Making Art With Hypertufa
Aren’t outdoor sculptures so striking? The effect of a well-chosen outdoor accent can really add to the beauty and charm of outdoor spaces. I have been wanting to try some concrete projects for years, but I finally decided to give it a try this week. Creating something out of hypertufa, a mix of concrete, perlite, and peat moss, turned out to be a cool project with some pretty nice results. Since this was my first try, I definitely want to play around with it and see what else I can come up with and refine the technique a little.
For this project, I made a set of coppery pumpkins. They’re a cute little accent and you could use them indoors, on your porch, patio, or front steps. The fun part is deciding whether to leave them as-is or decorate them!
Tights or pantyhose
If painting copper-
Spray paint (I used Krylon fusion copper metallic)
- Mix the hypertufa
Wear a dust mask. Mix equal parts portland cement, perlite, and peat moss in a large bucket. Gradually add water, possibly up to one equal part. Mix in very slowly so you are controlling the consistency. It should not be crumbly but it cannot be too watery. It should be like a moldable mud texture.
- Cut a section from a leg of pantyhose. To make a larger pumpkin, use a long section and start at the top of the leg. Tie a knot at the bottom of the pantyhose.
- Stuff the pantyhose with hypertufa. Really squish it in there and pat it around to make a good pumpkin shape. I made a couple that were too flat when finished because I didn’t stuff in enough hypertufa, so you want to keep filling it in, forming it, and making it rounded as you go. When you have a shape you like, tie another knot.
- Use rubber bands around the whole thing to form indentions like the sections of a pumpkin. Your rubber bands will be like slices of pie or spokes of a wheel.
- Let your pumpkins dry without disturbing them for 4 days.
- Cut off the rubber bands and pantyhose, and you’re done!
- If you want to, you can decorate the pumpkin. I decided to give mine an aged copper look. I spray painted them with Krylon fusion copper metallic.
For the smaller one, I added some shading for a verdigris effect. I used folk art acrylic paints in dark green and gray, mixed together for various shading, and also added some antique metallic gold.
I’m going to be trying some more cement projects, so I’ll let you know how they turn out. The possibilities for making your own decorative pieces with this stuff are endless!