Making A Mushroom Spore Print

What You'll Need

A Mushroom!

Any type of gilled mushroom. Spore printing also works with tube-gilled boletes.


You can make your spore print on plain white paper or card. You can also use different coloured paper if you want. Some mushrooms have white spores, and their prints would look good on black paper.

A Big Bowl

We like to place a big plastic bowl over a mushroom to make sure it's warm. This is optional though, so don't worry if you don't have one.

1. Find a Mushroom!

The first thing you'll need to do is find a mushroom! Any flat gilled mushroom or bolete will work. The bigger the better! Young mushrooms are best as they are more likely to drop their spores for you. Older mushrooms may already have dropped them outside, so won't make as good prints.

2. Remove The Stem

Carefully remove the mushroom cap from the stem. Some mushrooms come away very easily, but others may need to be cut off using a knife or scissors. Your mum or dad can help you with this. Make sure to remove as much as the stem from the cap as you can manage, otherwise the mushroom cap won't lie flat on the paper!

3. Position Your Mushroom

Put your paper on a flat surface, like a dining table or kitchen worktop, and place your mushroom on the paper with the gills or tubes facing down. If you have a few mushrooms, you can make a pattern or a face with your mushrooms if you want.

4. Cover Your Mushroom

We like to place a big bowl over the top of the mushroom to keep it warm and hopefully encourage it to drop it's spores onto the paper. After covering it, leave it for a day to do it's thing.

5. See Your Spore Print!

After a day, take the bowl off and very gently lift the mushroom off the paper, trying your best not to smudge the print! If you're lucky, the mushroom will have dropped it's spores, making a print. If the mushroom hasn't dropped any, it may already have done it before you picked it. Not to worry though, just try again with a new mushroom!