How to Make Hypertufa Recipe
If you’ve always wanted to try something new for your garden, but were never sure quite how to do it, the secret is fairly straightforward: you can make anything from flower troughs to garden ornaments with a simple mix of hypertufa.
Making and working with hypertufa is an art that can sometimes take a few tries to get right, which is why it’s best to start with a beginner’s recipe, such as the one outlined below. Once you get more comfortable with the product, you can start experimenting with various recipes that can be used to achieve different hypertufa looks and textures.
Before you get started with this recipe – or go to purchase the supplies – keep in mind that the supplies needed tend to come in very large quantities. You’ll end up with more than you needed, but that’s alright – you may enjoy making hypertufa, and want to begin creating a whole array of objects for your garden!
Ingredients for Hypertufa
- One portion of Peat Moss: this can be purchased at a local gardening store or a department store’s garden center.
- One portion of Perlite or Vermiculite: Perlite can be purchased at the same place you find peat moss, but it can often be bought in smaller quantities. Vermiculite may be more difficult to locate, but you’ll probably be able to get some from a pool contractor or a greenhouse.
- One portion of pre-mixed Portland cement/sand: while you can buy these separately and mix them together yourself, for a beginner, this is probably the best option. It cuts out one of the steps, and since you don’t have a lot of time to work with once everything is mixed, the faster the better at this stage.
Precautions Before Mixing
1) Read all the labels on the ingredients and pay attention to them. Portland cement, for example, can burn your skin.
2) Wear clothes you can get dirty – these should be protective, fully cover any areas of exposed skin, and be laundered immediately after you finish… or else you’ll be throwing the clothes away afterward.
3) Wear waterproof gloves at all times when using the materials! Otherwise, your skin may burn, break and possibly bleed. These should be heavy-duty rubber gloves. Only switch to the thinner latex gloves when finishing the last stages of your object.
4) Wear a fine-particle dust mask before you open the dry ingredients and for the duration of the project! The dust from any hypertufa mixture is highly caustic and can burn your lungs. Consider this: if the dust from dry cement begins to harden when mixed with water, what will happen when the dust is breathed in and hits the moisture in your lungs?
5) Wear safety goggles. See above – enough said.
1) Shake the bag of premix to redistribute the mix inside the bag, using a garbage bag over top to prevent it from bursting. Then place all three recipe ingredients inside a wheelbarrow or large mixing vat and blend thoroughly.
2) Add water very slowly, mixing with your gloves. Alternate between mixing and adding water – when it’s at the point where it holds together and only a few drops of water come out, you can stop and let it sit for about 10 minutes. The mixture should not be runny.
3) During the 10 minutes, the chemicals in the mixture will react to begin to dry and should result in a squishy mixture that can be easily packed into a mold. Now you can start working with it!