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by Jacki
(Grand Forks, B.C.)


Hypertufa made in a basket

Finding lots of old baskets in the thrift store and garage sales left me trying to find a use for them.

If I planted my collection of succulents right in them, they rotted out in a season or two, so I wanted to make them more durable.

I finally hit on the idea of using them as molds for hypertufa, first lining them with drycleaner plastic or other thin plastic film.

After the hypertufa is dry, I just cut the basket away, leaving a pattern on the outside surface of the hypertufa pot.

Then I can plant Sedum or Sempervivum, or other tender succulent plants in them for the summer.

The hardy plants just stay in the pot for the winter – after the first season outside I stopped worrying about the pot cracking or the plants dying, as it came through beautifully.

Comments for Hypertufa Basket

Aug 08, 2010
What a great Idea!
by: Countrymouse

Wow!! Who’d a thunk it?
I’ve got everything I need to get started a hypertufa…. except the nerve.
LOVE the basket Jacki, I think you’ve provided that bit of a “push” I needed to get started.
I’m going back for a 2nd look.

Aug 10, 2010
What are you waiting for?
by: Jacki

I needed a push too – here’s where I got some inspiration, and really clear instructions – Little Pots – on how to make pinch pots especially. They sound like fun, and a more manageable size to start with.

Aug 11, 2010
O.k. I’m officially inspired!
by: Countrymouse

What a wonderful step by step tutorial. Now I really am itching to get started…. baggies!! Who’d have thunk it???
I don’t have perlite, how important is it? I was planning to use the portland cement and either a growing mix or spaghnum moss…. which seems more difficult to find than I expected… at least in the small village I live in.

Aug 11, 2010
The importance of being…er…using perlite
by: Jacki

Hi Countrymouse – it’s very important to use the right ingredients, or you’ll have a disaster! I have made hypertufa without perlite, but thought I would try it as it’s supposed to be lighter in weight as opposed to sand which I have used.

Use PEAT MOSS – you may have to get a bale of it, and screen it to remove the larger pieces that always sneak in. Spagnum moss is a completely different creature, so use that to make a wreath or other craft, not in your hypertufa.

Be sure to post pictures of your creations to inspire others!

Aug 12, 2010
First Attempt !
by: Countrymouse

Well – I made my first hypertufa attempt last night, and can report that it was NOT a glowing success!

I had an awful time getting good consistency, even following recipe directions. I didn’t like the perlite and will use sand for my 2nd attempt.

The recipe I’d copied (perhaps incorrectly,) called for 1 part perlite, 1 part peat moss and 1 part Port. cement….. and water.

I found the perlite made the mixture very “gritty” and difficult to work with. I couldn’t get the mixture to adhere to my mould, a small milk container (paper, not plastic) and didn’t feel I had much control in “sculpting”.

In adding ingredients, then water, trying to get the texture right, I think I ruined everything BUT I did the best I could (grumbling at it the whole time) cleaned everything up and went to bed. This morning it IS setting up but is certainly NOT a thing of beauty!

I suspect it may crumble before it’s properly aged, but right now it’s all in one piece.
I will send a photo (once it’s dry) ONLY if you PROMISE not to laugh…. at least not loudly enough for me to hear in Canada!

If nothing else, it will demonstrate how NOT to do it!

Aug 12, 2010
Don’t give up yet!
by: Jacki

Countrymouse, it may be a beautiful rustic planter once filled with Sempervivum – you’ll be amazed!

I await pictures impatiently…