Thursday, July 15, 2010

Making Hypertufa Pots


*Today I am sharing my guest post that was posted last week over at Remodelaholic.
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I made these hypertufa pots after seeing this article in the March 2010 issue of Martha Stewart Living Magazine.  My Mom and I made hypertufa pots a few years ago using a similar method.  They were larger than these and not quite as cool!  When I saw this article I knew I had to try again.  It's actually a pretty easy project.
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Supplies you will need:
- Various containers.  You can use almost anything but I collected plastic and cardboard containers.  I also used metal but it didn't work for me (more on that later!).
- Peat Moss
- Perlite
- Portland Cement
- Mold Release Spray (I ended up using a no-stick cooking spray after researching online.)
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The perlite, portland cement, and peat moss are all readily available at Home Depot or Lowes.  Make sure that you use real portland cement and not a quick-set material.  Also, you want to use peat moss that is finely ground and not in large pieces.
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In order to make your mold you will need to nest two containers together.  Both should have sides that are straight or taper out and make sure that there is a gap of at least 3/4 between them.
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Mix together equal parts perlite, peat moss and portland cement in a large container.  The amount you use of each does not matter as long as they are equal parts.  I used 2 quarts of each.  A wheelbarrow would be great to use for mixing, but I don't have one so I used an old rubbermaid container.
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Make sure you wear gloves!
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Slowly begin to add water and mix until mixture is the consistency of cottage cheese.
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Coat containers with mold release spray.  Pour mixture into the outer mold until it is an inch thick.  Add the inner container and start adding mixture around all the sides.  You can fill the inner mold with sand or water to steady it.  Pack mixture in tightly.
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This is what my containers looked like after I had added the mixture.
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Cover the containers with plastic.  After 24 hours remove the inner mold.  Replace plastic.  After 36 hours remove outer mold.  This is where I had a little trouble.  I was able to easily remove the plastic and cardboard containers.  But the one metal container I used would not come off.  I guess I should have followed directions and used mold release spray.  Stick with cardboard and plastic and you won't have any trouble!
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After removing molds, you can drill holes using a masonry bit in the bottom of the container for drainage.  Also, use a planer file or sand paper to smooth out any rough edges.
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Recover containers with plastic and let sit for several weeks in order to finish curing.
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Finally, your pots will be finished!
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Aren't they cool?

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I planted with succulents and placed the pots in my screen porch.
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I am just thrilled with these little pots.  I love how they turned out!
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77 comments:

  1. Your pots are so cute and I love the sizes and shapes! I used to make these to sell years ago and they are still around. Martha Stewart featured them a long time ago and I made them then. Aren't they great? And when they are in a moist environment, moss grows and they turn beautiful shades of green.

    -Rene

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  2. I love the pots you made. What a great project. I love the patina of those. May have to try this myself.

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  3. Very, very cool! I must try this! Thanks for the tutorial.
    Brenda

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  4. Those are really pretty! I have to be honest - working w/concrete is out of my comfort zone, but this may be too cool not to do!

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  5. Those are awesome!! and the project looks fun :)

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  6. That looks easy enough that I could do it. I love the texture, and the succulents look awesome inside them.

    Cheers,
    Laura

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  7. Am I dreaming, dejavu I thought I had already read this post some days ago Alissa ? I even took some notes as we have lots of succulents, thought it was a great idea.

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  8. These are so very cool. I love the texture. You may make me into a planting kind of woman if you keep this up.
    Dana

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  9. I just love these pots! I am adding this project to my list of things to make. :)

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  10. I can't beleive you! This is fabulous! Do I dare try this? May Be!
    And I love Keith Urban too....so much!

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  11. that is so cool :) I have to try it!

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  12. These are amazing. I might have to share this one.

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  13. Incredibly cool pots! Love how they look! I tried this a few years ago, but started with big pots and it was too heavy for me to lift....I will definitely have to try these!

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  14. I saw this on Martha's show a few months ago and was so upset that I hadn't recorded it. Thanks for the tutorial. I will be making some soon! I love you blog! I am a new follower

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  15. I saw that last week. So gorgeous! Your photo inspired me to go out and get a shot of my hens'n'chicks. Turned out great! Now I need to make the pots. :-)

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  16. Those look awesome! You should link up at my Backyard Link party!

    http://frugalmomx3.blogspot.com/

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  17. I can't believe you made those-they are wonderful. The succulents look fabulous in them too. You are so clever!

    Best wishes,
    Natasha.

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  18. Hi! I'm visiting (and following) from New Friend Friday.

    I love the pots. I'm definitely going to make some!

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  19. Those turned out great! And I love the succulents in them. They're perfect! I found you at New Friend Friday and I'm happily following!

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  20. I'm visiting from NFF!
    Love the pots..neat idea!
    I'm a new follower!

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  21. These are so cute and eminently do-able. Love the way they came out! What was the total cost on your pots, did you keep track? My daughter made some BIG ones a few years back for a nursery. Gotta try this smaller scale project, thanks!

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  22. I'm a new follower from New Friend Friday! I look forward to reading more of your posts!

    http://www.ingenuemom.com

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  23. This is just WAY too cool! I REALLY want to try this - you have an awesome tutorial to follow, too. :)

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  24. these pots are great!
    in fact, i'm must go try making them, only bigger for my new home, later in the year...
    maybe i'll do a test run this summer for them...
    :-)

    thanks for linking up to our Fine Craft Guild. com linky party and do come again every Wednesday with great great articles, i mean, tutorials, such as this one!

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  25. Fab u lous ...love them...will have to try those. I love succulents. I would love for you to link up to my lush friday sometime. Andrea

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  26. Great job Alissa! I haven't tried this method, thanks for sharing!

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  27. I've been wanting to try these- so cool! Thanks for the tutorial (bookmarking to add to my 'to do' list) And thanks for visiting my blog and leaving such a sweet comment- stop on by anytime :)

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  28. I love love these. I am saving this post and someday making them. Thanks a million for sharing.

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  29. I saw you at FJI! Applause! This is a great project that seems doable! Once I made a simple bird bath out of Quik-crete and was so proud! Now this, I would really be proud of-as shouls you should be!
    ~Nancy

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  30. Love your creative ideas Alissa. there is an award for you over here: http://justanaussiegirl.blogspot.com/2010/07/in-pink.html

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  31. I saw this in the magazine and was inspired as well....just have never done it. Yours turned out fabulous and look perfect with those succulents!

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  32. A friend and I were supposed to do this earlier this summer but we didn't, I am inspired all over again! Those turned out beautifully! Thanks, Theresa

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  33. WOW!!
    Those are some amazing pots!!
    You definitely have a new follower!!!
    Love your Blog!!

    P.S.
    I found your blog by following links and it all started at this fine blog

    http://lettrefamily.blogspot.com/

    again LOVE it!

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  34. I love these pots... they're really neat. I'll have to ATTEMPT to make my own sometime.

    Your blog is definitely beautiful, in concept & design, and I'll definitely be keeping an eye on it!

    http://yourworkistodiscoveryourworld.blogspot.com/

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  35. Wow! I love this pots! They're so earthy; I'm definitely inspired to make some of my own!

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  36. I was so surprised with these!! At first I thought it was weird, but by the end of the post I totally loved the holey texture and shapes!! Very cool!!

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  37. Hi Alissa!!!
    I knew about yr fantastic blog thanks to our blog-friend RosiJo.

    These pots are really beautiful and very easy to realize.

    ...I think I'll visit yr blog frequently... ^_°

    Kind regards,
    Mela ^_^

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  38. they turned out great and you make it look so easy!

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  39. hey there! I just found your blog this evening and have been paging through.. I just LOVE this! I am trying to figure out how I can remember to do this come next spring :) Your newest follower!

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  40. I did a post on hypertufu pots quite some time ago because it is a project I really want to do - well, I still have not made them and here's another terrific post with just the right size for an attempt for me to create them! Stop by sometime and go back to my older posts if you feel like it and look up mine for the fun of it. Martha know doesn't she! Thanks for inspiring hope, Jennifer jennsthreegraces

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  41. I've put together a round up of pretty plant ideas on Craft Gossip today and included your project. :) You can see it here
    http://homeandgarden.craftgossip.com/6-pretty-plant-ideas/

    If you would like to share the Craft Gossip love and show your visitors you've been featured, you can grab a button here!
    http://homeandgarden.craftgossip.com/grab-a-craft-gossip-button/

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  42. ADORABLE .. what a great idea :D

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  43. These are absolutely brilliant. Love this idea!

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  44. Wonderful! I'd like to try this too.

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  45. these are amazing!! i really want to try this diy. i love collecting succulents and these pots are perfect for them!

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  46. Do you think mixing beads or in my case tiny bits of sea glass would make a difference in the look.
    I'm thinking it would look cool and sparkly but I'm not sure if it would get lost?

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  47. Very Cool. Great pictures too! Thanks

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  48. These are so awesome! I'd like to do this and use them inside. Do you have to drill holes in the bottom for drainage? If so, I guess I'd have to use a plate or something underneath.

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  49. These are terrific! My Fella and I are just finishing the hardscaping of our backyard... that means that next spring I'll be decorating, and these pots would be great! I'm definitely going to bookmark your post :-)
    Victoria

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  50. Hmm, I wonder if there's an environmentally friendly way of making these, is the peat strictly necessary?

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  51. Seems to be easy and chip to make. I say YES !

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  52. I just wanted to let you know that your project rocks and I featured it yesterday on "You Sew Rock Me Fridays" at my blog Sew Rockin'.

    Awesome job, I can't wait to see what you come up with next!

    Jamie
    www.sewrockin.com

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  53. I made five yesterday and had a heck of a time taking out the inner containers today. I think I've ruined them as now there is a small crack in at least four of the pots. Did you have cracks? Did they heal? I used glass on the inside and I think since there is no flexibility in the container the wiggle room comes from the cement. I'll know in a few days if they are going to work out. I think I'll have to go buy some different products so I can have the right containers!

    shannon
    basura at lobuglio dot org

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  54. C'est une superbe idée!
    bravo pour ce DIY

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  55. Saw this on pinterest. LOVE!

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  56. What containers did you use to make the pot that has a small lip on the top?

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  57. I was just wondering if covering these containers with plastic means just a tarp or if you actually need to completely cover them with cling wrap. I think these are super neat and I can't wait to try them out!

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  58. I'm on my way to buy the supplies right now...I've been waiting til spring...can't wait to get started. Thanks for sharing!

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  59. I had never heard of hypertufa until this past weekend. My sister-in-law is having a big party and wants to put some of these pots on her tables. I actually think I can make them now- not exactly crafty with my hands! Thanks for putting it out there!
    Celia

    info@allsolarfountain.com

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  60. Very, very cool. I have wanted to try this for a long time but felt other directions I saw a little less detailed than what I needed. i think I can try it now. thanks!

    Love the aged, mottled look of the concrete.

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  61. Your little planters look so pretty! I've got his linked to my hypertufa post as well today, for inspiration!

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  62. Hi Alissa!!! I knew about yr fantastic blog thanks to our blog-friend RosiJo. These pots are really beautiful and very easy to realize. ...I think I'll visit yr blog frequently... ^_° Kind regards, Mela ^_^

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  63. Hi Alissa... absolutely stunning. I grow herbs as part of my business and have always loved real terracotta pots made with a rough grog. However, I stay in a farming district on the West Coast of South Africa and good pots are hard to come by. I decided to try making a sampler cement pot and finished it with a natural paint effect to give the idea of a clay pot. I am really chuffed with my result. I then stumbled on your blog while looking for hypertufa recipes and I really love the effect you achieved. Thanks for the inspiration. Regards, John in South Africa

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  64. These pots are lovely and I can't wait to try this project!

    In an effort to use more sustainable materials, however, I was wondering if it would be possible to use coir fiber (coconut husk fiber) instead of the peat? I know it's a good substitute in a lot of other applications because of its similar properties but I wasn't sure if you (or anyone you know) has tried it in this mix? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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  65. So cute; Home Depot ran a reprint of the Martha Stewart recipe in their Gardner's emal. Thanks for sharing your ideas and successes; they look just adorable :)

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  66. Hey there. Love the idea. Good job!

    What is the make/model of the camera you are using to take the photos?

    Thanks :o)

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  67. What's the reason for using perlite and peat moss? Can I just use cement?

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  68. I love these and am wondering what the perlite and peat moss are for

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  69. Great tutorial! I love making hypertufa so much i bought an adorable little red cement mixer from harbor freight. Had my first family hypertufa party this weekend and used your pictures to show everyone the technique. Thanks for the post!

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  70. Have you tried putting shells or rocks in the cement as a decoration? Love your little pots - they are all so cute!! These would be great gifts to give to teachers to keep in their rooms!

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  71. I was surprised to see peat moss in your recipe. It's not any shade of green! I'd love to see an update to this with suggestions for alternate substances to use--like, as one reader suggested, coir.

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  72. Thanks for the tutorial! I just tried my first 2, one a hand, and the other two circles with glass piece on them, we'll see what happens!

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  73. Thank you so , VERY MUCH FOR THE DEMOSTRATION , after reading the instructions by Martha I couldn't understand or picture it , until I saw your demonstration , is so easy, what a great idea. just lovely.

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