Homemade Hypertufa Pots

This week, my friend Megan and I spent an afternoon outside mixing and molding homemade pots from hypertufa.  What is hypertufa, you ask?  Hypertufa is the mixture that results from combining equal parts of peat moss, perlite or vermiculite, and Portland cement with water.

This is a shot of the two pots I made once they came out of the molds.

To make the pots, we used this tutorial from Lowe’s: http://www.lowescreativeideas.com/idea-library/projects/Hypertufa_Pots.aspx.  The website has a list of materials, but to cut the cost a bit, we bought the plastic containers, 2 pairs of rubber gloves, and a set of measuring cups from the dollar store.  You can also find waffle-pattern drawer liner to add texture to the pots at some dollar stores (we opted for plain pots on our first try).  The website list does not include cooking spray, sandpaper, and utility clippers which I used to complete the project (see below).

Hypertufa can be made into any shape by using two plastic containers as a mold.  A larger container forms the outer layer, and a smaller, inside container determines the size and shape of the cavity for plants.  The inner and outer molds are greased with cooking spray, and the hypertufa is packed in (press it in well!).  After the pots are formed, they sit for a period of time.  The tutorial suggests 24-36 hours, but I left mine sitting, all wrapped up in a unused corner, for 48 hours.  When it came time to remove the pots from the plastic molds, I had to cut off the plastic containers with utility clippers.  I might have left the pots in the molds a little longer than needed, but I wanted to be sure that they set up properly!

Two hypertufa pots…

A view from the top…

Today, I was able to un-mold/cut out the pots and sand the tops and edges with sandpaper (this step is optional).  I also chipped away any bits I didn’t like with the rubber mallet.  You can see from the pictures that the pots are still a bit dark, but they will cure for another 2-3 weeks before I can use them.

Here is one view of one of the sanded pots…

Another view, close up of the inside.

I will post an updated photo when they are completely finished!