I have a new addiction. I love painting rocks and hiding them in my community for others to find. Here’s how this fun trend started and what you’ll need to participate.
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I’m not one to fall in love with every craft trend that comes my way. Don’t get me wrong, I have a craft room full of tools and supplies. A few items have never been used, but for the most part, if I buy something, it’s because I REALLY want it.
I first saw painted rocks at a craft show years ago, so this isn’t a new craft. This is different though. I first saw inspiration rocks on The Kindness Rocks Project. The project was started on Cape Cod by Megan Murphy, who painted inspirational words and quotes on rocks and left them on the beach.
I’ve always been a believer that a small act of kindness can change someone’s outlook on life. I had done some research on The Kindness Rocks projects, but I hadn’t painted any rocks yet.
One day I was scrolling through Facebook and saw that my friend Steph and her daughter had been painting rocks. They were beautiful! She told me about two Facebook Groups in my area for painting and hiding rocks.
Imagine a low tech version of Pokemon Go, or a high tech version of Easter Egg Hunting. I’ve never known a kid who didn’t like hunting for eggs. With rocks, you paint them and hide them in the community for adults and kids to find.
How To Get Started
You can stick with a low tech version of this “game”, hiding them for unsuspecting people to come across them in their travels. Imagine finding a rock that says, “Think Positive” after having a bad day.
However, if you’re on Facebook and enjoy the interaction of others, finding a group in your area will be fun.
The amazing thing about the groups in my area is that they were started in May, and they have seen huge growth over the past few weeks. Each day, there are new people posting photos of rocks they’ve painted or hidden. There are also new people in the group that have found the rocks and followed the instructions on the back of them.
Groups encourage painters to mark their rocks with Post to Facebook and the name of their Group. This is a fun way to see how far your rocks travel.
I joined the Del-Mar Rocks and Eastern Shore Rocks Facebook Groups since they are in my area. Mary Lepore, the founder of Del-Mar Rocks started the group after visiting a friend in Lakeland, Florida. She wanted to bring the same community encouragement to our area. She started with 300 rocks that she had gathered and painted.
It was exhausting but very fulfilling . I have met some wonderful people across Maryland and Delaware. I have made new friends that I would’ve never met without Del Mar Rocks . The most rewarding thing about this experience is having so many people, mothers and fathers thank me for bringing their families together . I get messages about families spending time together going out hunting for Rocks and painting them and then going out to drop them together. This fills my heart with joy ! Del-Mar Rocks Founder, Mary Lepore
Group members post where they have hidden or where they have found painted rocks. Many are hiding them while on vacation in camp sites, at the beach, at the State Fair, and on their road trips. The painter always gets excited when someone posts a photo of one of their creations.
Rules for Painted Rocks
There aren’t any rules! You can paint the rocks with any design. I have seen our state flag, team mascots (Go Orioles!), breast cancer ribbons, Super E rocks in memory of a little boy, and poems. This is a wonderful activity for kids and adults.
If you are in a Facebook Group, they may have rules for participating, so check the description or pinned post at the top of the page.
When you find painted rocks, you can move them to a new location or leave them for someone else to find. Either way, it’s fun to post a photo to Facebook so the artist knows that it’s been found.
Supplies For Rock Painting
You might be surprised to find that you may already have some of the supplies you need. I’m learning more every day about which types of paint and pens work best, and I will update this information as I learn even more.
- Rocks for painting – I love the look of the large round river rocks, but they are proving difficult to find. They are smooth which makes them easy to write on. Any kind and size of rock will work though. If your rocks have a rough finish, priming them with a coat of spray paint with
- You can find smaller rocks at Dollar General and Dollar Store. Be cautious of rocks that are very shiny and have a wax coating. Paint and pens rub off of them very easy. You can boil them to get the wax off.
- Lowe’s and Home Depot may have bagged stones or you can buy bulk stones from a contractor. You may even know some places nearby to find nice rocks in a gravel pit, stream, or at the beach.
- Seashells are also pretty to paint.
- Paint, Paint Pens, and Permanent Markers – Regular acrylic paint that you buy in the small bottles works great, but some are better than others. DecoArt paints is a good brand to use.
- Inexpensive Elmer’s Painter Pens are great and come in bright colors. I had the best luck with the fine tipped pens. I found mine at Walmart.
- Sharpie Markers are great for drawing and writing. If you’ve made Sharpie Marker projects before, then you might have some on hand.
- I love Sukura Micro Pens for writing small words and outlining. They come in different thicknesses. The thinnest will allow you to put alot of text even on the smallest rocks.
- My friend had an Black Identipen that I fell in love with. It was thin on one end and a little thicker with a brush tip on the other end.
- Different Size Paint brushes – You don’t need to spend $50 on brushes, but the cheap plastic ones that are 10 for $1 are awful. You can’t do any detail with them.
- You might also want inexpensive foam brushes for base coating larger rocks.
- Acrylic Sealer – Since your rocks will be outside, you will need to seal them. Even if they aren’t outside, acrylic sealer will keep the paint from wiping off. A glossy sealer will give your rocks a bright shiny look.
- Optional Supplies – Primer paint is a quick way to coat your rocks so that you can paint them. Spraying several light coats of paint works best.
- I’m not an artist AT ALL! I use round sponge daubers, pencil erasers, and a straight pen stuck in an eraser to make circle designs, flowers, and animals. 40 Ideas for Painting Rocks has some simple rock designs.
- Wiggle eyes, rhinestones, sequins, and glitter add a bit of detail and bling to your artwork. You will want to use crazy glue or E6000 to attached these, so they don’t come off if they get wet. Hot glue will work for awhile, but temperature changes may make your embellishments come off.
If you aren’t already painting and hiding rocks with your family and friends, I hope this inspired you to start. Like the rock says, “Take the next step.”
I want to hear from you! In the comments, please tell me if you are painting and hiding rocks. What supplies are you using. Which supplies work best, and which ones should we avoid?
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I found one and it made me smile. It was at the home of my co-in-laws who are wonderful people. They have a corner lot and it was in their lower garden. Just a picture of a sweet flower and perfectly placed. Now we know the story. Sooo – it is in Denver!
That is wonderful! I painted more today and can’t wait to put them out.
Lily, Bailey and I need to get into this!!! Sounds like fun. Thanks for sharing all the info.
My kids are always looking for rocks. Wes finds the most. I am slowly building supplies so we can paint our own.