WHY DON'T YOU GO PAINT A STONE?
PAINTING ON STONES IS A FUN AND EASY CRAFT...FOR ANYONE TO ENJOY!
Hey! Why don't you go paint a stone?
No, that's not some new and cool way to say "get lost!" - comparable to: Why don't you go jump off the Brooklyn bridge?
It's a cute and clever way to say, Hey! Why don't you try this fun, easy (and cheap!) craft?
Stone painting. In this bad economy, you gotta love it...after all, the canvas is FREE! Also, there's just something so beautiful about using something that's 100 percent natural as your canvas.
This craft is super great for kids, too. It's the perfect creative project for them to enjoy doing outside, on a nice day.
Searching for "just the perfect stone" becomes a fun activity, in and of itself!
Maybe the shape of a stone will make you think of the perfect thing to paint on it...like an owl...that goes along with the round contours of the stone.
Or perhaps you already have a picture in mind before you start searching, and now you just need to find the right shape stone to be your canvas.
Are you onboard? Good! Let's go do some Stone Hunting!
WHAT ARE THE BEST SORT OF STONES TO USE? Any round, smooth stone is best. The bigger the better, of course..more room to design! But small stones can make cute finished pieces of work, as well. Try to stay away from bumpy stones. It's hard to work on a bumpy canvas!
WHERE ARE THE BEST PLACES TO FIND THESE SMOOTH ROUND STONES? The best place is always near water...because it's the WATER that "polishes the stone" and makes it so smooth and round! Riverbanks; lakes; the beach..these are optimal stone hunting areas.
DO I NEED TO "PREP" THE STONE FIRST? The paint will adhere better, if you wash and dry the stone first. That's really all you need to do! (Easy, right)?
NOW THAT I HAVE MY STONE, WHAT OTHER STUFF DO I NEED? Okay, there's some stuff..but it's not much, and you can pick it up at any craft store...maybe even the local Walmart or Dollar store.
ACRYLIC PAINT (BRIGHT COLORS)! It's best to use BRIGHT colors, because they will show up so much better, and make your whole project look more vibrant. But then, that really is a personal choice I'm injecting here, so if you want to only paint with brown (or black or gray...or even white, on darker stones) that's totally up to you! You can often find acrylic paints - any color of the rainbow - for about a dollar a tube in some craft stores. Most are about 1.99.
PAINT-BRUSHES (SMALL): You want small paint-brushes because you are working (usually) on a small canvas. If, however, your stones are huge, get bigger brushes! Any cheap craft store brush will do...no need to break the bank...unless you decide to get really serious about this project; like maybe you discover you have a real natural talent for stone art and can make some money with it! Otherwise...cheap is fine.
A PLASTIC PAINT TRAY: For mixing colors. A plate or bowl from the kitchen will do, too.
A CUP OF WATER: For cleaning off your paintbrush.
SHARPY MARKERS: Any color will do. You probably have some floating around in a drawer...everyone does...
MOD-PODGE: For those NOT in the know, Mod Podge is this fantastic glossy sealer that you can buy at Michael's Craft (or probably ANY craft store worth it's salt...or Amazon, of course!)....Mod Podge is cheap (usually under 4 bucks) and provides any project with that wonderful "finished" look...PLUS, a coat of Mod Podge will protect your painted stone from the elements...especially good if you decide to keep your finished product outside, in the garden for instance....they now sell "Glitter Mod-Podge," by the way...(Amazon even sells Mod Podge glitter GLOW IN THE DARK! COOL)!
GLUE" In case you want to add "body parts" such as a head, legs, or tail (for a turtle made out of different size stones, for instance...)
GOOGLY EYES AND GLITTER (OPTIONAL): Kids love these! The googly eyes are great for making cute "stone pets," and the glitter, well, if you are a girl or have a girl or have ever BEEN a girl, you understand the necessity of glitter. (Or you can just get the Mod-Podge Glitter - which is like two things in one)!
DO I NEED TO USE A BOOK? Only if you want to! You don't have to . You can certainly come up with your own ideas. However, a book may jog your creativity..or maybe (you sneak!) you just want to COPY a design from the book, then tell everyone it's your own. (Don't worry...I won't tattle on you).
WHAT DO I DO FIRST? First things first; figure out what you want to paint on the stone. Then DRAW it on your stone with your Sharpy marker. (Made a mistake? Don't worry! Either draw it on the OTHER side, or simply find another stone)!
You may want to paint a white background on your stone first....allow the paint to dry...and THEN draw on your picture. The white paint will make your finished painted picture POP out of the stone more!
WHAT ARE SOME GOOD IDEAS OF STUFF TO PAINT? Some popular, fun, and easy ideas for subject matter on stones are: Snails, lady bugs, owls, cats, suns, flowers, fish, and turtles. Of course, you don't have to stick to these ideas! You can paint scenes, people, or a platypus, if you want..or even plain designs, or "modern art."
NOW YOU'RE READY TO PAINT! Now comes more fun...the actual painting! Go slow...take your time...have a plastic tray for mixing colors, and a cup of water for cleaning your paint-brush off in between color switches. Also,it's a good idea to have a paper towel handy for wiping excess paint off the paintbrush, so the paint doesn't "glom onto the stone."
You may decide to give your stone TWO coats of paint...especially if it's a dark stone, to make your colors look more vibrant.
You might also like to paint a border all the way around your picture, for added interest, or try a different style of painting, such a pointilism, which implies painting with small dots of paint. You can also make tiny dots of paint going all around your border.
MOD-PODGE TIME! Once your paint has dried, brush on your Mod Podge. Make sure your paint is dry though....this is important, unless you want a messy, disappointing stone!
ADD EMBELISHMENTS IF YOU WANT: Sprinkle on your glitter while your Mod Podge is still wet! Glue on your googly eyes on top.
GLUE TOGETHER ANY PARTS, IF YOU NEED TO: Now you can attach all your "body parts" to that turtle....
VOILA! CONGRATULATIONS! YOU'RE DONE!
SO WHAT CAN I DO WITH MY FINISHED PRODUCT?
PAINTED STONES MAKE GREAT GIFTS! Especially, when your kids make them....they're perfect to give to family members who will appreciate them oh-so-much. If YOU are very artistic and talented, and proud of your work, feel free to give your own stone art away as a gift, also!
NESTLED IN PLANTS: Painted frogs and bugs and snails always look cute nestled in amongst house plants.
PLOPPED IN THE GARDEN: This is a good idea for BIGGER works of stone art...
EMPLOYED AS A PAPER-WEIGHT: This idea turns your work of art into something practical.
THE GOOD LUCK CHARM: Proclaim your stone art as your new "lucky stone" and take it with you wherever you go!
THE REVIVED MODERN PET ROCK: Kids love this idea! Encourage them to make a little house for their googly eyed stone pet, and maybe a "play yard", bed, etc...and of course, neighbor stone friends....
SOLD AT A STAND, WITH OR WITHOUT LEMONADE: If your kids are really industrious, they might want to whip up a whole bunch of stone art projects to sell at a summer stand for some cold hard cash...maybe with some lemonade....After all, a Pet Rocks and Lemonade stand will always be far more popular than just a plain old boring Lemonade Stand!
USED AS HOLIDAY DÉCOR: Painting on stones does not have to be reserved just for summer! You can make stone snowmen, and stone pumpkins, and stone eggs for Easter, and of course, love stones for Valentine's Day!
OR JUST..PLAIN OLD ANY TIME, ANY WHERE DECOR! That's the beauty of this craft. The finished prodect is small enough to tuck just about anywhere, without being intrusive. Stick one on the night stand, the counter over the sink, the mantlepiece....anywhere you can think of, for some added personality and pizzazz!
DON'T WORRY IF YOUR FINISHED STONE DOES NOT RESEMBLE SOME OF THESE PROFESSIONAL STONE ART WORKS ON THIS PAGE!
Remember...some of these stones have been painted by PROFESSIONAL artists..... (just like the perfect little Play-Doh sculptures on the Play-Doh cans that always frustrate our kids so much, becauses THEIR dinosaur never comes out looking like the one on the can)!
This is your own work of art....however it comes out, is good....because hey, it's art, and art is never "good" or "bad"...it's simply an expression of your own unique creativity. So don't compare your stone to other's! Just enjoy the process...that's what it's all about. Realize that you might make a few duds before you hit upon your particular "stone style," and cut yourself some slack.
And of course your kid's stone art is always genious.....lovely nostalgic souveniers to save, that you will look back on fondly in years to come.... (and besides, they don't take up too much room)!
Now...I hope I have inspired YOU to go paint a stone!