Monday, July 27, 2015


Beach Pail Container
While lolling on the beach this summer, I watched a couple of kids building a sand castle.  They were packing brightly colored plastic pails with damp sand to create circular blocks to build their fortress wall.  It occurred to me that these plastic pails would make excellent molds for planting containers and I found a nice blue one at discount store for under $3.  You can put a wire handle on the container in keeping with the pail idea and kids would love to help you with this project!

What You Need
-Large plastic sand pail- don’t worry about the design on it, look for one of good size                                           that is smaller at the bottom and wider at the top.
- plastic to cover your work surface
-a pair of mud gloves
-baking spray
-cross-cut shredded paper, preferably white office memos
1 bag sand-topping concrete mix
- plastic mix tub or large 5 gallon pail
-heavy wire for the handle and a large nail
-beads for decoration if desired
-and the little shovel that comes with the pail

What You Do
1. Spread out the protective plastic over your work surface and put on gloves.
2. Fill your plastic pail mold three times with shredded paper.  Dump the buckets of paper shred into the mixing tub or large pail.
3. Fill the bucket to the brim with hot water and pour over the paper in the large pail.
4.  With the gloves on, mix n’ mash the paper into a smooth mush.
5.  Add sand-topping concrete mix 1 cup at a time until you end up with a gray clay-like mass that resembles gray hamburger, around 5-6 cups.
6.  Spray the inside of the plastic pail with the none-stick spray and pack the hypertufa into the container from the bottom up.  ¾” is a good thickness for the walls of the container.
7.  Squeeze the rim to round it off and crimp edge with your finger or a stick.  Poke a drainage hole in the bottom as well.

8.  If you’d like to add a handle, poke two holes opposite from one another about 1” down from the top rim of the pail using a large nail.
9.  Allow to cure for three days.  When hard, remove from pail and burnish rough edges with a gloved hand.  

10.  Accessorize and plant up your sand pail container.

Tip:  Use small brads and a hammer to add decoration to the sides.