How to Make Twig Handled Hypertufa Baskets

A Tutorial for a Unique Garden Craft

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Got baskets salvaged from thrift stores? Looking for ways to use them in your garden crafts? Well, here's a way to utilize them for something really unique.

How to Make a Twig Handled Hypertufa Basket

I had a whole lot of baskets of all sizes and shapes, and I knew that one day, I would find a use for them.

Inspiration struck when I saw the potential for using the baskets for hypertufa molds, and then adding a wiggly twig for even more charm and character. 

Combining two of my favorite materials (twigs and hypertufa) to create some very interesting planters and containers for some beautiful alpines or hardy succulents is a match made in heaven.

This short tutorial shows how I made some of these creations:

Salvaged baskets, with wires in place Baskets are everywhere, for free
The hypertufa pressed around the wires.Deciding which twig goes with which basket...

...much more difficult...

The baskets were chosen for this project based on the size and the pattern of the weaving; using thin poly film to line them with before pressing the hypertufa mix into them will allow the pattern to show - the thinner the poly, the better the pattern of the woven twigs will show through.

The finished Twig Handled Hypertufa BasketsThe finished Twig Handled Hypertufa Baskets - planted with many different Sedum and Sempervivum

Two pieces of wire are laid into the hypertufa mix - put in a thin layer, then the wire, then another layer of the mix.

How to Make a Hypertufa Basket Wiring Diagram

These are where you'll attach the two ends of the twig. The mix has to be dry before you attach the twig - don't get into a hurry at this point.

Make sure the hypertufa is thick enough - too thin, and the wire will damage the hypertufa if someone picks it up by the handle.

The finished Twig Handled Hypertufa BasketsThe finished Twig Handled Hypertufa Baskets in August 2012

This basket continues to look amazing, even after several years. 

The picture at the bottom of the page was taken in May 2013 while the picture below was from September 2012.

Many of the plants did well, although some had to be replaced over time.

There is no special care taken for winter - the baskets are placed on the ground, and snow is allowed to cover them for protection.  It's always interesting to watch them emerge from the snow as it melts, to see what's survived.

Hypertufa Twig Handled Basket in September 2012Hypertufa Twig Handled Basket in September 2012
The lovely result of combining hypertufa, twigs and hardy succulents...The lovely result of combining hypertufa, twigs and hardy succulents...May 2013

Finding uses for thrift store finds and rustic salvage always gives me a thrill - and this project was no different.

I like combining two completely different materials (or three in this case - the basket for the mold, the hypertufa, and the wiggly twig) to make something really unique and different for succulent plant displays.

As an avid collector of hardy Sedum and Sempervivum, I'm always looking for something to plant with them.

Don't forget to share your rustic craft with me! I love seeing how people take an idea and make it totally their own.

You might need these supplies;

Please note; due to the fragile nature of even well cured hypertufa, this project should be picked up carefully - not by the twig.

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