Hypertufa Recipes for Your Projects

Four Easy Recipes To Make Just About Any Garden Art Object

Start With One Of These Hypertufa Recipes And Learn The Basics

Here are 4 proven, reliable and time-tested hypertufa recipes that will help assure your next project will be headed for a successful outcome. These have been used by scores of hypertufa novices and artisans alike. I’ve also included mixing tips and guidelines to help you cut out any guesswork.

There is one “ingredient” missing from these recipes … your expertise. However, the expertise is really rather simple to attain. Obviously, the more experience you have working in hypertufa, the better you will become at knowing when your ingredients are blended to the proper consistency andare ready to be applied to your mold.

It Takes Just a Little More Skill Than Making a Mud-Pie

You’ll do just fine on your very first project by following all the directions, but once again, practice does make perfect. So, through experience you’ll get the hang of:

  • knowing how much water to add to get the right consistency — some projects need a little thicker mixture, some thinner;
  • getting used to working with the ‘tufa mixture — how it spreads, clings to objects, etc; and
  • knowing how to properly execute the form of the garden art object you are wanting to make.

If you’ve never tried working with hypertufa, then click here for a Beginners Hypertufa Recipe. I really suggest you start with this recipe. It’s a little more affordable because you don’t have to make a big investment in the various ingredients.

The following hypertufa recipes have two things in common — Portland cement and peat moss. Also note that the ratios of one ingredient to another may vary in these recipes. Please follow the directions, OK? Thank you. I want you to be successful, remember? 🙂

Portland Cement is NOT Concrete

I’ll repeat this so you understand fully … Portland cement is NOT concrete! Portland cement is an ingredient of concrete. Concrete is a composite building material made from the combination of aggregate and a cement binder. I don’t want you buying and lugging home the wrong 30lb., or worse, 80 lb. bag of product.

Also be aware that Portland cement is available in grey or white. Grey seems to be just fine for most projects. White lends itself well to a granite look — just make sure to use small or medium size perlite in your mix. White would also be your choice if you are using cement/concrete colorants. **Start by adding one cup of powdered colorant to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

4 Proven Hypertufa Recipes

Learn to Make These & Then Tweak To Your Heart’s Content 🙂

Note: “Part” = whatever container you are using to measure the dry ingredients. Use the same size container for all ingredients! This keeps the proper ratio needed for each recipe.

Basic Hypertufa Recipe A
1 part Portland cement
1½ parts peat
1½ parts perlite

This recipe is suggested if you want the ability to carve a pattern or design into the ‘tufa. It is workable while still quite damp. This would also be a good basic “granite look” recipe. (Use white Portland cement.)

Basic Hypertufa Recipe B
1 part Portland cement
1½ parts peat
1½ parts vermiculite

Vermiculite, instead of perlite, will add a little extra weight to your object. There is also a little sparkle to the vermiculite, which can be a nice touch. This recipe is also carvable as the one above.

Hypertufa Recipe For Added Strength
1 part Portland cement
1 part sand
1 part peat
1 part perlite or vermiculite

Note this is using an equal ratio of all ingredients. This mixture will give you a stronger ‘tufa. It will be a bit heavier than the first 2 recipes. Your choice of sand (textures vary here, too) will affect the final coloration of your object.

Hypertufa Recipe With Fiber Mesh For Added Strength
2 parts Portland cement
2 parts perlite
1½ parts peat moss
½ part coarse sand
1 large handful nylon fiber mesh

Note: The amount you need for a hypertufa project is very small in relation to the other ingredients. Ratio example: For each 1 cup measure of your dry mixed ‘tufa ingredients, the fiber mesh needed would be no more than a tablespoon.

Please be aware that the fiber mesh product might be a bit hard to find in your area. You may get a blank stare from the sales clerk when you ask for it. It’s used in commercial concrete applications, so … if you’re having trouble finding some, seek out your local ready-mix concrete company. They should have the fiber mesh already bagged, available to sell for about $10/bag. One bag will last you a looooong time.

In case you’ve not yet read Hypertufa Safety Guidelines please read it before you even think of starting to mix up any hypertufa recipe! Thank you.


  1. Ron Welchly says:

    I just wanted to say THANK YOU for providing such an enormous reference library for the DUI enthusiast. I feel it is important to let you know that your efforts are appreciated.

  2. Claudia Brownlie says:

    Thank you Ron for taking the time to pass on a very nice compliment. I do appreciate it! All the best in your garden art projects. 🙂

  3. Thank you for the information– very detail oriented and I am very thankful, hugs to you.

  4. LaVon Cloward says:

    Hi Claudia,
    My name is LaVon. I am 76 yrs old and just starting to do this awesome craft.
    I thank you for the information you have put out for the rest of to us.
    It is such a big help. I plan on getting your book but have to wait a bit for that. Have you ever had it printed? I like to be able to underline and write notes..shows my age, right? I know what my kids are getting for Christmas, or my yard is going to have a hypertufa party come spring. I really want to do a tiki head. Thank you again…

  5. Claudia Brownlie says:

    You can print out one or more pages of the eBook, which many customers have done. But sorry, there is no printed copy available for sale.

  6. I cannot buy peat moss or vermiculite in Cyprus. Can I just use sand, cement and a plasticiser liquid?

  7. Claudia Brownlie says:

    Hi Jeannette: You asked, “Can I just use sand, cement and a plasticiser liquid?”

    First, understand this – you will NOT have a “true” hypertufa recipe if you can’t add in peat moss. Peat moss and the portland cement constitute the basis for concocting hypertufa. The peat moss particles are what help replicate real Tufa rock because slowly the peat moss will degrade, causing the little holes, crevices and such.

    Now, you could try using coir in place of the peat moss. I have written some articles about using coir, and also some other articles that will also be helpful for you: http://www.artistic-garden.com/?s=coir.

    But back to your original question – yes, you could try using the three ingredients you mentioned, however your result will be different in appearance than what it would be if using peat moss, or coir.

    But as I always suggest to my readers … give it a try and have fun. Make a small object as a test and see what happens, and then you can decide whether you like the finished outcome or not. Hope this has helped. 🙂

  8. Val Koeberlein says:

    I want to construct a Inukshuk statue 3 to 4 feet tall. Is the Hypertufa concrete mixture strong and durable enough? I would use natural stone but the difficulty of locating the pieces is not practical.

  9. Val Koeberlein says:

    If I construct the Inukshuk statue, I’ll make forms for the pieces and when they set up can they be carved and ground on to make them look like real rocks.

  10. Claudia Brownlie says:

    Val: If your hypertufa recipe is made correctly, and if you have constructed an interior support structure (frame) of some sort, then everything should work work well for you. Please do use the Search Box on my site, and read up on some of the topics that are about curing, proper ratios of ingredients, etc. Good luck!

  11. I’m making stepping stones. Which recipe would work best for that? They’ll be about 16″ circumference and 2″ thick

  12. Annette Hawkins says:

    Hi, is it possible to repair my HT turtle I had made, it was beautiful. Filled with succulents. My visitor yesterday, drove the car into the side of it and part of it fell away. Can this be repaired? I would love to hear from you. Thank you.

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