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How to Make Hypertufa

Tips & Techniques for a unique rustic garden craft

Are you dying to learn how to make hypertufa?

Here’s the right place to get instructions for making some unique garden art, and recipes to try.

How to Make Hypertufa - DIY Rustic Garden Art

Not all recipes will work for every project, as many are better for smaller containers and pots.

Your studio might be used the most in spring and fall - summer is a bit hot, and it's uncomfortable to work in.  Best temperatures for you and the hypertufa is around 21 degrees C. or near 70 degrees F.

Extremely strong mixes of hypertufa are necessary for hypertufa birdbaths and other large garden art projects such as hypertufa troughs.

Instructions for Making Hypertufa

Please see the section on Hypertufa How To - Safety before you start.

Recipes for hypertufa are limitless, but some work better than others.

Keep in mind too that not all cement powder, peat moss or sand is created equal, and regional differences mean that even if you follow the recipe exactly your results may differ. 

Not to worry, this is a very forgiving craft, and even if you don't succeed immediately, the pieces of projects that don't survive can still be used; stick them together to make a really rustic container with rugged texture, or recycle them as drainage material in a rockery or planter, or for my favorite use, as a mulch around Clematis which love the alkaline pH of the decaying pieces.

Use this recipe as a guide, and test it on smaller projects first, such as pinch pots.

Hypertufa molded in a basket

Once you get an idea of how the materials perform, you can feel more confident about making bigger hypertufa projects such as larger containers, troughs and birdbaths among other unique rustic creations. 

Mix one part by volume of each of the following: (this means use several yogurt containers, coffee cans or other measuring container so you can measure each part using the same sized container)

My Hypertufa Recipe:

Cement powder – sometimes called Portland cement. Avoid using pre-mixed mortar as this contains sand which may impact the proportions.

Peat moss – sometimes called sphagnum peat moss. Sieve this through 5mm mesh to remove twigs and large clumps by sieving it through a screen with 5mm (1/16") openings.

Sand – Builders sand is used by construction companies; don’t use beach sand as it may contain salt.

Add water to mix to a consistency of peanut butter (plastic and malleable).

Place it in your prepared mold, and form it into place. Avoid over working it, as it will just crumble. Some recipes also contain perlite, fiberglass strands, vermiculite and other additional materials.

You can test these after you get the basic recipe to work.

Once you’re confident you know how to make hypertufa, the world is your oyster. I’ll bet you won’t be able to stop at just one hypertufa project for your garden.

Here's what you'll need for this project - buy the supplies from Amazon; you'll need one part by volume of Peat moss,Perlite and Portland cement Mix carefully and thoroughly (make sure you use a dust mask and gloves to protect yourself) then add the water to make a slurry.

Finished Hypertufa Trough with Sedum and Sempervivum

Hypertufa Projects

Hypertufa How To

Curing Hypertufa

How To Make Hypertufa Look Old

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