a little more toadstool like.

They took ages to dry. For the first 24 hours they should dry under plastic to avoid cracking. You will know when they are dry because the colour will change to a much lighter colour (for this clay the pieces turned white) and they will not feel cool to the touch anymore.

You can see one of the birdbaths, a couple of christmas tree ornaments and a cheeky little gnome in there too.

I used student acrylic to paint them. I just painted the top of the caps red and gave them white spots, but you could get as crazy or as traditional as you liked at this point. I think I gave the red about two coats? And the white spots about four coats so they really stood out.

I varnished them, using a glossy varnish for the tops of the caps and a satin varnish for the rest of them. I was really pleased with the way they turned out.