Mushroom Spore Printing

This spring we have been studying mushrooms (mycology). Our favorite activity with mushrooms is making spore prints. I can’t believe how easy it is to do.

Warning! You obviously want to watch your little ones around mushrooms! Many different kinds of mushrooms are poisonous and can make you very sick. When handling mushrooms please be sure to wash your hands when you are through.
Pick your mushroom and remove the stem so your cap will lay flat. Place the cap on your paper of choice. The mushrooms we found leave dark brown spores so we used a creamy colored paper. Some mushrooms leave white spores, so the color of paper you use is important.

Place a glass cup or bowl over the caps.
Let the caps sit under the glass for about an hour. Tick Tock, Tick Tock…….this part is very hard for Araina!
After an hour, lift the glass and the cap, you should have a spore print. You can make more with the same cap while it is still fresh.

Be careful, the spores will smear! We learned this the hard way. A touch of hairspray or spray adhesive should preserve the prints.

Finding where the spores are located on the mushrooms is half the fun. Morels, for example carry their spores on the outside; slice in half and place the cap on its side to make a print.

Don’t bother using those cute button mushrooms from the market; they just are not fresh enough to leave the spore prints.

We felt these beauties were frameable!

22 responses to “Mushroom Spore Printing”

  1. Beth

    Thank you for teaching me how to do spore prints! Beth

  2. Anonymous

    We did this over the weekend! Thanks for the idea. We've had a ton of rain and therefore a ton of mushrooms to pick.

  3. Annie

    That's so fun and beautiful! I love seeing Araina waiting- even if it was hard for her. She's so cute. We had mushrooms last night and Lily spend a great deal of time just exploring one of them. We'll have to try this.

  4. Lisa

    HA!! Amanda you sound just like my mother, she would sooooo agree with you!

    Lisa 😉

  5. Amanda

    All I have to say is if I find a morel, I'm eating it! To heck with the spore prints :)

  6. Tara

    This is a clever idea. I had no idea that the mushrooms would leave an impression on the paper with no ink or paint.

    Truly amazing!!

  7. Rachel@oneprettything.com

    Wow, this is so cool! Thanks for sharing, I’ll be linking.

  8. bigbooty

    oh yay, i’ve been wanting to try this again! i think the first time i didn’t realize that you needed to cover the mushroom, so it was a bit disappointing…

  9. andrea the pomegranates

    on we have to do this! how cool are those patterns?! anyhow, i wanted to let you know that you have been tagged over at blog, only if you want of course! :)

  10. Dawn

    Cute frame, and picture! I always wondered how to do this…thank you for sharing. Now, I’m wanting morels with my dinner; those are my favorite!

  11. Shady Lady

    What a fun idea. The stick frame it totally cool!!

  12. Stephanie

    They’re so pretty!

  13. jumbleberryjam

    Brilliant! do you have morels?? They are my favorite! Especially freshly foraged! :-)

  14. Tammie Lee

    It is wonderful to see how you did this. I have tried before and perhaps I used the wrong color of paper for the shrooms I was doing and saw very little. You give me inspiration to try again and again. I love little wild mushrooms!

  15. Joy

    We’ve done that before too. So fun to see the intricate details. Love the shot of Araina patiently waiting. :)

  16. Lisa

    Louise, I think a touch of hairspray would preserve them.

    Lisa :)

  17. Sherry

    The picture of Araina waiting is so cute. :)

    I love the stick frame.

  18. Artistmama

    How fun! ‘fraid there aren’t many mushrooms around us in the desert but we’ll have to try this when we go back east to visit.

  19. Jane

    Oh I love that-it may even be worth getting over my fear of wild mushrooms!

  20. Louise

    I have been wanting to do this for ages- how are you going to preserve them- or won’t you worry.

  21. marytaylr

    Cute ideas!

  22. Crescent Moon

    I had no idea it was that easy. I really like the stick picture frame with the mushroom prints!