How to make papercrete containers #2

Oostburg, WI(Zone 5b)

Here's a new thread for us to continue sharing ideas and projects. Thanks Tomtom for getting us started on this activity!

And if you want to go back to review something, here is where you go... http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/472203/

This message was edited Oct 28, 2011 8:18 AM

Sand Springs (Tulsa), OK(Zone 7a)

I'm here. Love the things you are making! Definately going to do some of that come spring.

Dahlonega, GA

Me too , I'm keeping up !

Ventress, LA(Zone 8b)

I'm hoping TomTom will drop in.

Sand Springs (Tulsa), OK(Zone 7a)

I'm following along too!

Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

Same here. ^_^

Oostburg, WI(Zone 5b)

Is it spring yet?

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

It is here!!!

Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

Some people have all the luck. ;-)

Oostburg, WI(Zone 5b)

ha ha I do need the seasons and as lovely as the fall has been, not complaining too much. I finally have some flower beds completed so am anxious to do some papercrete containers. I have two great styrofoam containers in the garage I want to use for the forms. Hurry up winter so we can get to spring...

I did a seed swap with Tomtom many years ago and still have some of the seed. She gardens in a small lot and her containers were to die for. She has a very artistic eye and her plant combinations were beautiful.

Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

I enjoy the change of seasons too. Hopefully, TomTom will be back on the thread. I'm anxious to try this either over the winter or next spring. What kind of styrofoam containers are you using?

Oostburg, WI(Zone 5b)

A round cylinder one and a rectangular one that I found who knows where. I snagged them thinking they'd be great forms to make a pot around. :) freebies, ya know...

Clarksville, TN(Zone 6b)

Is the cylinder tall?

Styrofoam has gotten so expensive. I couldn't believe the price of Styrofoam balls at Walmart. Good grief. :( I always scout around for freebies. It's the only way to go, isn't it? :)

This message was edited Nov 10, 2011 3:21 PM

Oostburg, WI(Zone 5b)

Without going out to measure it, I'd guess it is 14-15 inches tall and about 10-12 in. in diameter.

Vieques, PR

I'm aiming to try this technique to produce large pots that fit around the posts holding up our pergola.

That is, matching pots each with one side that looks like, well, a planter, while the other will be "notched" in precisely the same shape as the 8x8 posts but otherwise flat. Put them on opposite sides of the post, so they look like a very large planter, with the post coming up in the center.

Figure they'll need to have a low center of gravity and a fairly wide base, so they'll remain standing up instead of tending to fall away from the post. Alternative will be to provide some sort of connection between the two pots , at the post.

Oostburg, WI(Zone 5b)

That sounds interesting. I would guess using a 'dummy' piece of wood or styrofoam the size of the post and forming the pot around it would work quite well. Remove the 'dummy' piece when dry and voila! a perfect fit around the post! Very good idea JP!

(Bev) Wytheville, VA(Zone 6a)

Agreed, two separate pieces fashioned to be put back together around the post to form a single-looking pot is an excellent idea!! That would also help make it much easier to move, or remove, the big pots with plants intact! The weight of pot, plants, and soil make them impossible for me to use... this would help matters considerably.

You could band the two papercrete pot parts together around the post with wire, metal straps, or ropes. Depending if the banding would be seen or not (possibly hidden by plants), would dictate how decorative the fastening material would be. Yep, definitely a good idea to keep in mind.

JPlunket, keep us posted on your progress and show pics along the way please!!

St. Louis County, MO(Zone 5a)

JPlunket, just today I was trying to find a way to add a large pot near an entrance to our church. Your idea would be perfect, and by putting two parts together around a post I might be able to keep them from being "borrowed" by friendly neighborhood hoodlums. :D

Ventress, LA(Zone 8b)

Would you be able to plant the same plant all around. I am thinking part of the inside planter may have some shade.

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

I'm back.I was cruising around and found this again.Sooooo glad its carried over.
I confess to fast reading for pix of finished projects and saw some suggestions for removing paper from outside of planters.
Had anyone thought of "burning out" just an idea.It might not work in some neighborhoods.
I was thinking a blowtorch or grill lighter.

(Bev) Wytheville, VA(Zone 6a)

I tried the twisted newspaper trick again that TomTom posted originally. This time on a rectangular pot. It's still drying, but has a lot of promise. The papercrete is easy to manipulate (carve, file, smooth down) while its drying and even after its cured. I always seem to break a corner or something on every piece, so I'm trying to be more patient and careful, but keep the mortar mix handy, lol.

Thumbnail by Sundownr
(Bev) Wytheville, VA(Zone 6a)

I used a stick blender with this last batch of papercrete and it made the mixing easier and a finer texture of the 'crete (no big clumps of paper). It seemed easier to form, smoother surfaces, too. I burned up the mixer, but it was old so I don't know if that was more the issue than my abuse.

This batch of 'buff'-colored papercrete was the biggest yet and I got to make several pieces from it. I wanted to make a alpine/succulents planter table top for my grandmother's porch. I formed it into three separate pieces. It was a pain, but I liked how it turned out. I also got three fairy houses and two troughs/pots.

I'm still learning with each new batch of papercrete. I believe this is my new hobby/passion. Thanks again TomTom, where ever you are!!

Thumbnail by Sundownr
Dahlonega, GA

Looking good .

Oostburg, WI(Zone 5b)

wow, great work! did you make a mold for these first?

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

I wonder if letting the paper soak longer if it would disolve faster in the mix. I can see the advantage of the mixer tho.

(Bev) Wytheville, VA(Zone 6a)

ge1836, I've let the paper soak longer in previous pours, but the paper still wants to clump together. Next time I plan to use shredded office paper to cut down on prep time (sore fingers after shredding by hand for large batches) and see how the papercrete turns out. I also plan on using a paint mixer blade in my drill (can afford another stick blender). Mechanical mixing does create a fine smooth texture of papercrete and a nicer finish. The rough texture has a definite application with the primitive pots though, so I'll continue to use it for smaller batches . . . I'm still experimenting.

kooger, I used plastic storage baskets lined with plastic bags for molding the rectangular troughs. The fairy houses were free-form with papercrete applied to the outside of inverted clay pots also covered with plastic bags. I made the table (from scrap metal) and used a cardboard template to determine the fit for the top. I cut the template up into three pieces to keep it from being too heavy or awkward to handle, plus, if I messed up a section it wouldn't be too much trouble to replace it. Here is a pic of the cardboard layout before I cut it into sections.

Thumbnail by Sundownr
(Bev) Wytheville, VA(Zone 6a)

Here is a picture of the cardboard templates and the start of the Styrofoam molds for the planting areas of the table top.

Thumbnail by Sundownr
Northwest, MO(Zone 5a)

Wow!!! How cool is that.

Debbie

(Bev) Wytheville, VA(Zone 6a)

This pic shows the 1" cardboard sides glued and taped to the templates with the papercrete already formed around the Styrofoam. The small red things are drinking straws for drainage holes and cut to the thickness I needed for the papercrete to use as a guide.

Thumbnail by Sundownr
(Bev) Wytheville, VA(Zone 6a)

Here's the table top sections in place in the table frame. The pieces are still drying, but fit perfectly! I was worried the slurry was too wet and possibly forced the cardboard out some, but it didn't. One of the fairy houses will sit in the back corner and have a patio in front of it.

Note the difference in color as the pieces dry. the fairy house is almost completely dry and was made at the same time . . . it was thinner than the table top.



Thumbnail by Sundownr
(Bev) Wytheville, VA(Zone 6a)

Oh, the circular cutouts in the middle of each of the side sections are to allow placement of seasonal flower pots (3"). This is to be a planter for succulents which have different soil and water requirements than the flowers my grandmother likes, and they'll add color, too.

Oostburg, WI(Zone 5b)

Thanks so much for the pics and explanations. I really appreciate it! Next summer..... :)

(Bev) Wytheville, VA(Zone 6a)

You're welcome. I'm doing this in my dirty little basement because I want to be able to use them when warm weather gets here. The hardest part of all of this for me is the waiting! It does seem to take longer for the papercrete to cure out in the cooler conditions.

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

Sundowner. I agree ,just wondered if more saturation would make the job easier.The paint stirrer sounde like a great idea, or a bulb auger and a drill.

(Bev) Wytheville, VA(Zone 6a)

I'll let you know how the paint blade works when I mix another batch. I want to wait until the current project pieces are dried out a little more so I'll have room to spread out the new ones.

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

Keep us posted.
Happy New Year.

(Bev) Wytheville, VA(Zone 6a)

Happy New Year to you too!

Norridgewock, ME(Zone 5a)

I like the shredded office paper idea, but wondered how you will know how much to use. The original recipe was very specific about number of newsprint pages--how will you measure that as shredded paper? I've only tried this once, and I loved how the pots look, but agree it was a hand-killer for the steps of ripping the paper and mixing the concrete, and I had lumps of paper that didn't mix in and I had to pull out with tweazers after it was semi-hardened.

(Bev) Wytheville, VA(Zone 6a)

granitegneiss, I have the same thoughts about the shredded paper quantities. In looking over other papercrete recipes found on the Internet, I think I'll have to start from scratch and experiment using what little bit of experience I've gained from using TomTom's recipe, mostly on the quantity of wet shredded paper and how the mix is supposed to look and feel.

I've done more research on papercrete and hypertufa and think TomTom's recipe and technique is to get the specific results of lumps and cool textures to mimic the primitive tufa troughs made in the old days. I now think I should have posted most of what I've done on another thread since the results are much different than what was originally intended.

My apologizes for steering this thread to other uses and technique.
--
Bev

Oostburg, WI(Zone 5b)

It's all good, no worries. I like it on one thread. :)

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