Create a garden art flower with concrete or hypertufa and a dollar store chip n dip tray for less than $3 a piece! I first found these chip n dip trays back in July 2014 at the Dollar Tree where I spent an hour or so looking for ideas for projects. I stumbled upon these colorful chip n dip trays and realized it was a garden flower. My husband was like “huh” when I first brought them home and he asked me “what in the world are you doing with those?” but once I popped the flower out of the ‘mold’ he could see right away what it was.
For concrete garden flowers you will need:
- bag of concrete (or you can make hypertufa)
- big tub to mix the concrete in
- gallon of water
- shovel or other tool to mix the concrete
- heavy duty rubber gloves, face mask to avoid breathing in dust, eye protection
- optional, a corded power drill with a heavy duty paint mixer attached (which makes it so much easier to mix)
- Dollar Tree chip n dip tray (the Dollar Tree in my area had some the other day)
- spray oil (I used garage door lube which is similar to WD40 but you can use cooking spray)
- time and muscles because mixing concrete or hypertufa can be tiresome
One (1) 80lb bag of concrete should do 3 garden flowers. Both concrete and the hypertufa need to cure at least a day before handling and both flowers pop right out of the plastic chip n dip trays. Be sure to move your garden flowers to the shade where they can cure slowly for a couple weeks. Concrete flowers are heavier than hypertufa.
You have to add concrete or the hypertufa to the mold thick enough so the garden flower does not fall apart. This time I made these concrete garden flowers thicker and clunkier to use as stepping stones. The hypertufa garden flowers I made in 2014 are thinner and only about 1/2″ thicker and neater appearance on the bottom. Making garden art with hypertufa and concrete is a trial and error for most of us. Here are a few hints that I have found useful:
- you will want to keep patting and smoothing out the concrete in the mold (which releases air pockets in the concrete or hypertufa)
- you will have to keep using your finger to push in the “petals” because the concrete will ooze if it is too wet
- make sure you are on level ground and do not disturb the mold for a day
- from the pictures you can see there is a pitted look to the flowers which may be caused by not patting and getting all the air pockets
This would be a fun gardening project with the kids or grandkids. You could give them some paint and let them paint the flowers and use their creativity to make beautiful garden art. Concrete will absorb some of the paint so you may want to paint a base coat so you get truer colors.
For the past year the hypertufa flowers have sat in my garden as stepping stones in remote area of my garden where foot traffic is just me and the dogs (and I am no light weight). I made the original 2 flowers out of hypertufa before trying concrete. Concrete is heavier and my be more durable for colder climates while hypertufa is lighter and works great in my milder winters here in Virginia.
I hope you are inspired to think outside the box and create your own garden art. So you need to run to the dollar store and see if they have any in your area. Every flower garden needs a touch of whimsy! Be creative and have fun! Thanks for stopping by and feel free to ask questions!
Creating. Inspiring. Gardening without the rules!
2014-16 copyrighted material C Renee Fuller @ The Garden Frog Boutique