im so glad i got the idea to try to make these...it started when i saw in Lowe's Creative Ideas magazine. the tutorial they showed looked so easy...weeeellll...it was easy but the first time was hard! and there are some flaws to their recipe!
hypertufa planters: prep time 15 minutes / 2 days to set / 2 weeks to cure Total Project time approx. 2 1/2 weeks (also depending on the humidity in your location)
start out with your ingredients (cost around $25 to get all of this including containers if you don't have anything to use) you will need the following items:
large plastic bag
mix equal parts of perlite/quickrete/peat moss into a large container (make sure your gloves are on!)
for the three planters that I made I used 4 quarts of each mixed together. then add your water. add water until you have the consistency of cottage cheese and when you ball up the mixture it kinda stays together. (see above photo)
next spray your containers with your pam/cooking spray. for the first attempt i followed the instructions and used a separate container to stack on the inside and press the edges together. (see photo below of containers inside the bag) this method made it difficult to remove them. it messed up my containers because even with the pam i had to break them to remove them. i waited 2 days and tried to remove from the molds and this was the result.
sadly i had to start over...so i did a little research and saw a video from a few years ago on martha stewart's (my hero) show. they did not use an interior mold instead they just packed it into the mold(see photo above)...because who cares what the inside of your planter looks like?? you are gonna have it covered with soil & plants!
after a few days i used a rubber hammer (or in my case a rubber tip for a regular hammer) and beat lightly around the edges. slide it out of the mold and use a piece of sand paper to sand any rough edges. place them back into the plastic bag and store them in a dry place for a few weeks. it's very humid here in the south and i found i had to wait an extra week to make sure they were cured. i did not drill a hole in them like it says to...not sure if thats going to be a problem but for drainage i used rocks in the bottom layer. i was too afraid to try to drill since my first batch fell apart and this had been 6 weeks in the making since i first started the project. here is my end result.
so far they have held up nicely even in the rain. it's been 2 weeks and i havent had any problems. my next batch i will be using some of the techniques martha mentioned for adding texture and patterns...might even try some concrete dye to make colored planters for christmas gifts this year!
so in the end i estimated each planter to cost about $3 I still have a lot of materials left to make at least 20 more. pretty good deal if you can master the steps and have the patience to wait it out!