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How to make a lightweight faux rock for a backyard

Updated September 27, 2018

Hypertufa is a process of making, by hand, a faux rock that closely resembles tufa, which is volcanic rock. This process creates a lightweight faux rock that can be any shape or size. You can create many things from this method and all are long lasting and will not freeze, crumble or crack in extreme heat or cold temperatures. There are many recipes for variations in colour and texture of a faux rock. These faux rock instructions include the basic faux rock ingredients for beginners.

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  1. Form cardboard boxes into a general shape of a faux rock. Fasten pieces with duct tape to hold the shape. You may need to cut the boxes with scissors or crush them into a particular shape.

  2. Cut poultry netting with wire cutters and place around the outside edge of the box form. Snipping the poultry netting with wire cutters in rounded areas will allow it to lay next to the poultry netting in a round form. Use bailing wire if necessary to hold the shape by attaching strips or pieces of the poultry netting together.

  3. Add 1 part Portland cement mix with sand, 1 part perlite or vermiculite and 1 part peat moss to a container. Put rubber kitchen gloves on and add water to the mix. Start with a small amount of water and add as necessary to obtain a mixture that will hold together in your hand but when you squeeze it just a few drops of water will drip out. Mix with your hands adding water as you need and testing the mixture.

  4. Spread the mixture on the faux rock form with your hands and press into the poultry netting form. Add more in some areas than others for an uneven surface. Let your project dry for at least 24 hours before setting outdoors so that it has protection from rain and dew that would add extra moisture to your faux rock. Wash the container out with water so it can be used again.

  5. Tip

    Use a large container for large projects so that you have room to mix the ingredients thoroughly. A small container like a coffee can will work for small projects. The ingredient mixture needs to be the consistency of cottage cheese for application. The cement mix will start to set within about 10 minutes and become thicker. It is best to mix items together as quickly as possible to remain consistent. You can colour the mixture of ingredients with any concrete stain or colouring, but remember that it will dry several shades lighter than it appears in its wet state. You can let the faux rock partially cure and used a spoon, trowel or screwdriver to carve a distinct shape of any sort into the faux rock.


    Do not inhale the Portland cement mix when you are pouring it or mixing it in its dry state.

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Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard boxes
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Poultry netting
  • Wire cutters
  • Baling wire
  • Rubber kitchen gloves
  • Container
  • 1 part Portland cement/sand mix
  • 1 part perlite or vermiculite
  • 1 part peat moss

About the Author

Mary Lougee has been writing for over 10 years. She holds a Bachelor's Degree with a major in Management and a double minor in accounting and computer science. She loves writing about careers for busy families as well as family oriented planning, meals and activities for all ages.

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