Summer Fun with the Kids: Painting Rocks

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I’ve had a number of friends post now about rock painting. To be honest, I didn’t really get it. I mean, painting rocks?

Well, yesterday the kids were bored and looking for an activity. They even busted out last year’s Bored Jar for ideas and were realizing a lot of their ideas were “so last year.” And all that came to mind was rock painting. I figured it would be fun, fairly frugal, and be something different, so that’s what we did.

Now you might have a lot of these things on hand, but my daughter and I always love an excuse to head to Hobby Lobby! We picked up a value pack of paintbrushes ($4.99) and a pack of plastic palettes ($4.99). I don’t think you need the palettes per se, but they ended up being helpful.

We also stocked up on lots of paint colors! I chose outdoor acrylic paint because, well – it goes on lots of different surfaces and is suitable for outdoor use. We decided early on we wanted to use our painted rocks as garden décor. So, outdoor paint it is! These tubes were $1.99 apiece at Hobby Lobby. I also found you could buy a set of 18 outdoor paints for about $25 on Amazon. This would definitely be worth considering, as that works out to just $1.38 each. Good deal! I also bought some Krylon Sealer to spray on our finished rocks.

For the actual rocks, my daughter and I just headed to the beach. We looked for largish, smooth, round stones. Basically, ones that would have a good painting surface. This is obviously the cheapest route, but you could also purchase some on Amazon or a craft store. (Our Hobby Lobby didn’t sell anything suitable, however.) We made sure to wash the rocks of dirt and sand when we got home.

The first thing I do whenever painting is involved – particularly painting with permanent paint! – is to cover my counters. I happen to have a roll of thick butcher paper that does the trick, but plain ol’ newspapers will do too. I also found it helpful to use paper plates to work on.

We found it helpful to have a variety of different paintbrush sizes to work on different details.

We each tackled three rocks. Now, you can peruse Pinterest or the interwebz for intricate and elaborate rock painting ideas. There are no shortage of amazing things you can paint. But I’m not the world’s most crafty person and I assured my kids, this is JUST FOR FUN. It doesn’t have to be perfect or fancy!

Here are some of the rocks we ended up with. I periodically took them out on the paper plate in the sun to dry. I found it helpful to have certain colors dry before adding new ones. When done, I added several coats of the sealer.

This is one of my favorite rocks I painted! As you can see, the design here is super simple.

The final part was hiding our artwork in our garden. Some went right on top of the rocks that surrounded our planters.

Others went directly into the planters themselves!

It’s been fun this year focusing on making the garden a sweet space to hang out in, and I think these rocks are just the perfect touch! We have extras, so I imagine my kids will be making more masterpieces this summer.

It’s worth mentioning that some people enjoy hiding their rocks at parks or other public places for people to enjoy. This is definitely another option too!

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