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RE: Clay Pot Angel (Follow-Up #18)

posted by: dinajean on 10.15.2007 at 05:52 am in Garden Junk Forum

Hi shysue -

I wrapped the jute around an egg shaped styrafoam. I knotted together a piece of jute for the top to hang it, poked a hole in the styrafoam, glued it good and glued the the rest of the jute with tacky glue as I wrapped. The bottom is just a round piece of felt and then I just glued bees and flowers and ribbons here and there. Real easy.


clipped on: 10.23.2007 at 12:25 pm    last updated on: 10.23.2007 at 12:25 pm

RE: Tea cup birdfeeders (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: paintinfool on 06.02.2006 at 03:17 pm in Crafts and Decorations Forum

I have made many of the tea cup birdfeeders and I never drill a hole in my cups or saucers. I use E6000 adhesive. I purchase PVC pipe and the end cap. I glue the end cap to the bottom of the saucer and then I glue the cup to the saucer. The PVC end cap will allow you to place the birdfeeder onto the PVC pipe and yet you can still remove it to clean it. Hint - I rub a bit of vaseline inside the end cap to make it easier to remove from the pipe. You can also glue a spoon to the saucer for the bird to perch. I also spray paint the cap and pipe - but not the top of the pipe where the cap end goes, I tape that off. Hope this helps.


clipped on: 10.18.2007 at 01:37 am    last updated on: 10.18.2007 at 01:37 am

RE: * Snowballs * (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: trulyblessed on 11.06.2006 at 01:15 pm in Crafts and Decorations Forum

These were shared on the net last year....this is how I made mine
'Tis the Season for giving, so I have decided to give you all one of my favorite Primitive Christmas Craft Recipes for Free! You will love my Recipe for
So EASY, fast and fun to make! Even the kids can get involved! These were a Great seller for me last Christmas ~ and they can be for you too!!
It is my gift to you...and with plenty of time to make them for gift giving, craft shows, for your websites and shoppes, or even to sell on here on ebay! Don't forget to make up a batch for yourself too! So sweet tucked in an Early wooden dough bowl, trencher, basket, crock or Early jar... with a few sprigs of greens or cedar & some dried red berries! Fun! These Snowballs can be enjoyed Not ONLY at Christmas time but ALL Winter long ~ from November till the end of February!! Then, just tuck them away with the same care you would use with any Christmas Ornament, and they will last for Years & Years!! It was love at first sight when I first discovered the recipe for making these sparkly primitive snowballs in the 1999 issue of Gooseberry Patch... The Christmas Book! Those ladies are very talented for sure, and they were good enough to share this sweet recipe, so now it's my turn to share this fun holiday craft! I will explain below how to make them : in all sizes, big or the traditional Wintery White, or make the Grungy dirty snowballs... How to make them scented or unscented, and how to make them S*P*A*R*K*L*E in more ways than one, with lots of popular Prim glitters! I am also Including full instructions for making fun winter ICICLES and Glistening SNOWFLAKES with the same easy recipe & Tecniques! Packaging tips too, and how to turn them into Prim Ornaments! Also be sure to take note of where to get the best supplies for the job at very low prices and all can be found locally... Hurray for no online shopping!
These are SO innexpensive, and profitable to make and even a child can do it, although if you are making them for selling, you may want to make them yourself, just to be sure you get the perfect look you want! Lots of crafters are already making these exact same snowballs on ebay ~ You can too!
~*~ Wintery Christmas Snowballs ~*~
A Vintage Christmas Tradition
Making Realistic sparkly white Christmas snowballs has never been easier!!
Here's what you'll need:
1. A few packs of white styrophome balls in any size you like. They come in 1" 1.5" 2" 2.5" 3" and so on! Get them from Walmart, JoAnns Fabric, or any craft supply store. A package of a dozen is aprox. $2.00 - 3.50 depending on where you buy them and what size balls!
2. A bucket of white joint compound. Available at Walmart or any hardware store.
3. Your choice of either mica glitter, german glass glitter, or diamond dust (you can even use the clear glitter available at any craft supply store for basically the very same look!
(all glitters available on ebay. Just type in Mica glitter, Mica snow etc.)
4. fragrance oil for candle making which is available online at Wholesale prices, on ebay and also at any walmart or craft supply store!!
5. Nutmeg
6. brown craft paint
7. plastic or wax paper lined tray or baking sheet
How to make the BASIC traditional white snowballs BOTH scented and Regular:
To make the snowballs the traditional white and NON SCENTED, just Roll your styrophome balls generously in the already stirred joint compound and quickly drop the rolled styro. ball into a bowl of your glitter of choice. Mica is my favorite! Then just toss the glitter onto the ball and roll it around CAREFULLY to coat snowball evenly. GENTLY pick up the ball and shake off excess glitter, and place it onto the plastic or wax paper lined tray to dry for 2-3 days. Roll balls over atleast once in the middle of drying time. Dry FULLY! Use a nice variety of sizes!! If you wish to SCENT the snowballs, simply blend a few drops of your desired Holiday fragrance oil into the joint compound and blend well, BEFORE rolling your styrophome balls! Make sure you are happy with the fragrance before rolling the balls! You can always add a few more drops for a stronger, long lasting scent! The oils I use are candle making oils, which can either be bought wholesale online, on ebay or even at local craft supply stores and ofcourse... Walmart! I like using Jack Frost, Peppermint stick, Holiday Cinnamon, Christmas Sugar Cookie, etc...Wanna make them grungy??
How to make the dirty snowballs:
I have been experimenting and have come up with a New & Improved method for making your snowballs extra grungy, and so easy to achieve! Just place some of your joint compound in an old tupperware or cool whip container, and add your fragrance oil IF you are scenting them...and mix with a few drops of brown craft paint (available at any Walmart or craft store for about 49 -90 cents!) and blend to create a creamy Ivory Color! Start with only a drop, and add more drops of paint untill the desired color is achieved! Then proceed to roll your styrophome balls in the Ivory compound, roll in your glitter and set to dry as usual! IF you want little flecks of "Dirt" in your snowballs, just add a sprinkle of nutmeg to the compound and paint, before rolling the balls and coating with mica!
Because they take a few days to make, it is a good plan to start early!
Making Glittery Holiday Icicles:
If you want to make the holiday Icicles, just use the same easy tecniques as you would use in making the snowballs, but rather than coating styrophome balls, just coat CLEAR PLASTIC ICICLES with the joint compound and continue as usual. The plastic icicles are clear and are usually used as ornaments, but can be found just about anywhere in packages of 20 or more.You can make these white, or grungy as well, and scented or plain! Whatever you prefer!!
Great Fall & Winter craft show sellers or make for holiday gift giving! Try bagging up 1/2 dozen icicles along with a 1/2 dozen variously sized snowballs... all in a cello bag with a pretty festive bow and tied with some cedar sprigs or greens, and watch them fly off the shelves! Or toss them into a wrinkly brown bag tied with Twine and a "snowflake" hanging from the bag Or Grungy "Vintage Christmas Picture" Tag, with dangling Rusty Bell!! Fill old ball jars, or fabric covered paper mache boxes!
Making snowflakes is simple! I Like to use them as ornaments or hang them from the bag of snowballs or icicles as an accent! The same tecniques are used as the snowballs and the icicles. Just purchase the cheap clear or white plastic snowflake shaped ornaments from Walmart, dollar stores, etc.. in the Christmas section...and brush on the joint compound with a sponge brush... coat with glitter, bang off excess and set to dry... It is best to apply the compound with a sponge brush for easy application! Just DAB it on! Make them white or grungy just like you would the snowballs and icicles! Scent them up if you choose and toss a few in a cello bag!
You can tie a grungy piece of string from the tips of the icicles & snowflakes for the cutest Olde Time Vintage Ornaments for hanging on your trees or for gift giving~ Even for selling! If you wish to make the snowballs into ornaments, just cut a piece of rusty craft wire or any black will do also, and poke through the center of the styrophome ball... when the wire pokes through the other side, bend it over flat against the ball, Then proceed to roll in the joint compound, glitter it and set to dry! Be sure to bend the HOOK shape so it will hang nicely! The compound will harden around the wire and the hook will be STUCK for good!
These THREE crafts are so fun and most of the supplies can be found at either Walmart, or any favorite craft supply store. If you can't find them in a local store, all ingredients are available online & on ebay! ENJOY!


clipped on: 10.17.2007 at 07:34 pm    last updated on: 10.17.2007 at 07:34 pm

RE: Christmas is too close....please help me!! (Follow-Up #37)

posted by: blueiis on 11.18.2006 at 12:33 am in Crafts and Decorations Forum

A friend and I made some of these and took them to work, they went over very well:

Core an apple (we used Granny Smith), fill the hole with melted dipping chocolate, wait for the chocolate to harden. Then cover the apple with caramel, then cover with dipping chocolate, sprinkle with nuts before the chocolate hardens, roasted almonds are good. You also need to make sure the bottom is completely covered with chocolate because the caramel tends to sweat. You can also drip white chocolate over the chocolate for contrast.
Once the chocolate has hardened wrap the apple with clear cellophane and tie with some pretty ribbon.
Add a little gift card. The apple can be sliced, and makes for a delicious treat.
It's best to make these really close to gift giving time as obviously the apple doesn't last forever.

PS Don't freeze the apple, as it turns out horrible!

PPS If anyone has any suggestions on how to stop the caramel from sweating, I would greatly appreciate it.


clipped on: 10.17.2007 at 06:52 pm    last updated on: 10.17.2007 at 06:52 pm

My Gingie Pop ornament

posted by: lindaohnowga on 10.14.2007 at 12:43 pm in Crafts and Decorations Forum

Two muslin circles, coffee stained, sewn, turned, stuffed and painted with acrylic paints:

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clipped on: 10.17.2007 at 01:01 pm    last updated on: 10.17.2007 at 01:01 pm

Stepping Stone W/Pics

posted by: cacbeary on 09.13.2007 at 12:41 pm in Garden Junk Forum

I decided to start a different thread as I didn't want to highjack the birdbath thread.

Take your pic & glue it under glass with GE II clear silicone glue - it is for windows & doors caulking. It's weather resistant & waterproof. Then I took a popsicle stick on the back of the pic & rubbed it & took out any air bubbles or extra glue.

I put up the pics & asked advice on another forum as there was too much grout on them. I washed the grout off the one & added some more glass. I haven't grouted it yet.

I make stepping stones with Quickcrete Sand mix - smoother. I made the dog bones with a cookie cutter & did the paw prints of the dogs by putting saran wrap in a lid, put a little cement in it & then pressed the dogs paws.

It's fun playing in cement. I had a ceramic duck & the neck broke, recemented & then covered with tile & have a new duck. Did the same with edgers that we very old & ugly.

You wouldn't necessarily have to use grout to add the pic. I'm sure you could make a stepping stone & press in the pic of anything you want. That would work too.

As for the leaf imprint you make a stepping stone & place the leaf on the wet cement. Then you take small pebbles & put around the leaf so it helps press into the wet cement. That's it! When it's dry you just lift the leaf off & if it's stubborn you scrub it off. I let the stone dry for 2 days.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pic under glass


clipped on: 09.14.2007 at 11:35 pm    last updated on: 09.14.2007 at 11:35 pm

RE: Leaf Imprints in Hypertufa Troughs (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: plantman56 on 07.16.2007 at 09:39 am in Hypertufa Forum

Doing great Billie,
Was planning this for a class.
Make a container - imprint a leaf, add some color .

Many posts ago you showed a picture of some smaller containers, with leaves. They looked great. Thinking about trying that for the class.

I did do the two mix experiment with a flat stepping stone like mold. I worked well. And assumed that would work for a container. But was trying to keep it as simple as possible. Hoping to get a better leaf, (used oak leaf hydrangae, and viburnum and Stachys Helen Von Stein) and maybe keep the mix on the fine side, so I would only have to have one mix in the wheelbarrow.

I like the idea of adding some chunking peat in strategic locations - will try that and let you know how I do.

Also talking about how to color the imprinted leaf
Once leaf is removed, using craft paint, will paint entire leaf dark color. Then with a sponge brush, lightly overlay brighter colors. Two or three colors.

This will be tough for class - Usually class is one day. And I send them home with tufa in inside mold. Think that was another one of your ideas! Anyway - I do demonstrate how to remove from mold and texture, I guess I could also show how to color the leaf. Any suggestions -

Thanks - Happy Summer == Mike


clipped on: 09.10.2007 at 02:33 pm    last updated on: 09.10.2007 at 02:33 pm

RE: different kind of planter (Follow-Up #9)

posted by: jhosta on 03.16.2007 at 12:55 pm in Garden Junk Forum

good morning.this idea has been done commercially for at least 10 years.the first ones i filled had small holes it the center tube.maybe 1/2 inch.that is not big enough, make sure when u drill them to make them bigger at the bottom. they always seemed to dry out at the bottom and the bottom plants did not do well.
at the green house we used soil less mix and added time released fertilizer.impatience did very well.1/4 inch plug plants work the best.tamp down the soil, as you plant each row,by bumping the tube on a hard surface.not so it is tight packed but just to settle the soil.water really heavy the first watering fill the tube and water the top. then top it off a bit as the water goes out into the tube.
we also planted plastic bags again these were manufactured.sort of tube shape.they were planted on just the front of the bag.good luck


clipped on: 08.29.2007 at 08:46 pm    last updated on: 08.29.2007 at 08:47 pm

RE: PVC Pipe Planter (Follow-Up #12)

posted by: robb43 on 04.16.2007 at 05:13 pm in Garden Junk Forum

Hi All,

Thanks for your input. The stuff on the pipe is hypertufa. I
posted a tutorial which you can visit below. And I did cut
1 1/2 in. holes. Will probably stuff moss in around the
plants when I get them in.

Welllllllllllllllll. Your admin has the other forum blocked,
claiming spam. Nonsense. If you do a google for hypertufa
forums, you should find it.

Anyway, hypertufa is a mix of cement and peat moss. I put
hardware cloth over the pipe, then applied the mix.




clipped on: 08.29.2007 at 08:14 pm    last updated on: 08.29.2007 at 08:14 pm

RE: Little Greenhouse Table From Old Windows (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: kudzukween on 04.25.2007 at 09:39 am in Garden Junk Forum

Thanks for all the compliments, I've been waiting for this to be made for a while :) Robolady,so funny.....I found the little greenhouse we copied from a link on your site(more window ideas) over a year ago( we replaced our windows 2 years ago,so it might have been that long ago!)so of course you may use the picture and instructions. It was the link to HGTV,Decorating Cents.I painted one side of each window green,then DH attached the 2 windows together with L-brackets,then he measured the width of the open ends to decide how big to make the box. He used old 1"x6"'s for the sides and old plywood for the bottom. I thinned down some white paint to "white-wash" it,and painted the inside of the box with thinned down green paint. Then he screwed old porch spindles(they were already white,a great yard sale find) on for legs on the outside of the box,screwing them from the inside,turning it into a table. Then the windows were fastened to the table with hinges on the outside of the windows to the box. I hope this is a better photo.

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Here is a link that might be useful: window greenhouse


clipped on: 08.29.2007 at 09:56 am    last updated on: 08.29.2007 at 09:56 am

Picket fence made from skids ?

posted by: cs7580 on 04.28.2007 at 05:40 pm in Garden Junk Forum

Ok I'm going skid crazy. LOL I'm making a small picket fence from skids I got 3 skids put together all ready. So I'm asking ya'll do I keep going or ditch the Picket fence.

Here is a link that might be useful: Picket fence


clipped on: 08.29.2007 at 07:57 am    last updated on: 08.29.2007 at 07:57 am

Toad House

posted by: adina72 on 04.09.2007 at 10:20 am in Garden Junk Forum

I made this over the weekend after seeing similar ones on another's made from 6" PVC pipe cut to about 8" tall with a plastic funnel found at the auto parts store. I glued on the stones I got from the $1 store with GE Silicone II in a tan color then hot glued reindeer moss between the stones (after the silicone dried). The top was covered with a coco liner like you'd use for a hanging wire basket. The opening is about 4" wide x 3" tall, perfect for a big fat toad.

Image link: Toad House (31 k)


clipped on: 08.29.2007 at 04:32 am    last updated on: 08.29.2007 at 04:33 am

RE: Windspinners Part Deux (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: wackyweeder on 05.13.2007 at 01:59 pm in Garden Junk Forum

mary-It looks like the original directions are gone, I didnt do them or remember who did, but I will try to explain.
You need 2 pop cans. remove the top of the pop cans down to the shoulder of the can, (so you are left with 2 aluminum drinking cups, is what they look like)Yo can do this easily with a sharp pair of scissors as the aluminum is easy to cut.
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Next you have to cut the spokes down the sides of the cans-I made a template that was a piece of paper that fit around the can, divided into 8 equal sections, a bit over an inch each, I mark the spokes at the top and bottom of the can, then cut them on a diagonal, mark onegets cut over to mark 2 and so on.IMPORTANT! each can has to be cut in opposite directions, one slants left to right and the next right to left, or they wont fit together and you will go crazy figuring it out.
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Now poke a hole thru the bottom of each can in the center. To attach them together its easiest to string them on a piece of wire facing each other, held up by coffee cans or what ever.
Just fold the 2 spokes together forming a point and then do the next one till you are done. Then the gal who did them first hung them vertically, several stacked together on a wire. the use of a wooden bead between them acts as a bearing so they spin freely. I placed mine on a wire horizontally like a flower and attached to a stake.
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Its actually easy, its just hard to describe and the person who did them first did a much better job, I hope this helps
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This is the quick down and dirty version-If you have questions ask and I will try to help, I only had a few minutes this morning to try and explain.


clipped on: 08.27.2007 at 02:43 am    last updated on: 08.27.2007 at 02:43 am

RE: Peat Moss Purpose (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: billie_ann on 11.27.2006 at 09:50 pm in Hypertufa Forum

The original recipe for Hypertufa was Portland cement, sand and peat moss. The peat moss detriorates and leaves the piece with little nooks and crannies. This lets moss and lichens grow and gives more of a stone like appearance. Depending on what recipe you use the peat moss will give you a lighter weight mix as opposed to concrete.
1)the mix is not drying, it's curing. Peat moss retains moisture and will give you a slower cure than the straight mortar mix you used.
2) depending on the recipe you use and how much moisture you get the piece to retain while it's CURING you can carve for a couple of days.
3) "I still am not satisfied that the resulting stone is dry" STONE! STONE! I'm sorry I thought you were talking about hypertufa. sorry I'll go away now.
Make your mix, fill your mold,mist with water,wrap in plastic and put in shade, in 24 to 48 hours (depends on size and outdoor temps too)unmold,gently clean up, carve or wire brush, mist with water and wrap back up in plastic in the shade, depending on the plastic and mist piece with water and wrap back up in plastic for a couple more days,take out of plastic and place in water bath for a couple of days, plant!
You're off to a great start, a nice lantern would be a good next project for your patio. Take a look in the "Gallery" side of this forum, think there's some pics of planters and lanterns over there. Billie


clipped on: 08.26.2007 at 11:42 pm    last updated on: 08.26.2007 at 11:42 pm

RE: First time (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: debzone8 on 03.14.2007 at 09:06 pm in Hypertufa Forum

A bucket planter might be something to try.

Drill a one-inch hole in the bottom of a five-gallon bucket and then coat the inside with a mold release like Pam or vegetable oil. Put a piece of plastic wrap or something over the hole to keep the hypertufa mix from falling through.

Put in a couple of inches of 'tufa and then center a smaller black plastic plant pot on top of that. Carefully add 'tufa around the sides (between the pot and the bucket) until you reach the top and then wiggle/shake it for a few minutes to release air pockets. Cover with plastic and leave in the shade for at least 24 hours (assuming your daytime temps are +60, otherwise, you should wait longer.)

Invert over something soft (sand, dirt or lawn) and shake the pot out. If that doesn't work, try inverting over something hard, like your garage floor and dropping from a short distance. You may need to scrape leakage from the hole in the bottom and then push something through the hole to break the suction (that's why the hole is so important).

Once the pot is out, handle carefully. Mist with water and cover with plastic. In 24 more hours (or so) you can immerse in water to leach some of the lime. At any rate, keep moist and covered for a week and then keep in the shade for a month.

At that point, drill a hole in the bottom of the planter with a masonary bit for drainage and plant it up. This should produce a nice, big planter and an immense feeling of accomplishment!


Here is a link that might be useful: a bucket planter


clipped on: 08.26.2007 at 11:19 am    last updated on: 08.26.2007 at 11:19 am

RE: First time (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: jannoel on 03.16.2007 at 06:29 pm in Hypertufa Forum

Backdoor gardener, I think the easiest project I've done is a sphere but I didn't use a basketball for a mold. I bought a replacement globe light fixture that fits over the light bulb of a ceiling fixture. It is very inexpensive at Lowes or Home Depot. Just spray the inside with a vegetable oil type spray and pack it with your hypertufa mix. I used equal parts portland cement. builders sand and peat moss. After 24 hours, put it in a sack (for your protection) and beat all around it with a hammer to break the glass. It's fun. Voila, a perfect globe. Let it cure for a few weeks and if you want, seal it with Thompson's deck sealer or just leave it as is. You can also use a cheap fish bowl from Hobby Lobby or Michaels but they have flat bottoms and tops. Good luck!


clipped on: 08.26.2007 at 11:18 am    last updated on: 08.26.2007 at 11:19 am

RE: ridged plastic bowls for shrooms? (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: blooming_stone on 04.24.2007 at 05:49 pm in Hypertufa Forum

If you get to it at the right time you can carve setting concrete with just about any tool.

You can use a big pile of damp sand and sitck a wooden dowel in it and then push it around to create an inverted cone. That could make a mold.

Put a spike (laaaarge nail) in the top of the stump as it sticks out of the mould. The spike will anchor the mushroom in garden soil.



clipped on: 08.26.2007 at 02:47 am    last updated on: 08.26.2007 at 02:47 am

RE: Concrete item pics. (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: elephantear on 03.07.2007 at 09:26 pm in Hypertufa Forum

Hi, sydneydavis
First if you have never made leaves before it maybe better to start with a few smaller size ones.
For me it seems a little overwhelming at first-working with such a big leaf, so I'll just go with my experience.
First make sure you are in a draft-free place with no sun. Have a large pile of damp sand for the mound to lay your leaf on, keeping in mind how deep and wide you want the birdbath to be. Cover this mound with plastic wrap, put the leaf on the mound to see if this is wide and deep enough, don't get it to deep, small birds like shallow water. Next place your leaf with vein side up, facing you. Mix up your mix, I used 1 part portland to 3 parts sand, mix throughly, (remove any hard lumps) Add cold water gradually, your mix need to be like a thick Brownie batter place a large scoop or handfuls on the top of leaf, pat down to remove air bubbles and to cover the top, then proceed almost to the leaf edges, the cement need to be thicker at the middle of the leaf over the center deep stem/vein. Don't let the cement go beyond the edges of the leaf. I later found out from the experts here its best to stop about 1/4" before reaching the bottom to have nice even edges.
When finished completely cover with plastic wrap and walk away. VIP: Don't try turning large leaves over for 48hrs. Use both hands or have someone help when turning, these are still green and still very fragile at this point.
Now you can remove the old leaf, sometimes this can be very time consuming, especially if you are anxious to paint.
Keep water misted for about 7 days, during this time never let dry-out. Keep tightly covered with plastic wrap. If you have a large container you can put the finished leaf in a cold water bath, completely covering with water. Try to change the water daily to remove the lime-that create that nasty whitish look on your new BB. Rinse throughly when finished.
Let sit a couple of days or so then paint and seal.
Always use a mask while mixing the dry ingredients and always where gloves. Above all have fun! Possible other readers here can give you some ideas also. Wendy


clipped on: 08.26.2007 at 02:29 am    last updated on: 08.26.2007 at 02:29 am

RE: tufa sphere planters from basketballs?? (Follow-Up #20)

posted by: mudmaker on 01.26.2005 at 06:59 pm in Hypertufa Forum

I used a kid's rubber ball to make this 24" ball. Sometimes I float candles in it.

The small ball has a plastic ball inside of it. I got a big bag of them at the goodwill for cheap.


clipped on: 08.26.2007 at 01:11 am    last updated on: 08.26.2007 at 01:12 am

Why square?

posted by: amaretto on 12.09.2006 at 05:07 pm in Hypertufa Forum

OK, first of all, I want to thank Billie_Ann for cheering me on. Had it not been for the support, I would have given up and never taken on this project.

After my last project failure, being that it was only my second project, and my second failure, I was about to give up. Today, however, I woke up feeling quite confident, heck, I was even talking trash. I was even going to take on quite a big project. Pretty agressive for someone who hasn't had any success at doing this, but here is the plan:

This is an area in my front entranceway. Pretty sizeable area with only mulch and a huge tendency to gather weed. I think it's time to add something in the area outlined in yellow, and what better idea than a huge bolder-like planter. It's a good project to take on, because the less it looks like a rock, the more it looks like a planter. You can't lose!

So, time to creat the mold. Lessons learned from my first project: You don't necessarily need a square mold, and it only has to be strong enough to support the weight of the tufa mix.

Because I will be creating the tufa outside the mold, I imagined the area flipped upside-down and created the shape accordingly:

A few planters to secure depth, covered by some chicken wire should do the trick. To insure my cement doesn't just fall through the chicken wire, like it did in my first project, I'll cover it with some garbage bags.

And that's my mold. Pretty simple.

OK, if all goes well, that'll be my mold. My only concern is that the tufa mix will be too heavy.

That's the form. Opened my drain holes. My mold held quite niceley. It doesn't look so much like a giant boulder, but it'll make a nice planter. I'm hoping people will think I just sliced a boulder in half and made a planter. Yes, they will have to be naive ;-). I used about equal parts of White Portland Cement, Peat Moss and Sand. Gave the sand and the Peat moss a slight advantage, going for the 3:2:3 proportions, but I wasn't exactly accurate with my measurements. I also added a hint of yellow and teracotta dye.

I did a lot of chizzling after 48 hours, and went real hard with two BBQ wire brushes. They are now completely destroyed, and since I used my gloves for the cement handling, they are stiff, so I couldn't use the when chizzling and my hands are now full of blisters. Well worth it if you ask me.

Here is the final product, truly rewarding!

From up front:

From on top:

You can't really appreciate it, but the color has a hint of tan in it.

As far as size, I'm about 6 feet tall, and this is about as large as I am from the waste up. Two strong guys couldn't lift it, so we had to use a trolly to move it from the garage to the designated area, about 5 feet away.


clipped on: 08.23.2007 at 08:30 pm    last updated on: 08.23.2007 at 08:31 pm

fake rock photos - quickwall/mesh or concrete/mesh

posted by: ltd123 on 11.02.2005 at 10:24 am in Hypertufa Forum

This is a summary of my fake rock experiments. I think this technique is easy and makes great, strong rocks. I continue to be surprised by the strength of 2 layers of mesh and Quickwall (or concrete with fibers). These 2 rocks both held over 400 pounds with no changes at all. The big one weighs about 50 pounds and the small one weighs 20. The walls of the rocks are less than one half inch thick although in the photos they sometimes look much thicker due to the fact that I sort of turned the edges under at the bottom of the rock to add some solidity to the base. I slapped concrete on whatever shape that turned out to be. I don't know how much this thickened bottom edge adds to the strength of the structure.

My goal is to make rocks people can stand or sit on but I want these rocks to be light enough for me to move around by myself. I welcome any comments or challenges that would help me move farther toward that goal. Making them this strong but even lighter would be great.

Rick, in another thread you asked exactly how I made the rocks. Hopefully the photos will show that. Basically, I used a hula hoop for the bottom. I took 8 ft lengths of chickenwire about 12 inches wide. I squeezed the end of a length over the edge of the hoop to keep it in place and then made an arch over the hoop and secured the other end of the chickenwire to the hoop by mashing the wire. I repeated this with 4 lengths of wire and wound up with a very wobbly mound which I pushed on til it looked vaguely rock-like to me. Next I put black plastic over it so the concrete wouldn't fall thru the wire. I put a layer of mesh/quickwall on starting at the top. About 1/3 of the way down I noticed my quickwall/mesh was getting heavy enough to effect the shape of the rock so I quit and let it dry. The next day it was obvious I could just lift that off so I did. I called it my little rock and put a second coat on it. Meanwhile, I put the original hoop/wire armature over a garbage can for support of the wire mound. I did 2 coats on that and made the big rock. It cupped back under so there was so chance to lift it off the armature and the wire and hoop will always be inside the big rock. It all lifted off the garbage can so that is not inside.

The photos show how sloppy I am at finishing places that don't show. I have not done anything yet to color these rocks to make them look more real. You can see the pictures here.

Here is a link that might be useful: try this


clipped on: 08.23.2007 at 08:20 pm    last updated on: 08.23.2007 at 08:21 pm

RE: first project - disaster (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: plantman56 on 06.25.2007 at 09:55 am in Hypertufa Forum

too much or too little water can be a problem
My rule of thumb - MEASURE ingredients - including water
I use equal part water , peat, perlite , portland.
Add water slowly ( you may not need all the water - depending on the temp outside, assuming you are making it outside!)
Once mixed --- squeeze a ball of tufa in your hands - a few drops of water should come out.

Also try a differnt mold - you are asking for problems trying to squeeze the mix into a 10" container. Try a larger bowl and apply mix to outside of bowl.
Also do not forget to use PAM spray on the mold to release the tufa from the mold the next day.

I made many mistakes until I got it the waty I like -



clipped on: 08.23.2007 at 02:00 pm    last updated on: 08.23.2007 at 02:00 pm

RE: My first leaves! (Follow-Up #11)

posted by: justadncr on 08.14.2007 at 11:55 pm in Hypertufa Forum

Bluedog04 I used a cardboard box the right size and filled it with an inch of sand first. I then put down plastic wrap with leaves and the numbers backwards on top of that. Of course the leaves were vein side up. I then carefully put a mix of portland cement and sand on top of each leaf and then over everything and kept patting it. It is about and 1 1/2 thick.
Billie I made a very funky bird bath so I might go back to leaves. Like you said it will be winter soon. I have no leaf molds yet I just use the ones I have. I found zuccini to be very good leaves


clipped on: 08.23.2007 at 12:05 pm    last updated on: 08.23.2007 at 12:05 pm

RE: Cans...what to do (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: suemckee on 05.30.2007 at 11:08 pm in Garden Junk Forum

I work at a nursing home , they saved me 12 of these cans.I put up a 4x4x8 tall wood pole, I apinted the pole and cans white.I went to my shop and cut circles to fit the tops and put 3 cans on the 4 sides and painted the wood lids red,green and orange and cut a hole for birds to enter.It is soooo cute & the birds love it and I have 12 bird houses on one pole that look like a traffic light.Love it. Sue


clipped on: 08.23.2007 at 07:51 am    last updated on: 08.23.2007 at 07:51 am

Going to the Chapel Birdhouses and a Few Others

posted by: kirkus on 06.01.2007 at 01:33 am in Garden Junk Forum

Thought it would be fun to share some of my birdhouses... This first one is made from old ceiling tins from an old church. Got it on EBay at a great price (less than $10) and sanded it down so it would rust. I LOVE RUST! Placed it on my rustic fence in my backyard. If those tins could tell a story.

This birdhouse is one that also sits on my rustic fence in our side yard. Took this photo for our Christmas card last year. Love the snow on the church.

This one is a jar birdhouse I bought from a catalogue...the birds moved right in!!!!

This is a birdhouse made from a little bit of everything!!! It has a rusty, metal roof and all kinds of doodads.

Finally, this birdhouse I made from an old, hollowed out log. I drilled a hole for the opening, added an old doorknob and cedar shakes for the roof. The squirrels moved into this one. See that piece of ladder? That was leftover from the garden trellis I made out of an extension ladder that I posted awhile back. (Can you tell that tree was hit by lightning? Didn't kill it though. Just scared us!!!!)

I am such a avid birdwatcher! Thought I'd share a few of my birdhouses. I'll post more in the future! Enjoy! I am so inspired by the ones displayed and made on GardenWeb Junk postings!!! Kirk


clipped on: 08.23.2007 at 07:01 am    last updated on: 08.23.2007 at 07:02 am

RE: shiny bowling ball (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: auntie_clara on 06.02.2007 at 11:41 pm in Garden Junk Forum

A red bowling ball? Would look cute painted up to look like a ladybug. What ever you do with it, I would love to see pix!


clipped on: 08.23.2007 at 06:46 am    last updated on: 08.23.2007 at 06:46 am

RE: Birdhouse on metal pole (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: luvs2click on 06.05.2007 at 10:18 pm in Garden Junk Forum

Bluegirl is right - 1" galvanized pipe works perfect. Cats, coon, etc. can't climb up because it's too slippery. We use at least a 6 foot long threaded galvanized pipe. You will have to buy a pipe cap to put on it so you don't mess up the threads pounding it into the ground. (less than $1.00 probably). Screw on the cap and pound the pipe about 1 foot into the ground, or until sturdy. You will also need a threaded galvanized floor flange and a few galvanized screws to attach the flange to the bottom of the birdhouse. Then take the cap off the pipe and screw the bird house onto the pipe. Save the cap some place where you can find it later for pounding in future birdhouse poles. If the pole becomes loose in the ground over the years, unscrew the birdhouse, put the cap back on and pound it down a little further.

Galvanized pipe and flanges can be purchased at Home Depot or Lowes in the Plumbing Dept. We have all our bluebird houses mounted this way to prevent predators. We also like this way because the houses can be easily removed for cleaning.


Here is a link that might be useful: My garden pics


clipped on: 08.23.2007 at 05:33 am    last updated on: 08.23.2007 at 05:33 am

RE: Ball made of Cds.... (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: idic on 08.19.2006 at 05:37 pm in Garden Junk Forum

Well since you asked - here are the instructions that I have :-)
I can't remember where they came from (some one out in web land))

What do you do with all those free CR-ROMS you get promoting an on-line service? How 'bout making a CD BALL!

You need 12 cds. I made a template out of cardboard the size of a cd, which has 5 evenly spaced notches around its circumference. I used it to mark 5 dots on the edge of each cd.
Now tape 2 cds together with dots touching (tape on the unprinted side). Do this with 4 more cds so you have a "flower" of one cd with 5 petals.
Now tape the adjacent "petals" together, cupping the flower towards the printed side (the tape is on the unprinted outside).
Now glue all the joints on the inside with your trusty glue gun, and when the glue is set, remove the tape. Now do this whole thing again, but leave off one petal.
You should have two "bowls", one of which is incomplete, plus a loose cd. Fit the two halves together (matching up the dots) and tape. Glue all the joints inside; it gets tricky working through the cd size hole, but it CAN be done. The last cd can be put in by taping it in place, and shooting a little hot glue around the tape into the joint. After the glue is cool, remove the tape, and TADA! a cd ball.
I thought about putting a Christmas light in each cd hole, the reflections and cd rainbows would look pretty.


clipped on: 08.23.2007 at 05:27 am    last updated on: 08.23.2007 at 05:27 am

Marble Tree

posted by: saywhatagnes on 06.06.2007 at 06:21 pm in Garden Junk Forum

Thought Id share a fun Garden Junk project I enjoyed doing.
I used a dead Crape Myrtle branch but I think anything would work. Maybe a wooden fence post for something different.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I drilled tiny holes along the limbs and cut up some wire coat hangers, stuck the wire pieces in the holes on the limbs, then stuck the main branch down in a hurricane fence post. I spray painted the whole thing and hung half marbles on the branches of the tree with nylon fishing line.
I used GE II Silicone Window & Door caulk to glue the two flat sides of the marbles together (Id do a handful every evening while watching tv and lay them on a piece of wax paper to dry overnight). I also squirted a dab of caulk in the drilled holes before I stuck the wire in them.
Here's a close-up:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Its been in the hot, all-day sun and gone through about 5 thunderstorms in the last 2 months and so far, no lost marbles. Sorry for the picture quality. It really is pretty in the sunshine and the hummingbirds have been using it for a perch. Im thinking of doing one in all one color next, maybe red, and call it a glass Cherry tree. LOL.
Happy Garden Junkin,


Glue half marbles together and then tie fishing line around center
clipped on: 08.23.2007 at 05:02 am    last updated on: 08.23.2007 at 05:03 am