How to Make a Decorative Garden Stone

Transform an ordinary rock into a colorful work of art that labels your plants and accents a garden bed.

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Basil Plants with Decorative Stone

Whether it's the dead of winter or the middle of a blooming summer, there's always color in the garden (and a story to tell) with a hand-painted stone. You can transform a rock into a plant or row marker, a message rock or simply dress up a planting bed. Painting and personalizing rocks is an easy, fun, half-day project that kids love to do and, even better, grandmas and teachers love the results.

Materials Needed:

  • smooth rocks and/or pavers
  • outdoor craft paint in assorted colors
  • small paintbrush and/or dabber
  • colorful glass discs, tiles
  • all-weather adhesive
  • stencils (optional)
  • fixative (optional)

Prepare the Rock

1. Clean rock, removing dirt, sand and loose particles. Dry.
2. Plan and sketch out your decorating scheme or artwork (image 1).
3. Apply a base coat (optional).

Paint Lettering and Decorating

4. Paint the designs you have in mind — like names of plants — either freehand or using stencils (image 1). Paint abstract designs and other decorations (image 2). Allow to dry.
5. Add decorative touches by gluing colorful glass marbles or tiles onto the rock (images 3, 4 and 5), following the directions on the adhesive package. If advised, work in a well-ventilated area.
6. Spray with fixative (optional).

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