Why would you soak a dinner napkin in gooey concrete slush? It's not as weird as it seems! In fact, Kim Smith at the Hypertufa Gardener is a pro when it comes to turning large fabric dinner napkins and concrete slurry into breathtakingly beautiful draped planters.
You can easily make your own DIY draped hypertufa planters, but don't be afraid to get your hands dirty. What's could be cooler than that? (Hint: wear rubber gloves and a dust mask!)
First of all, mix up a batch of messy concrete slush. How? Combine 2 gallons of Portland Cement, 2 quarts of vermiculite and 2 quarts of peat moss. Oregon State University Extension recommends a small handful of concrete reinforcing fiber to make the hypertufa even sturdier, but it may also add to the rustic appearance.
To create a smooth slush, sift the peat moss before mixing. After the ingredients are combined, use your hands to blend in any remaining chunks of peat or unmixed cement. So much fun!
Test the mixture frequently, advises Fine Gardening. It's much easier to add more water than to adjust dry ingredients to make your slurry less sloppy. However, if your slurry ends up too watery, go ahead and add a little more Portland Cement. The perfect mixture for draped planters isn't too thick, sticks to your fingers and runs off slowly when you dip your hands in the slurry.
Create a "tower" to serve as the form for your hypertufa planter, then cover the tower with plastic. Nearly anything with a tall, narrow shape will work. Believe it or not, the planter shown below was formed on a stack of three 1-quart paint cans!
Test the height of your tower by draping it with the dry dinner napkin. If the tower is high enough, the dinner napkin will drape nicely without touching the work surface. Allow a little extra height to allow for the extra weight created by the slurry-covered napkin.
Cover the paint cans with plastic sheeting, then dip the dinner napkin into the slurry. Make sure every single inch of the napkin is covered. Drape the napkin over the tower, then arrange the drapes and folds in a way that pleases you with the napkin somewhat equal on all sides.
Let the napkin dry for a couple of nights, then remove the planter from the tower and pull off the plastic. If you're concerned about stability, strengthen the planter by brushing on a little extra concrete and water.
An inexpensive, 1-quart pot fits filled with your favorite plants fit perfectly inside the planter. (For detailed instructions, check out Kim's website.)
If you think your friends will love this awesome hypertufa planter, please SHARE generously!