How to Make Hypertufa Tiki Heads

I’m going to try to do this without any pictures and I hope you can understand it.

The first thing to do is gather your materials for this project. You’re going to need a 5 gallon pail, your usual Hypertufa mix, some chicken wire, some contact cement, a brush to apply the hypertufa base coat, and some foam. The foam has to be rigid not the stuff you find in mattresses. Be sure that the foam is not affected by the contact cement. Some foam will melt when you tried to glue it. Another way to do this is use a hot glue gun and glue.

Draw a picture of what you want your head to look like. Once you have the picture clear in your mind (and on paper) you can proceed.

The first thing to do is form a cylinder with the chicken wire that will fit over the pail. If the handle is still on the pail removed it now. Once you have done this you can turn the pail over so as a top facing up and slipped the chicken wire cylinder over at. If you think the chicken wire cylinder might fall off you can get some screws and big flat washers and screw it on. The best way is to cut your flat washers out of old aluminum cans. The aluminum is easy to cut with scissors and you could just poke a hole in a for the screw.

Now that the chicken wire is secure begin cutting pieces of foam. Cut a piece for the forehead. Some eyes, a nose and of course the mouth. Use your hot glue to stick them in the appropriate places. You will probably want to make some ears as well.

Now take a good look at it and decide if you’re happy with its appearance. If you’re not it can be modified. What I do is make the forehead go down as far as the ears and then make holes in the forehead for the eyes. If you look at a face you will see your eyes are about level with the top of your ears. Your forehead sticks out and your eyes are indents. And then of course your nose sticks out and your mouth is defined by your lips which generally stick out as well.

The easiest way for the mouth is to make it closed. Having an open mouth is little hard to achieve because then you have to decide the depth and whether or not there’s going to be teeth etc.

When you are happy with how it looks mix up some cement with just a bit of peat moss and it. Make it thick enough that it won’t run off. Give your head (the one you are working on) a coat of this using the paint brush. But don’t worry about covering everything this is just sort of a base coat to be sure that your Hypertufa will stick well. So if there is some wire and foam sticking out of it is no big deal.

Let this sit overnight uncovered, but if you are in a hot, dry place it is a good idea to cover it with a plastic sheet or something. You don’t want it to be bone dry for the second coat. Once you have that done mix up your favorite Hypertufa recipe and cover everything smoothing often the appropriate places. I generally do three coats, the last one is again a thin one to just fill in anything that didn’t go quite right during the second coat.

Now it’s done, slip a black plastic garbage bag over it and let it cure for a few days. You may want to paint it with a sealant when it’s dry. I don’t bother I like to sit them out and let moss grow on them.

Another thing you can do is cut a hole in the top while you’re working on it and drop a big flowerpot into it. Then you can kind of build it in with your Hypertufa and once you’ve got everything done plant grass or something. Make it look like it is growing hair?

I hope you’ve been able to understand this, and good luck.