For some reason (wink, wink), I keep my eye out for special shapes and molds to make interesting hypertufa projects for any Holiday occurring throughout the year. I have made several, such as pumpkins, Easter baskets, shamrocks…and more to come. But when I ran across an ice mold in the shape of a skull from Wilton, I knew this would be a perfect Halloween skull. Wouldn’t it look great buried just at the surface of my front garden where the Trick or Treaters would be standing?
The Halloween skull would only take a small amount of hypertufa and would basically be an easy job. I thought the mold would be reusable so I could make as many as I wanted. (You’ll be glad to know that it survived wonderfully and I could make as many as I wanted.) Now this was to be a subtle decoration, so you just wouldn’t see it until you look down and see a skull gazing back at you from the ground. The startle effect is what I am going for, right? That’s the whole idea at Halloween.
Here is a link to a mold similar to mine. #affiliate link 3D Skull Cake Pan
My Mix For The Halloween Skull
I used my typical recipe mix that I am using at this time. I use Portland cement, vermiculite and peat moss in a 1:1:1 ratio. My small measuring container was somewhere between a quart and a liter (see the video) and it could have made approximately 3 skulls. But since I only had one mold, I made some other projects too. Watch for those in coming posts and videos and you’ll see what else I made.
The porous surface that the peat moss makes in hypertufa gave this skull a real authentic look. Some of the open porosity seems to mimic injuries in life or maybe the final injury that killed this creature, right? Am I getting too gruesome?
The hypertufa will lighten as it cures/dries. You can stain the hypertufa skull with wood stain. ( I think this works best and use semi-transparent so that the features show through.)
Several of these buried in different levels or heights ( I could have filled the back in a large mounded form to make a full skull.) I think this mold would make a good addition to a large hypertufa bowl. For instance, I could add it in the middle of a large dish like my crevice garden and plant some sedum so that the sedum grows around the skull. Now that’s an idea for next Halloween!
Now watch my video and see how it’s done. Remember to press hard on your mixture when you put it into the mold since you want it to pick up all of the nooks and crannies! Have fun tufa-ing!