Make your own Mandrake

May 15 2014 | Guest post by koalaem

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My fiancé and I finished making our very own Harry Potter-inspired Mandrake. I'm pretty stoked on how he turned out, and I thought I'd share how we did it.

First I made a big ol' ball of salt dough. Salt dough is easy and cheap as chips to make…

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of flour
  • ½ cup of salt
  • ½-¾ cup of water

Instructions:

  1. Put the flour and salt in a bowl.
  2. Pour in half of the water
  3. Then smoosh it around with a spoon until it has all combined.
  4. If it's seeming too dry, add more water. It should be about the consistency of pizza dough. Or Play-doh.

Then I let my fiancé go to town. In addition to his science-ing, he's also a very talented artist. He molded the salt dough into a Mandrake shape.

When it was ready I baked it for two days. That bad boy was chunky, so it took two rounds of about eight hours on a low temperature — about 200°F (so he didn't dry out too fast and crack) plus leaving him drying over night for both nights for him to become a solid mass.

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Then we tag-teamed painted him with acrylic paints, leaving him to dry for a while between coats — otherwise when we went to add another coat the first would dry and peel off. Then we added some black shadows for depth in the crevices and smeared it around/wiped a bit off with a paper towel to make the effect soft along the edges.

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Then we added a plastic aquarium plant to the top of his head. Before we began the baking/drying process, I pushed the nub of the plant into Mister Mandrake's head to make a hole that would later fit it; we also had to scrape out some of the dried dough to make sure the fit was perfect later.

I'm pretty pleased with how he turned out! Now he'll be going into a glass vase that looks like a see-through planter pot with some moss and nature-y bits around him and then will be displayed on top of a couple of antique botany books.

  1. I love this! I'm picturing having one half – buried at the back door as a key hider (like those fake rock things).

    4 agree
  2. Seems to me, you could totally work off of this idea and make a planter for a small living plant, too. If you used a different type of clay, you could probably make a planter that would successfully hold something like a spider plant or a succulent of some kind…

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  3. Love this! I always want more ways to incorporate Harry Potter into my life. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. Ha! When I saw mandrake root my first thought was "like the Deep Purple song?" Maybe I should catch up with the past few decades and finally read Harry Potter. Either way, cute decoration.

    I am intrigued by your antique botany books!

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  5. What a creative idea! I love Elizabeth's idea of making the Mandrake a planter for a small plant. This could be neat for wedding centerpieces too.

  6. Hi, just wondering if you make these and sell them or if this was a one time deal. I found this on a Harry Potter site trying to find the prefect gift for my sister and I loved this. Unfortunately I am not a skilled artist. Would you be willing to make one if I paid for one? Thano you in advance for your consideration. 🙂

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    • If you would like to contact me through my etsy shop (curvycrafts.etsy.com) I would be glad to discuss this possibility.

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