Gluckspilz: Lucky Mushrooms for the New Year

The fly agaric mushroom with it’s distinctive red cap covered with white dots is a popular Yuletide pagan good luck symbol, particularly in Europe.

Photo by H. Krisp via WikiCommons


In Germany, they are called gluckspilz – “lucky mushroom” – and they are often represented in the fist of a chimney sweep, another (peculiar) lucky totem of the season.  As Bert sings in Mary Poppins, “A sweep is as lucky as lucky can be!”, so there you go!


A festive craft for the drinking witch is to paint “sparkle wine” corks to look like the fly agaric.  Champagne, prosecco, cava – any of those effervescent elixirs will provide lucky mushroom-shaped corks that just need a bit of paint and festoonery to become charming pagan ornaments to invite good luck into your home this Yule.

What you’ll need is the above mentioned corks, some acrylic paints in red and white, a disposable chopstick, paint brushes and some wire or ribbons and nails.


I put down a piece of parchment paper to protect my work surface and used a plastic takeout dish as a palette.  I used a nail inserted into the cork to hold it and not smudge the paint, but if you let the paint dry in between steps it’s not really necessary, and acrylics dry pretty quickly.  First paint the stems white, then let them dry and next paint the caps red. Let that dry and then use the end of the chopstick to paint white dots on the red caps.image2IMG_3412image2

Next, you can either use a nail to attach a ribbon to the top of the corkshroom to hang it from or use a bit of wire to make a loop on top. You can add glitter, googly eyes, bows and other embellishments as they please you.  Et voila! more holiday luck than you can shake a stick at!



I am currently developing a gluckspilz cocktail, but it’s not quite finished…see the prototype below and stay tuned for the recipe!


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