Hypertufa head planter

Perth, Australia

I thought it may interest hypertufa fanatics to see the results if a recent project i have been working on.

The hypertufa head planter pictured was constructed from a cheap polystyrene head mannequin which i adapted to include a square base by sticking on a further polystyrene square.

The crown of the mannequins head was removed and a recess cut out to accommodate plants when the planter has finally cured.

The finished polystyrene sculpture was then fixed to a plastic pastry sheet with plasticine smoothed round the base edge

The whole poly sculpture was then coated with 9 thin coats of brush on latex rubber. I had been advised not to use many coats because it makes the latex mould difficult to remove from the original. The resulting 9 coat mould worked fine but in future i will go a little thicker with say 12 coats just to give a firmer latex mould. The latex coats were also extended about an inch beyond the edges of fhe base. This provides a good flange to adjust the mould when in use.

I allowed an hour between latex coats and this worked for me.

After there final latex coat i allowed the latex to dry over night until all the latex became tanin coloured with no white patches of uncured latex.

I then divided the sculpture in half with a ridge of plasticine and also on the working side a border of aluminium foil. The first half of the sculpture up to the upper rim but not inside the recess was then coated with a jacket of plaster of paris bandages. I made the jacket 5 layers deep. The plasticine ridge was then removed leaving the aluminium foil in place as the divider between the two halves of the jacket. I brushed the exposed side of the foil with dish washing liquid to prevent the second side of the jacket sticking to the first.

The second half of the jacket was then finished as the first had been.

The jacket and latex and original were all left to set for 48 hours.

I removed both halves of the jacket. Removed the latex from the poly original. I then rinsed out the latex mould and inserted an empty plastic plant pot inside the recess at the top of the latex mould. The rest of the latex mould was then put inside the two halves of the jacket. The jacket was secured with packaging tape in 3 places.

Loose hypertufa mix in 1.1.1 proportions was put into the mould from the base and i repeatedly shook the mould as i filled it to lose air bubbles. When the mould was full i inserted a chopstick all the way through the hypertufa mix until it made contact with the base of the flower pot which was inserted in the recess at the top of the head. The chopstick when removed will allow water to drain from the planter.

After 24 hours the jacket and latex mould were removed and the finished planter was brushed with a wire brush to give the desired textured finish.

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Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

wow nice

Well done!!! What a great head planter nice project.


Perth, Australia

My latest project planter using a similar process to the above.

additional latex coats used and the overlapping/vaseline appoach to separating the jacket halves was adopted for this work. These changes both worked very well and i willuse thrm in future jobs.

I am now working on baby doll heads as the next planter mould inspiration

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Nice pics!! Sounds great can't wait to see when the project is done.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

double wow

Perth, Australia

Doll head planter. 50 cents for old doll in thrift shop. Some think it a little spooky but i can't see it myself.

I am looking for new inspiration if anyone has any ideas. I am fine with execution but can be lacking in imagination

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Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Given a choice I would use the mature head and not a baby head, not that I'd call it creepy really. I like the realism of the first two.
Execution, imagination...at least you have ONE ...haha.

I think you had a gift of art.To me they are all awesome.I don't see nothing wrong with the baby head planter.The way you are lookng at it,that you only made a smaller head planter.I love the second set of pics you post.At first it looked creepy because it has eyes,but then again when you did that you jazzed it up a gave it that look. SO BRAVO!!!!! They are all really nice.


Perth, Australia

Many thanks for your really kind replies.

I am heading off in a different direction with hypertufa planters this week and will be attempting a 3 tier hypertufa fountain which will eventually be planted out with succulents. I have seen some pictured on the net and they make a fantastic display with all elements of height form and colour when properly executed.

I will post some pics when finished.

You are very welcome.Can't wait to see your next project.


Perth, Australia

Finally completed the bones of the fountain. The whole is yet to be properly cured, assembled and pinned in place. I intend the bowls to be filled to overflowing with low growing succulents and perhaps a striking finial at the very top, TBA. The fountain moulds were plastic washing tubs and plastic plant pots, all of which i had lying round the house. This was a very very easy project to complete.

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That is beautiful!!! That is awesome looking!!


Clifton Springs, Australia

How very clever, Q of P.....that fountain is a beauty...
I know nothing of hypertufa.....
How long have you been making things using it.

Sydney, Australia

Where do you purchase this product ?

You might like to check this forum out


chrissy ^_^

Sydney, Australia

here too ...

Very interesting


We call it by another name here scroll down for the equivalent of Portland Cement mix.


Coffs Harbour, Australia

can you post some pics of the proces when you make the mould, as in dividing with the clay and aluminium bits. I can't visualise it. Your projects are great. What about doing old boots, or using toy cars?

Perth, Australia

Sorry for the failure to repond for some time. I have been busy on new projects. I have attached a few pics of some of my latest pieces. I am now modelling figures in modelling clay and then using the latex and plaster method described above except that i do not use clay dividers to separate each half of the jacket. I now make one half of the jacket, allow it to dry and then slick the edges with vaseline and apply the second half of the jacket with a half inch overlap on the vaseline edge. It works like a charm and both jacket halves lock snugly together.

I finished a latex coat on a figure today and will take step by step pics of the jacket process to demonstrate the process.

I have been using hypertufa for a year or so but now prefer a cement coir peat and mortar mix for my head sculptures as the definition is excellent and and it provides some necessary weight to the planters ... they need this if the plants are top heavy and tall growing.

I have also attached a pic of my original hypertufa trough planters which got me started on the process. I also adapted the mix by the addition of waterproof mortar and pond sealer to create s water troughs which have been planted with waterlily in one case and taro and other aquatic plants in the other.

Will post jacket photos in due course

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Perth, Australia

Ps you will note my original fountain now planted up with succulents behind my "fang tribe" head in a bamboo pole in the first photo. The fountain had only been planted up for 2 weeks and is already growing madly due to western australian glorious spring weather.

Wow!!! All of your projects or just so beautiful!!!!Can't wait to see wwhat you do next!!!


Perth, Australia

There has been a a gap of 4 years since my last post. I thought I might update you with some of my recent figures. I now sell locally at markets in western Australia and a hobby has become a hobby business

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Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

those are just fabulous!! Congrats on your business!

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