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10 Ideas for Rock Painting

10 Ideas for Rock Painting
Nice painted colorful pebbles with bright colors.

When the weather is warm, playing outside with sidewalk chalk is a favorite pastime of many kids. There is nothing better than using your driveway or sidewalk as a huge art canvas, sharing colorful pictures and positive messages with whoever walks by your house. But how can you harness that creative energy when it is too cold to go outside? Scale it down by painting rocks. You can decorate cute painted rocks indoors, and then, following the principles of The Kindness Rocks Project, randomly leave your rocks around the neighborhood to share your art. And I have got some easy ideas for rock painting to get you started. 

By: Laurie Leahey, Cook Scrap Craft

Painting rocks is a wonderful indoor activity to do with children because it allows them to get creative, and it does not require a lot of extra arts and crafts supplies. For the most part, all you need is paint and a paintbrush. Some cute rock painting ideas may require a cotton swab as your painting tool. And if you cannot find flat rocks in your yard or elsewhere in nature, you can easily purchase some from a landscaping company or online. 

For all of these rock painting ideas for kids, you will probably want to paint a base coat of white or some other light color on your rock. Let the paint dry before starting your design. 

Positive Messages

Rock painting really took off with the origins of The Kindness Rocks Project. Its goal is to inspire kindness and community by having people paint positive messages on rocks and place them out in the world for others to find. So what easy rock painting designs would be good for this technique? 

It might be hard to paint words, but you could write a message and some fun doodles with a Sharpie or paint pen. Some good phrases are “Be Kind”, “Be Brave”, “Be You”, “Love”, “Smile”, and “You Matter”. Seeing one of these rock art messages will really brighten someone’s day. 


If you want your rocks to bring sunshine to someone’s day, why not paint an actual sun on your rock? For this simple rock painting design, paint a yellow circle with yellow lines extending out from it. Once the paint dries, you could even give your sun a face with a Sharpie or paint pen. 

Happy Faces

Speaking of faces, why not paint the entire rock yellow and draw a smiley face on it with a Sharpie? That would be a bright and happy design for someone to find while they are out for a walk. 

Silly Monster Faces

Monster rock faces are easy to do with just a little black and white paint. Use colorful paint (green, yellow, orange) to paint the base of the rock, and once dry, paint white circles with black dots in the center for eyes. Then paint black lines for the mouth and add sharp white teeth or any other facial features you want your monster to have. 


Rainbows are also a popular rock idea and very easy to do. For a rainbow, you will need red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple paint. Paint a red arch, and then paint an orange arch underneath that and a yellow arch underneath that, and so on. Use white paint to add puffy clouds at each end. 


A mandala is a geometric configuration of symbols, and it is easy to create one on a rock using paint and a cotton swab. Start by dipping the cotton swab in paint and making a large dot in the center of the rock. Then, make a ring of smaller dots around that center dot. Continue making rings of dots in different sizes and colors until the entire rock is filled. 

Marbled Rocks

For this easy rock art, you will need a few bottles of nail polish, two bowls of lukewarm water, and toothpicks. Pick three colors of nail polish and pour a little bit of each into one bowl. The colors will automatically swirl together. Then, dip a rock into the water so the top half is covered, pull it out, and set it to dry paint-side up on a paper towel. The swirly color effect in the water is now on your rock! 

Snowman and Other Winter Designs

It would be so fun to paint a friendly snowman on a rock and leave it out in the snow for others to find! Just paint three white circles for the snowman’s head and body. Paint him a black top hat, brown tree branch arms, and a colorful scarf. Dot on eyes, the mouth, and buttons with a cotton swab. 

You could also paint a mitten, penguin, snowflake, or reindeer on your rocks! 


Another silly rocking painting idea is to paint a rock to look like your favorite food. Using yellow, white, brown, green, and red paint, you can turn a simple rock into a taco or a burrito, for example. Or what about painting a watermelon or other fruit? Do not forget to draw or paint on a cute face to give your food rocks some personality. 

Easter Rocks

Around the Easter season, instead of dyeing Easter eggs, why not do something a little different and decorate Easter rocks? Even if your rocks are not oval-shaped like an egg, you can still paint on the same type of designs that you would do on an egg. Paint wide bands of color from the top of the egg to the bottom, paint lines of chevrons, or even paint on polka dots. These make great Easter decor that will never go bad, unlike hard-boiled eggs. 

These are easy rock painting ideas for beginners, but if you feel like you cannot do it on your own and need a little more guidance, purchase a kit. Lots of toy and craft companies manufacture all-inclusive rock painting kits: rocks, paint, paintbrushes, and instructions. It is all included! But if you are ready to go at it on your own, hopefully, these easy rock painting ideas will inspire you to make your own cool painted rocks. 

About The Author

Casey Christiansen

Casey supports the PR team at Zulily.

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