Thursday, November 15, 2012


Make outdoorable snowfolk to seasonalize your garden décor for the holidays.  It’s easy so the whole family can join in the fun.  This idea can be scaled to any size you’d like-just remember, the larger your figures the more hypertufa you will need.  Mix up a batch of your favorite hypertufa recipe. (Here mine:

Roll large balls, medium balls and small balls.  Pile them on top of one another in twos and threes.  Use a large nail to poke holes in the head for eyes and one on either side of the middle balls for arms.   Allow to set and dry for two to three days.

Mix white sanded grout into a thick paste and use it to fill in =cracks and imperfections.  As the grout thickens, sculpt a carrot nose, buttons, scarves and other accessories for your snowfolk.  You can attach these accessories right after you sculpt them or wait until they dry and then glue them on with outdoor glue.
Make smaller snowballs out of the leftover grout to place around your snowfolk.
Prime the snowfolk and accessories with white exterior latex paint. As the paint dries, make arms by folding lengths of black wire in half and twisting the halves together.  Insert into the side arm holes with outdoor glue.

When the prime coat has dried, paint in color details with acrylic of exterior latex paints.  You can even use glitter as an accent adhering it with clear polyurethane varnish as the adhesive.

We decided to try this idea on a larger scale creating an outdoor duo where the larger figure became a fountain and the other a feature in a holiday container planting. To make the larger forms it is a good idea to make them hollow so they are light and easy to move. To make hollow balls, we wrapped cheesecloth around various sizes of plastic toy store balls, applying with a  hot glue gun.  Then a ½ i-nch layer of sand mix concrete was smoothed over the entire ball and allowed to set and dry overnight.  A one-inch layer of hypertufa was applied over the hardened sand mix.  The hat was made entirely from hypertufa by covering a plastic nursery pot.

When all component pieces were dry, a ¾”  concrete drill bit was used to bore holes on the top and bottom of each piece and pop the plastic balls.   The pieces were stacked on top of each other over a ½” copper pipe which also serves as part of the plumbing for the fountain or to secure it upright in the planting container.

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