Painted Rock Ideas

    by Carol Stanley

    About the Author

    Carol Stanley has been a writer and speaker for over 30 years. She has written for several Arizona publications including the "Arizona Republic." She attended the University of California-Los Angeles and the University of Arizona. She authored the book "For Kids 59.99 & Over," among other publications.


    Dreaming up different ways you can use painted rocks will inspire you to collect rocks and start painting. Even though it is a fun craft idea for kids, adults can also enjoy the versatility of painting rocks. Painted rocks make unusual gifts for family and friends. Rocks will spice up your interior and exterior decor. The best part -- rocks are a free surface to experiment with paint.

    Materials and Preparation

    Collect a variety of rock sizes for different projects. Clean the rocks thoroughly with soap and water, and allow them to completely dry for a few days. Head out to your local craft or discount store and purchase acrylic paints in colors that suit your project; the paints are inexpensive and available in small plastic bottles. Sturdy, bristle brushes work best on the unpredictable rock surface. Use a thin-tip marking pen for your basic drawing. A base coat of gesso will help the paint adhere to the rock. Spray with acrylic fixative after the paint is dry.

    Pet Rocks

    The pet rock was a fad in the mid-'70s, and was just a blank rock inside a miniature pet cage. Today you can paint your own pet rock with favorite animals. Work from a photo of your own pet or magazine pictures of different animals. Kids, with limited drawing skills, can improvise animals by adding features indigenous of favorite animals. They can make the rock their pet by giving it a name.

    Name Tags

    Pick rocks big enough to write out chosen names. Use a small bristle brush for clear letters. Make name tags for dinners, parties and other festive occasions. Your guests can take home their own name tag as a souvenir of the event. Paint a welcome rock to sit in front of your house with the family name. Kids can establish their territory with their names emblazoned on a rock, which can then be placed near their outdoor play areas or in a garden.

    Fruit and Flowers

    Make a centerpiece bowl of fruit with rocks. Pick out rocks close in size to each fruit -- they do not have to be exact. Paint apples, peaches, strawberries and add leaves for design. Try to look for long rocks to imitate the size of a banana. Paint favorite flowers on rocks and make your own rock garden or bouquet. Copy from photos and magazine pictures to get a likeness of each flower.

    Odds and Ends

    Painted rocks make suitable and decorative doorstops. Go wild with designs of polka dots, stripes and abstract shapes. Duplicate and coordinate colors or patterns in your house to tie in your decor. During your rock search, look for sizes that will work as bookends. Personalize the bookends by painting names of family or friends for a special gift.

    Photo Credits

    • Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images