Top Tips For Painting Pebbles and Rocks to Hide

I’m not sure where I first heard about painting pebbles and rocks. I likely saw something on facebook or instagram. We decided to get involved and we’re hooked!

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A ladybug, our first octopus and a fishy.

What is it?

Painting pebbles and rocks is where you collect large pebbles or rocks and decorate them and then hide them for people to find. Social media channels are full of photos of the pebbles and rocks you can find them in Facebook groups and using hashtags on twitter and Instagram.

How do you get started?

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Some waves, a fish and a big ship.

You can use large, small rocks or pebbles. You can buy them from  DIY stores, from garden centres, online and of course part of the fun is hunting for the perfect rock, stone or pebble on the beach and in the woods.

What you will need:

  • Pens/Paints
  • Some ideas for your designs
  • A Varnish

You can decorate your stone in variety of different ways:

Pens and Paints

POSCA is our favourite pen. They do a variety of  colours and thickness. The thick pens are good for colouring in large spaces and the finer pens are great for detail.

A cheaper option we’ve found are Sharpies, they aren’t great on darker stones but work pretty well on the lighter shades.

If the stone is porous this will make your pen run out quickly. You can get them in packs of 24 colours for under £10 and the kids love the variety. We love the metallic sharpies the best.

If you want to use paint (great for the bigger rocks and stones) then use an acrylic one based paint. We haven’t personally used paints. I have a 2 year old and 4 year old and the POSCA paint pens are enough mess for us.

What you need to do:

  • First wash and dry your stone (if you found it)
  • Think about your design, consider marking it out with a pencil or drawing it out on paper first
  • If you have kids let their imagination run wild, there are no limits. My son talked about not being good at drawing and how he can’t do it. Through a few weeks of creative fun decorating stones he’s really built his confidence up. He can create beautiful patterns and colourful stones anyone would be proud to find
  • Remind the kids to let their colours dry as some stones textures can be prone to smudging
  • Once the stones are finished consider leaving a little note. We write @godberstravel MESSAGE US on all our stones. We hope someone will find them and message us on twitter or instagram. We’ve also used the #loverocksUK they have a facebook page
  • Once you’re finished with your design you need to protect your stone. We use avarnish spray, it gives a nice shine as well as sealing the colours from the elements.
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You will need this varnish to spray onto your painted rocks and pebbles.

  • Let your stone dry thoroughly before you spray the other side. I highly recommend you do this outside as the smell is pretty toxic.
  • You are now ready to hide your stones.
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This is the first rock we ever hid.

Go forth and hide your stones

We have a stone bag we use to carry our painted pebbles and rocks when we head out.

We plan to take our decorating kit with us on our next few adventures in the UK. We’re excited to visit the beach and collect some stones and then decorate and hide them.

This is a fantastic indoor and outdoor activity. You can bring out the stones and pebbles when it is raining to be decorated and head out in the sunshine to hide them.

Our next batch are ready to head to Nottingham where Bilbo will be hiding them with his Grandma and Grandad.

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These will be making their way to Nottingham to hide with Grandma and Grandad

We’ve also had word some of our painted pebbles and stones have been found and will be travelling with their finders on their holiday to be hidden again. We’re really excited to see how far our painted pebbles and stones will travel.

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Hiding rocks in Cornwall was fun. I managed to nip out whilst the tide was coming in to pop this one on some broken concrete steps. Make sure you stay safe though!

Let us know if you find one…and post your own designs and experiences in the comments.

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Whilst hiding our rocks Bilbo found this rock, I think his face tells you everything you need to know.

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2 Responses

  1. Amanda Wasteney says:

    Had a lovely day in Looe Cornwall today and to top it off found one of your stones on the beach (Make A Wish and Waves design),as we are away next week we will look after your stone until then and hide it for someone else to find.Many thanks and enjoy your travels.Mark,Mandy and Logan 😊

    • godberstravel says:

      Awww i’m so pleased and thank you for taking the time to post and let us know. We’re looking forward to seeing where it ends up next.

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