Video and Instructions for Making Draped Hypertufa or Cement Fabric Pots

Oh, the Possibilities ! Draped Hypertufa Pots

How about a whole new look for a homemade planter?

Try some draped hypertufa pots. These are cement pots or cement fabric pots made from the same mixture as we make hypertufa, but we make it with  extra Portland cement. Since it is being made from a piece of leftover fabric, and will not have 1-2 inch sides as its structure, it needs a strong mix of the Portland cement to be sure it is sturdy.

It is heavier on the Portland cement, and incredibly messy to make, but I am already planning to make more. I have seen some photos  on the internet, but nothing with complete directions on how to do it, so I have winged it!

 

draped hypertufa or cement pots from http://www.thehypertufagardener.com/oh-the-possibilities-draped-hypertufa/You can use any draping fabric you have lying around. It can be an old towel, a blanket, leftover drapery material, an old light quilt or bedspread. 

Best fabric: It seems to be a piece of OLD TOWEL OR A FLEECE BLANKET.

A textured fabric is better, hence the fleece blankets, old towels, etc. It seems to me that the more absorbent the fabric is, the better results you will have. The fabric needs to absorb the cement to be successfully strong and dampening the fabric prior to placing it in the slurry seems to be the best procedure.

You can drill holes in the draped hypertufa pots very easily with a drill after it is cured. Use a masonry bit.

 

Recipe on this one is heavy on the cement. I would use:

 

  • 1 part Portland cement (I was using a 2 qt pitcher)
  • 1/4 part of peat ( about 1 pint)
  • a handful of vermiculite and mortar mix depending on how much you want it to be textured
  • water, about a 2 qt pitcher as above added slowly as you get it into a slurry or gravy

If you have any problems locating the vermiculite or perlite, here is a source.

 

 

My posts sometimes contain affiliate links which means that if you make a purchase via the link from my site, I could earn a small commission. This doesn’t affect the price you pay, but helps me to support my website. Thank you so much.

HOFFMAN HORTICULTURAL VERMICULITE
List Price: $6.39
Price: $6.39
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Cut the draping fabric into a circle or  oval, or even use it as a rectangle or square for pointy tips. To see how it might appear when finished, dampen your fabric piece and hang it from your “tower.”  Your “tower” is the structure that you will use as a form to hang and dry the cement-soaked fabric. It will be HEAVY, so the tower needs to be strong. Cover it with a plastic piece so your fabric won’t stick to it.

 

Stool-lamp-hypertufa-gardener

My largest draped hypertufa pots were made over a bar stool. It stays on this support while it dries and will take on that shape and its draping will depend on how it “hangs” from the support tower.   Your support tower must be sturdy and allow the fabric to “drape” because it is this draping that makes the final outcome of the piece. Be sure to cover your tower in plastic!  The piece is slightly pliable when you attempt to remove it from the tower after it has cured/hardened, but it was a struggle with that bar stool.

 

Again, before you actually soak your fabric in the cement slurry, check out how it hangs or “drapes” by wetting the fabric and placing it on the tower you have chosen to use. Pull it to one side or the other until you have  a vision of what you’d like to see in the draped shape of your cement pot or finished piece.

Draped-hypertufa-gardener

The draped hypertufa pots featured here were made from an oval cut about 26″ by 39″. ( I had earlier made it bigger, but decided I just couldn’t handle fabric cut that big when it was dipped in the slurry. It was a good decision, because that sucker is HEAVY after soaking it in cement gravy.) Once your slurry is all mixed, and you have a consistency like meat gravy,  if you have any doubt that your mix won’t be strong enough, put in a little extra Portland cement.

When you are ready, soak the dampened draping fabric in your slurry mix and roll it around until it is completely soaked with cement slurry. Wear gloves of course. I had to dip the mix up and smoosh it into the fabric on both sides, being sure to get it into folds. Did I lie when I said it was MESSY?

Be sure to mix up enough slurry to get it all wet. Depending on the size of your fabric piece, you may need to double the recipe. If you have leftovers, have a few small  cloths ready to drape over a butter dish or bowl, or just pour it into those dishes to make  feet for a trough. When you are draping it over your tower, it is easy to pull and adjust until you get the look that pleases you.

 

Curing the Draped Hypertufa Pot

I left my creation for 2 nights in a cold garage, with a large garbage bag pulled over it. After two days, I  pulled the piece off the bar stool tower support with difficulty. It is slightly pliable at this point, but did harden after the next step.  I put it back on the bar stool and again put the garbage bag over it and left it for another 24 hours in the garage.

This draped hypertufa pot pictured on this page (with black background) is roughly the size of a laundry basket and it was draped over a stool. The draped hypertufa pot pictured with the blue background is draped over a paint can. ( I stacked three paint cans.)

“Need Extra Strength? Or Not Hard Enough?”
When your cement pot is piece completed, test it by feeling if it is very hard. If does not seem hard enough to you, mix up another small amount of the slurry, maybe with an additional handful of Portland cement, and again coat the outside of the piece while it remains supported by your tower. I used a large paint brush, but if you use a thin slurry, it can be poured and allowed to drip and run. Re-dry or cure and test it again for hardness.

draped hypertufa or cement fabric pots from http://www.thehypertufagardener.com/oh-the-possibilities-draped-hypertufa/

 

Try this draped hypertufa pot or cement planter and let me know how yours turns out. I am really pleased with mine. I want to make a smaller-bottomed one, and taller. I envision  a tall vase-shaped one in the corner  where the deck meets the patio. Maybe with a large Persian shield ( Strobilanthes) and wave petunias or calibrachoa? Or maybe I need two?

What would you plant in it? Please let me know. Give me some ideas!

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Kim, The Hypertufa Gardener

Hi, I am Kim and thank you so much for visiting my magazine! I am a gardener and a hypertufa maker. If you came here to learn about hypertufa, I have a lot of information. But I also write about flower gardening and using succulents which are great drought-tolerant plants.

Of course, I have some recipes and some random family concerns which I hope interest you too! Please page through the Magazine and find what you like! and Subscribe!

I also have a YouTube channel called Kim’s Gardens where you can see my hypertufa as I make them. ( See My About Page)

 

160 thoughts on “Oh, the Possibilities ! Draped Hypertufa Pots

  • January 21, 2017 at 2:09 pm
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    Hi Kim, My son recently passed away & I have totes of his clothing. I was wondering if I could do the same thing with one of his shirts or jackets? Turn them into concrete planters as memory gifts......as my son was a professional concrete finisher. Thank You, Annette Reply
    • January 21, 2017 at 5:26 pm
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      I am sorry for your loss. I am sure you could use some of his clothes and make cement-coated coverings for them so that you could always have something to remember. Try it on something small first and if that works well, do another. It would be a great tribute. Reply
  • December 23, 2015 at 10:00 pm
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    can this work with cement only without mixing anything else? Reply
    • December 24, 2015 at 7:15 am
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      Sure, but as I mentioned, I work in hypertufa so I add the other ingredients for the texture I want. Reply
  • November 25, 2015 at 8:56 am
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    Hi! I was wondering how you cleaned up the excess slurry mix after you had finished with your planters? I was planning on attempting this project but I'm unsure of how to dispose of any leftover product, didn't know if you had a method that works best. Also, I'm in Ohio and it's relatively chilly out as we are heading into Thanksgiving, will the temperature affect the curing process? I don't have a garage but I have an outdoor room/mudroom/patio type deal that I was planning on doing it in but it's not a heated room, it's essentially like a garage (concrete floors and a few windows) it stays about the same temperature as it is outside in there. I didn't know if this project would be best suited for another time of the year or maybe a different environment? Thank you! Brooke Reply
    • November 25, 2015 at 9:20 am
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      Hi, I have just posted today how I make regular hypertufa in the winter time. And when I made my first batches, it was early March and very cold. In fact, I made those in the garage too, as you can see the mess. Do you have anything to heat with to make it more comfortable? But safe? Perhaps you could make a smaller one and after it is partially dried/dripped, then bring it inside for 24-48 hours with an old shower curtain or plastic tablecloth under it. If it gets really hard, it should be fine to go outside on the porch. After about a week, mine were snowed on outside, no problem. ( I am in Ohio too.) Reply
  • November 24, 2015 at 7:41 am
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    Also live in S Africa, so hello Kim, Have been experimenting with hypertufa pots, without much success, some came out beautiful after two applications, only problem, when I was reapplying the cement slurry the pots became soft again, and do not retain water. Going to try ppc cement now, don't think the cement I am using is strong enough. HELP HOW DO I MAKE A HYPERTUFA POT using your recipe that is waterproof. Would love to plant direct in the pots. Also would like to make a small business out of it. Urgent reply needed. Reply
    • November 24, 2015 at 8:04 am
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      Hi Dolores, I am not sure what could be wrong since you say it is the same slurry and getting different results. Is it the same fabric? I am not sure. The only thing I can think is making a stronger solution by adding more Portland cement, whether you use the OPC or the PPC. I have never used the PPC. Sorry I can’t help more than that. Reply
    • December 27, 2015 at 12:20 pm
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      Hi, I am from Zimbabwe, and I too have been trying this out. Love the idea. I have no idea what perlite is or were to get it. And no one I speak to knows. Thought maybe using borax instead??? Anyway, my moulds wont set either. I am baffled. Help! Reply
  • September 19, 2015 at 2:19 pm
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    I am so excited to try making these but am having a hard time finding the vermiculite. What is it? Reply
    • September 19, 2015 at 2:45 pm
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      If you can't find vermiculite, you can always use perlite. These would be found in Lowe's or Home Depot in the garden section which has small bags of potting soil and orchid soil, maybe small bags of rocks etc to decorate terrariums. Otherwise, a garden supply store would have it. They would be more likely to know what you are asking for than the clerk in Lowe's. Reply
      • September 19, 2015 at 5:27 pm
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        So vermiculite is something you would normally use in the garden? It is more of a soil product than a cement product? Reply
        • September 19, 2015 at 6:16 pm
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          Yes, it is a soil additive. Reply
  • June 17, 2015 at 9:48 am
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    I live in South Africa Western Cape George. I tried your draped hypertufa and are so thrilled. I used a towel and hessian and came out beautiful. They are quite big. I love them I am still experimenting as The amount of water used is still an uncertainty. Our measurements is different from yours. Thanks for sharing it with us Reply
    • June 17, 2015 at 10:07 am
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      So glad to hear from you and that the pots have turned out well. I just posted about hanging them. I hope you will try that too. Reply
      • July 26, 2015 at 1:39 am
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        I'm still playing with your recipe for the draped hypertufa. I used baby receiving flannel blankets since they are light weight yet has pores to take the mix. My first ones didn't seem stiff enough. I tried to add more slurry to the inside bottom. I'll see how that does. Today I sewed wire into the corners of the blankets so I could bend the tips outward to dry rather than having them point straight up when finished and dry. I think it will look more like a flower petal this way. Reply
        • July 26, 2015 at 5:29 am
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          Sounds like you are doing well. And the wire idea should give you some great results. They will be pretty as flower petals. Reply
          • July 26, 2015 at 4:15 pm
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            It seems that I'm not using enough cement in the mix as they aren't getting hard. Will try it again but the wire idea will look great if the rest gets hard enough. Your video made it look easier than I felt it was for me anyway. Maybe the more I do it it will get easier. Reply
            • July 26, 2015 at 8:27 pm
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              Sorry it has been so hard for you. If you lived next door I would be right over to help. Reply
            • September 22, 2015 at 5:46 pm
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              Mine are not getting hard and I followed the directions. Reply
              • September 23, 2015 at 7:24 am
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                The only thing I might suggest is more Portland cement to your mix? Reply
    • August 21, 2016 at 11:55 am
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      Thankyou. Live in Oudtshoorn . Can I contact you ? Thankyou. Louise Reply
  • June 12, 2015 at 3:36 am
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    How much is a 2 qt pitcher. I am in South Africqa and do not know that measurements. Thans Martie Reply
    • June 12, 2015 at 7:00 am
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      Hi Martie, Do you measure in liters? If you do, it appears that 2 quarts equals 1.89271 liters which is very close. So if you are using a liter pitcher, for instance, just use the liter measure whenever the recipe says "quart" and you should be good. It is the ratio of the ingredients which matters. I hope this helps. Make some great ones. Reply
    • August 8, 2015 at 9:38 am
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      There are numerous websites that will give the conversion from quarts. Reply
  • May 31, 2015 at 4:58 am
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    Hello, I have seen a chair draped in concrete fabric, Do you think I could use your recipe, and would it be strong enough to sit of with cracking? Thank you Reply
    • May 31, 2015 at 7:46 am
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      I have never made a chair with this, so you could try it. I would make the mix with maybe twice the amount of Portland cement to add strength. Start with a small one? Reply
      • June 1, 2015 at 4:12 am
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        Thank you for your help. The chair will remain as the support for the fabric to drape over. Reply

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