I love nature-based crafts because they give you a reason to take the kids outside, slow down, and focus on the world around them. Rocks are one of my favorite "materials." They come in near-infinite varieties, shapes, sizes, and colors, and of course, they're free. (Though, of course you can also buy them. If you want a collection of perfectly smooth, uniform rocks, larger craft stores sell them by the bag, usually in the floral section.) I searched the web for the best rock crafts, selecting them for do-ability, variety, and uniqueness of idea. No impossibly-detailed, tiny mandala paintings here, I promise, though those are gorgeous. As always, click on the link or the photo itself to get directions at the original sites.
I love the simplicity of childcareland's dominos. The brightly-painted rocks can be used in a matching game, but they also look beautiful grouped in a bowl.
Another easy idea that's great for younger kids, from Buggy and Buddy: letter stones. These are made using letter stickers from a craft store, so they're fairly difficult to mess up. Yay! Use them to play spelling games with young readers, or to leave love notes for your sweetie. Or both!
Coastalways brings us the next choice: Monster rocks! I love "monster" crafts because they can look however you like, so kids are free to design a creature as weird and wild as they like.
Yes, you can decoupage onto a rock! This photo of sweet stones is from Emily Neuburger. If you click though to her site, you'll see that the flip-side of each stone has a message of affection stamped onto it. Her hearts are made of both fabric or paper; either will work.
I love these spiders. They are, of course, excellent Halloween decorations, but I would keep them out year-round. I'm not afraid of being a little goth-y. The site that they're from is in Czech (!) and Google Translate tells me that these little guys are for sale, so there's no how-to. Treat this photo as inspiration! I will also post a how-to on a variation of this craft in the days/weeks to come.
I actually ran this very craft in the magazine I worked for, but I'm repeating it here because I love it so much: Everlasting house plants! Supposedly, cacti are difficult to kill, but I've managed to do it. These painted stone versions, however, will never rot from over-watering! Plus they are charming as heck. Click on over to Craftberry Bush for directions.
This little chorus of cutely-worried stones is simply called a "garden thing" on Instructables, and sure, good enough. I think the poster missed an opportunity by not calling it a rock group, though. I would change two things about this. One, make the eyes a little happier (by keeping them as round as possible). Two, use a more serious, permanent glue, such as E6000, especially if you'll be setting this in a plant pot where it might get wet.
Here's a craft that's perfect for the person who can't seem to go anywhere without pocketing a stone or two for a souvenir: Cover one with a map of the place where you found it. Simple and lovely.
I've seen variations of this pieced-together-people idea, but this one is my favorite, because it reflects the style of the illustrator, lili scratchy. And, it's in French, which is still a cool thing, in my book.
My tenth selection is by another illustrator, Ingela Arrhenius. I love how simple these faces are, and yet they are so specific! I feel I could pick the flesh-and-blood versions of these men out of a lineup. I like the idea of adding dimension with an extra stone for the nose.
Are you a rock fan? Do you have any favorite stone-based crafts that I missed? Let me know in the comments!
I'm Debbie Way, an artist and writer who enjoys making things.