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Hypertufa Craft Projects

Hypertufa Craft Projects
This simple mixture of Portland cement with substances like perlite and peat moss makes porous artificial stone pots, planters, or garden art in any shape or size you can imagine. This is a guide about hypertufa craft projects.
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By 7 found this helpful
September 11, 2014

It's not pottery! It's called Hypertufa. You mix together a few 'ingredients' to create any size or shape pot you'd like! I can imagine these as totally unique gifts or even items to sell. Lots of fun too!

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Total Time: Moments to mix but it must CURE a few weeks.

Source: Penn State Extension Service taught a class

Supplies:

  • sifted peat moss, perlite
  • Portland cement
  • container for mixing
  • some type of mold to use to form hypertufa pot (I used an empty rotisserie chicken container for one, a bowl and a small dish
  • a plastic grocery bag OR cooking spray to release mold from pot
  • rubber gloves, dust mask, eye protection
  • work clothes
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Steps:

  1. Wear dust mask, rubber gloves, and old clothes.
  2. Mix 3 parts perlite (peat moss) and 3 parts peat until completely mixed. Use hands or trowel.
  3. Slowly mix in 2 parts Portland cement until you can't see any peat particles. Cement is like powder so it will get airborne if you don't do it slowly and so DO IT SLOWLY. Mixture will get fluffy.
  4. Add a small amount of water at a time. Add water slowly and mix before adding more. Consistancy is important and you should be able to form a ball that will hold it's shape when tossed between your hands. If too wet, it will flatten into a pancake if you bounce your hand up and down.
  5. If too dry, the ball will crumble apart.
  6. Too much water will affect the curing process and the strength of the pot.
  7. Either spray the pot mold or line it with a plastic bag and fill the container with your mix.
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  9. TAMP DOWN (compress it) to the inside of the mold..that will be the outside of your pot. The "more" you compress the stronger the pot will be! Some use their fist, a back of a spoon or bigger dowel to tamp it down.
  10. Continue to manipulate the mixture from the center of the mold up along the sides evenly, toward the top of your mold. Try to make it a consistent thickness with your hands. The bottom and sides should be about 1" thick. Almost like making a pie crust!
  11. Smooth the top edge of the pot.
  12. Make a few drainage holes in the bottom of the mixture with a dowel or pencils if you intend to use them for plantings.
  13. After you have molded your pot into the mold, bring the plastic up and into the center of the pot. You may place the entire pot into another plastic bag. You leave the pot to "cure"...55 degrees is the ideal curing temperature but just keeping it moist and out of the sun is good too.
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  15. After 24 hours, unwrap the pot and un-mold it. The pot will still be fragile. Clean up the top edge and gently rub out any imperfections. You may use a soft brush, piece of cloth, or your gloved hand. Put the pot back in a plastic bag and let sit for 3 weeks, lightly spritzing it with water every few days for slow curing. The longer you let it cure, the harder the pot will be.
  16. Place outside in the shade where rain can dissolve any free lime particles from the cement or hose it for 3 days. Once dry its ready to plant!
  17. Hypertufa pots are very porous (they don't leak water though). Rock gardens, succulents, and moss look great in them! I created a few different looks and I intentionally made one that was rough and rustic. I love my Zen Garden.
  18. Enjoy!
Comment Was this helpful? 7

April 12, 20133 found this helpful

This is a guide about making hypertufa stepping stones. Hypertufa can be prepared and molded into a variety of garden enhancements, including stepping stones.

Making Hypertufa Stepping Stones

Read More... Was this helpful? 3
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May 15, 2012

I had some extra concrete left over from making my hypertufa pots. So, I built up a mound of dirt and mud in the corner of my yard to use as a mold.

Then I poured the excess concrete into a garbage bag and formed it around the mud mound.

Once I had the shape and thickness I was looking for, I tied off the top of the bag, so the cement wouldn't continue to pool up around the bottom edge.

I had hoped it would come out as a wide shallow pot that I could use for plants or maybe something else. However, I made the mound of dirt too large so the edges of the potential pot fell apart when I pulled it out of the bag.

This is what I ended up with:

I am not 100% sure what to do with it yet but I think it could make a nice bird bath or incorporate it into a water feature of some sort. One thing I can say for sure is that I will be making more of these!

Comment Was this helpful? 2

May 27, 20161 found this helpful

Hypertufa is made by mixing Portland cement, perlite or vermiculite, with sphagnum peat moss, and water. It can be used to make durable planters in endless shapes and sizes. This is a guide about making hypertufa planters.

Making Hypertufa Planters

Read More... Was this helpful? 1

Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
June 19, 2011

Although I have been making Hypertufa pieces for 10 years (planters, troughs, bird feeders, frog houses, etc.) I am always looking for new ideas and projects, any ideas out there?

By Peggy W.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
June 22, 20110 found this helpful

Yes. How do you make them would be great. I would love to try it.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Anonymous
May 2, 20160 found this helpful

I've seen cute frog houses made from hypertufa, which I'm making next!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
July 20, 20160 found this helpful

How about lawn/garden edging?

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

By 0 found this helpful
March 17, 2016

Are the projects made with the hypertufa paintable? Or is it possible to add a colorant to the mix?

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
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