September's chosen theme is "Rock It!", and I knew instantly what my post would be about. As I have mentioned in previous blogs, and on my Facebook page, I am a huge fan of the rock painting craze. I pretty much jumped on the bandwagon, as soon as I heard about it. Gigi joined me, and Chad even likes to get involved.
If you haven't joined in yet, but you think you would enjoy painting rocks, hiding them, and finding painted rocks others hide, then I recommend you start on Facebook. Search in the groups, and find your local rock painting group. It is usually "(Name of your town/city/neighborhood) Rocks" or "(Name of your town/city/neighborhood) Rock Painting". There, you can link up with other local rock painters, get rocking painting ideas and advice, find out where rocks are hidden, see the rocks people are painting and finding, join rock painting parties, and see your rocks after they are found. Seeing the happiness your rocks can bring to people, is an awesome feeling.
I belong to several local groups, but my main one, is our Manteca Rocks group. It is such a fun and rewarding experience. There are so many talented rock painters out there. It is amazing. I have seen some gorgeous rocks. I have seen some with extremely realistic paintings of people's family members, children, and pets.
Whit loves painting rocks, and obviously I do too. It is such a fun thing to do together. Plus, for me, painting is my happy place. I quit painting for quite a long while, because it can be an expensive hobby. The most expensive part, tends to be the canvases. I have yet to have to spend any money on rocks, so free canvases. Plus, if you go to local landscaping places, and local nurseries, you should be able to find rocks for very affordable prices. I can get a huge bucket of rocks for $4, at a local rock place. So, once I need to start buying them, it will still be cheaper than buying canvases.
You can paint rocks of all different shapes, sizes, and colors. You should just paint top sides of the rock. The bottom should be wear you put your message. In general messages tend to contain instructions on posting a pic of the found rock on the painter's home rock group, the painter's signature, and possibly a message. I ask them to post to the Manteca Rocks group, I do my regular art signature, and write a short, uplifting message. On smaller rocks, I skip the uplifting message. I recommend using a permanent marker, to write on the bottom of the rocks.
To help your art show up well, and your bottom information be easy to read, I recommend doing a primer coat of paint. I tend to do white, but have often done solid color coats, that will go well with my art idea. Examples would be, a green primer coat for a frog rock, or a yellow primer coat for a sunflower. I highly recommend using acrylic paint, but other paints can be suitable, as long as you use a really good sealer. You can get clear spray paint sealants, or you can use Mod Podge. I use Mod Podge. It works well, and makes the rocks nice and shiny. You can also get matte spray paint sealants, if you would rather your rocks not be shiny. Overall, it is just important to remember to put a sealant over every inch of the rock, including your message on the bottom.
Also, total side note, if you want, you can decorate the rocks with stickers, just be sure to cover them with sealant. Also, I know people who print up their bottom message (group to post in, uplifting message, signature) on address labels, and applies those to the bottoms of the rocks, and put sealant over them. That way, your bottom message is totally legible.
You can paint anything you want on your rocks. Though, I strongly recommend keeping them kid appropriate, if you plan on hiding them. Adults definitely find lots of the hidden rocks, but so do kids. I have even heard of rock finding parties, where parents and their kids, join with other parents and kids, and walk all around towns, to find rocks. Think of it as the rock community's version of Easter Egg Hunts.
You can paint cartoon characters, pets, Sports Team's logos, book characters, flowers, movie characters, product logos,animals, insects, super heroes, and literally anything else you can think of.
You can also create quilt rocks. This works better with larger rocks, and your message on the bottom will be slightly different. Quilt rocks are rocks divided into sections, and painted one section at a time. The creator paints on section, hides it, and then anyone who finds it, paints a section, until all the sections have been painted. Then it is just hidden like a regular rock. My recommended bottom message for quilt rocks: Quilt rock: Once you find it, paint another section, and hide again. Once all sections are completed hide as usual. Post on Facebook in (Name of your rock group). Signature.
I don't recommend including an uplifting message, so there is enough room for each new painter to add their signature, if they want. However, you can do your rocks any way you choose. If you want to start a quilt rock, you should go ahead and divide it into the sections, and paint your section. Be sure to seal your section and the bottom, before you hide it.
The general rule for rock painting and hiding is.... Paint and hide rocks. When you find a rock, enjoy it. Then you either keep it, paint another rock to replace it, hide the rock you painted, or simply just re hide the original rock you found. It is considered kind to post a picture in the group listed on the bottom of the rock. You do not have to re hide rocks near where you find them. Some people even bring rocks on trips, and hide them in totally different towns/states/countries.
I recommend painting your rocks in stages. Allowing complete drying between stages, and always finish them with a sealant, letting it completely dry, and then hiding it. The general rule is to hide rocks outside, not inside stores and businesses. You can hide then in parking lots, but aim for places that are visible, and safe for the finder to access. It is best to hide them near schools, but not on school grounds, unless you get permission from school staff. If you initial layer of paint cracks, you can paint over it, to fill in the cracking, or you can just put a sealant on, and go with it.
You can get paints at affordable prices, at Walmart, Target, Joann's Fabrics, Michael's, Hobby Lobby, Dollar Tree, and just about any store with a craft section. I recommend buying acrylic paints, some tempera paints, glitter paints, stickers, paint brushes, and your preferred sealant. I love getting the glitter poster paints, at Dollar Tree, and adding bits of sparkle to my rock. As long as you let the paint dry completely, and use a good sealant, you can use almost any paint. I do not recommend water paint or washable finger paints.
Just paint. Hide. Find. Have fun. Spread joy. Find joy. Be kind. Spread kindness and cheer.
I would absolutely love, if you show me any rocks you paint. You can share them with my on my Facebook page. If you need any help, just let me know. Here are some of the rocks Gigi and I have painted recently. I especially love her Pumpkin Patch rock. As you can see, we use rocks of all different sizes.
Make sure you check out the other blogs, participating in September's Rock It Blog with Friends round-up!!
Karen of Baking In A Tornado