Flowering Mushroom Book Decoration


I was inspired to create this project from people who have created tea stained artwork, used old books for decoration, and like sore simple decorations that don’t crowd or overwhelm their living spaces (close to minimalists but slightly more).

I had wanted to use a duplicate book that I had to create some sort of artwork, but I didn’t want the pages to be as bright white as they were.  I remembered seeing people on TikTok and various social medias spilling coffee and tea on their artwork to create something new that they could make more elaborate or special.  When thinking about how to make something more than simply a tea stained book, I thought about mushrooms and fungi.  There’s a kind of mushroom that grows off of tree or vertical things that looks as though it has a flat top, almost like a shelf, and I deciced to try to emulate that kind of look with the book pages instead of just creating that classic button top mushroom that people tend to think of when they think of a mushroom.

However, once I had created my project in this way, I decided that it didn’t look finished and I added wire flowers to it to help create a more aesthetically pleasing look that fit more of a cottagecore aesthetic.


I wanted my project to somewhat resemble a mushroom while clearly being made of book pages.  It was always meant to be a decoration, whether that be something that could be placed on a shelf or hung on a wall.  I had started by trying to create something resembling the fungi aesthetic, but it transformed into more of a cottagecore aesthetic by the end.


This was a long but fun fabrication process.  Since I knew I wanted to have book pages stained by various tea colors, I started by dip testing out each kind of tea I had available to me with spare pages from the book.  I first dipped about half of each tester page once into one kind of tea each and let them dry.

Once dried, I then dipped half of the already dipped section of each page (about 1/4 of the total page) back into it’s respective tea in order to compare the original page color to being dipped once and twice in each tea.

I then compared each and every test piece and chose my favorite three colored testers to then continue to use for my final product.  I brewed in kind of tea in bulk so that I could easily dip each full sized page into the tea and not have to replenish constantly.

Once dipped, I then had to lay out each page so that could dry out.  I dipped each page twice, waiting for the pages to dry completely after each dip into the teas.  In the end, I dipped close to 200 total pages of paper (almost 400 pages of written story).

Having completely dried, I collected each coller into separate piles to more easily keep track of which pages were dipped into which tea.  There’s not too much visible difference in color from afar, but when observing closely there is a more discernable difference, especially on the edges.


Now, I had to fold each piece of paper into the general shape that I wanted for my project to take.  I thought about how I could easily mass produce similarly folded pieces of pages and ended up folding three different variations with equal parts of each color being in each kind of fold.  In order to keep stray corners from unfolding and ruining the shape I was going for, I Mod Podged down whatever stray corners tried to lift up.

I ended up liking one kind of folded page over the other two, even when the other could’ve been incorporated, so I only put together the one type of folded page into my final product.  As I stated before, there were three different colors of paper in this design, but I didn’t want there to be blocked out sections of color.  I ended up rolling a four sided dice to randomize the order of the colors.  1 meant the first color, 2 meant the second color, 3 meant the third color, and 4 meant I had to roll again.  As I rolled each new page, I Mod Podged a thin line close to the new “spine” of each page in order to connect each page to the adjacent one.  Once all available pages were combined, I took a spare, unstained page section and wrapped it around the spine of the combined pages to create a sort of spine for my project.

However, it didn’t feel complete to me, so I thought about simple things I might be able to add to it and decided on creating wire flowers that I could add as if they were growing out of the pages, almost like mushrooms and fungi do in real life.  I took some spare wire, practiced a little, tried to copy the look of real flowers into wire, and finally created some flowers that I thought looked beautiful together as well as folded into the pages.  I think it turned out even better than my original idea and I am by no way upset with the final form or aesthetic that I ended up with.

Final Artifact:

Various lighting on the front facing view.

Both side views.

Bottom and Top views.

Compared Functional and Artistic Goals:

There was no change in the function of my final product as it is still something I can use as a decoration on either a shelf or as a wall hanging.  As of this post, it lives happily on my bookshelf.  Artistically, I did not use every page that I had orignally intended to use, but the final product outcome has not become worse from the lack of these pages.  In fact, I believe that the lack of these pages helped me to come up with using wire flowers as I believe they have amplified my project to a whole new level of aesthetic beauty.  The slight change of aesthetic description is something that I’m not mad at either as it still resembles a sort of mushroom, however loosely you might see it, just in a softer, more cottagecore kind of way.

The Future of this Artifact:

I might try to see what a few extra pages would look like to see if I end up liking that any better, but in general I am very pleased with how it looks and intend to keep using it as a decoration on my bookshelves for a long time.  If there was a need to completely redo this project while using the same material, I might consider trying to borax crystal a book to see how that comes out and to see if I would enjoy that more on my shelves that this project.

Final Thoughts:

This was a very fun and enjoyable project to have been assigned and completed, no matter how tedious or time consuming it might have been at times.  I have created something that I enjoy immensely and might never have thought to create before having being assigned this project.  Sure, this is partially for a grade, but mostly I feel like it was a fantastic experience as I now look at older things I have and think more about what I might be able to create out of them rather than just throwing them away.  I only hope that others feel the same.


  1. First only – https://www.treehugger.com/mushroom-that-eats-plastic-5121023
  2. All the rest – Me
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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Venkata Sanyasi Krishna Vidhan Rallapalli
    February 25, 2024 10:22 pm

    Your project is a creative fusion of tea-stained book pages and wire flowers, embodying both the fungi aesthetic and a cottagecore vibe. What inspired you to combine these elements, and how do you envision incorporating similar techniques in future projects?

  • Juliette, I think this turned out really fantastic. I’m impressed by the sheer amount of work that is displayed in your process photographs. And it seems all that work really paid off; the combination of elements you have here, from the use of book pages to the tea staining, all comes together to create an artifact with a distinctly comforting and rustic character. I especially like the addition of the wire flowers – it adds some visual contrast and interest that breaks the mostly uniform look of the paper. How did you attach the wire flowers to the paper?


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