Were you looking for the Draped Hypertufa How-To?
I have seen searches for Cement Draped Planters, Rags Dipped in Cement, and so on….But I have called it a Draped Hypertufa Planter and I have some directions here on how to make them, And there are some videos to watch which will help you make your own!
I am revising a post from a few years ago since there have been so many questions, and I have made some videos to help. I have the videos on my YouTube channel called Kim’s Gardens or you can check from the YouTube page here right on my blog.
How about a whole new look for a hypertufa planter? Since I work in hypertufa, I use the recipe mix for my hypertufa to make this draped hypertufa planter but just in a different ratio. You can adjust the recipe to suit how you want yours to look. I like a rough texture simulating tree bark but you may have different ideas.
This recipe is heavier on the Portland cement, and incredibly messy to make, but I am already planning to make many more. I have seen some photos on the internet, but nothing with complete directions on how to do it, so I have winged it! And these are some of my creations!
You can use any fabric you have lying around. It can be an old towel, a blanket, leftover drapery material, an old padded quilt*
( No, an old quilt is too heavy to handle and I learned the hard way.)
I have three YouTube videos with explanations of how to make these draped cement pots or planters. Here is the link from YouTube for the first one.
Recipe for the Draped Hypertufa Planter
My recipe that I have used for this project is heavy on the cement. And by that I mean that I use a lot more cement than I would in a regular hypertufa trough recipe.
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
Cut the fabric into a circle, an oval, or even use it as a rectangle or square. Dampen it and hang it from your “tower.” This will be the support that you hang it on to dry. If you want the pointed edges, be sure your support is tall enough to allow them to drape/hang.
Your tower is your support for the project as it dries. I used a bar stool for my first one. You can use a column of paint cans. or even a lamp shade. (NO, the lamp shade didn’t work for me. It may work for you.)
It must be something sturdy to allow your fabric to “drape” and not let the ends of the wet fabric touch to floor. It will change the look of your project if the ends of the fabric touch the floor/table. I have seen a few across the internet and Pinterest and the “puddling” effect can look nice.
Cover your tower in plastic! The piece is a little pliable when you attempt to get it off, but it was a struggle with that bar stool. You don’t want your piece to cement itself to the tower.
Your Cloth Will Be Heavy Soaked!
Check out how it hangs or “drapes” and pull it to one side or the other until you have a vision of what you like. The large one pictured at the top of the post was 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. It was a good decision, because that sucker is HEAVY after soaking it in cement gravy.
Once it is all mixed, and you have a consistency like meat gravy, not breakfast gravy ( I’m a country girl), put the whole piece of cloth into your mix and roll it around until it is all soaked with cement on both sides.
Wear gloves of course. I had to pick 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.
(BTW, I made the biggest mess in the garage floor. Oh my! But when it dries, you can scrape it off and the ShopVac takes care of it. Whew!)
I left my creation for 2 nights in a cold garage covered with a plastic garbage bag, then pulled it 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 into the garbage bag and left it for 24 hours.
**Important Note: Some sources on the internet speak of setting it to dry in the sun. My advice here is NOT to put it in the sun, but in a shady area and be SURE IT IS COVERED BY A PLASTIC BAG. This is what makes the cement cure!
After your project is fully cured and hard, you may drill a hole in it with your drill that you use to put a hole in the regular trough. Since it is very thin, it drills easily. No problem.
If you want to use it as a container in which to set a plastic pot of annuals or other flowers or plants, that is fine too.
These are the smaller draped cement pots and I have painted a few in different colors and I like them. If you like bright colors, then a quick stain or latex paint, even spray paint will give you any look you want.
How Durable Is It In Winter?
Questions: Will it be OK in winter or rain? Since I have made these for the past five summers, I can report that almost every one of my pots have survived snow and ice storms and mine have been in the rainiest springs and coldest winters ever! They are fine. Be sure to check the videos out. You may need to PAINT A SECOND COAT OF THE MIXTURE onto a finished planter if it doesn’t seem hard enough.
Remember, I have had failures too when the planter just did not get hard for whatever reason. Not sure why, but some just “flopped”, both literally and figuratively…LOL
Let me know in the comments if you have made a draped cement pot. I appreciate any comments you make. And remember, be adventurous and try anything. I have seen some wonderful draped creations out there. I don’t own any of the draped standing and seated full sized humans figures, but they are awesome!
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.