This weekend, five months after buying the necessary supplies , Rob and I finally made hypertufa.
It's a substance that looks like stone or concrete, but it's made with Portland cement, Pearlite and peat moss, so it's lightweight.
After I wrote last April about our plans to make it, Lowe's Creative Ideas magazine featured a recipe and detailed instructions. I've been hanging on to those, and it was nice to have a paper copy with instructions while we were mixing up hypertufa in the driveway.
Before we started Saturday, we scoured our house for plastic containers we weren't really using, and came up with some ideas for making cool shapes. We bought bubble wrap from The I.D.E.A. Store to line a few containers with, to give the hypertufa some texture.
And because I wanted to make a globe shape, I'd months ago purchased a $1 glass light globe from the Habitat Restore. I pulled that out, too.
We mixed the hypertufa in a large Rubbermaid container, following these directions . We made several planters and I even convinced Rob to make a form for a tabletop for a small cast-iron table we use in our backyard. For years, we've used a plywood scrap as a table top. When mixing that particular batch, we also added one part sand, to equal parts cement, Pearlite and peat moss for added strength. I found that suggestion here , and realized when mixing that it required more water than the mixture without sand.
To be honest, Rob and I had a blast making it. Even though there's a recipe for hypertufa, we found the whole process to be less precise than say, making a Murphy bed  or a dog-crate end table .
I have a feeling Rob was glad he didn't have to take any careful measurements. And when we had extra hypertufa mixed up, Rob pressed some into some large pieces of tree bark we had left over from a log-cutting project.
After letting our creations sit 24 hours covered in plastic bags, we found them still a little too soft. (Although we did break the glass globe off our hypertufa globe creation - I just couldn't wait!)
We unmolded the rest yesterday and were thrilled with the results. The pieces we used bubble wrap on, especially, turned out well, although in the future, I'll be a little more careful that it doesn't get smooshed in the mold. The tree bark impressions turned out really cool, too. Very realistic.
The hypertufa is now curing in our basement, where our dehumidifier runs a lot. We'll leave it down there for two to three weeks, although I imagine when cold weather hits, we'll put all our hypertufa items in the garage.
We sealed up the Portland cement carefully (we had about half a bag left) and kept all our supplies together in our plastic mixing tub in our garage. It's fun to know that we could easily make another batch.