Painted Rocks Day 1: Getting Started

My First Two Painted Rocks!

I'd like to start by sharing the synchronicity of me getting started with Painted Rocks. As my Mom started getting involved with it I was starting with my own project - turning my "live" course into an online course. We started these projects almost in tandem. 

I loved seeing my Mom combine her errands with side trips to the beach and the parks looking for both painted rocks and starting her own rock collection of blank canvases she could use when she was ready to get started painting her own rocks. I would get texts from her each time she'd find a rock. I think a record day for her was coming home with 7 painted rocks. She loves each and every one of them. 

For several weeks she was collecting paints in preparation - and she was gathering supplies she had around the house from previous projects she'd worked on. She was getting herself set up. At the same time, I was researching online platforms to host my course; I was purchasing video making supplies; attending webinar training; making video's and learning how to edit them trying to get comfortable in front of the camera. The synchronicity of our two projects wasn't lost on me.  

What was lost on me, though - my limiting belief about my own creative abilities. I must have said almost daily "I've never been able to do anything like that" with regards to what people were painting on the rocks. It wasn't even a consideration that I'd ever get involved because, in my mind, this was NOT something I could do. This wasn't a conscious thought - it was more of a knowing I had about myself that was so strong, it never occurred to me to examine it to see if it was true or not. I just wasn't an artistic person - PERIOD.

I knew I was creative but always thought it was in a different sort of way - organizing, creating training etc. Years ago when I was teaching web design I had graphics people I worked with - my mantra then was "I can't even match two colors let alone make the graphics for these sites". This is how deeply ingrained this was for me. I didn't even like to be involved in the decision-making process when it came to layout and color because I "knew" I was so bad at it - I second guessed any of my choices. 

Ten days ago (on a Friday morning) I decided I DID want to get started painting rocks. I "knew" I couldn't paint but I also knew I could at least paint font on these rocks. When I say paint font, The week previous I'd researched transferring images onto rocks for my Mom. There are several methods for doing this, I'll include the links to a couple YouTube Video's below. My point in sharing this - I wasn't even prepared to WRITE ON a rock with my own handwriting, I wanted to transfer font onto the rocks and paint over it. Ya - my belief in my limited skills was pretty strong.

The rocks in the picture above took me 6-8 hours that day. I did it via transferring the font image onto the rocks with wax paper (see video below on how to do this).  It was tedious, frustrating, and MESSY! The payoff was these two little rocks that took me all day to make.  By the time I finished painting them, the font ended up looking almost nothing like the image I took all day trying to figure out how to transfer. I knew I needed to get good at writing directly on the rocks myself or this was never going to work long term.

I did that on Day 2 of my rock painting adventure, you can see that here.

Here are the video's I watched when I was learning how to transfer an image onto a rock. I can see some of these techniques being useful for certain projects - but it definitely WASN'T working for me when I was trying to use it to transfer font onto these little rocks.

Video 1 - The Wax Paper Method: How to transfer an image to a rock
Video 2 - Using Mod Podge : How to transfer onto stone tile

The Mod Podge method is something I'll definitely try someday when I'm ready to create images on tiles for the yard or house. It looks like it works pretty good - and definitely got my imagination going for the potential projects (that required no artistic abilities whatsoever - I wasn't "there" yet).

UPDATE: There are far too many tips/techniques and methods available for painting rocks to list in any sort of organized fashion via blog posts so I started a tutorial over on You can see it here: Painted Rocks 101  

I've added what I've learned so far but it will keep growing as more people add their comments and ideas. I'd love to have you join in, you can enroll here: Getting Started With Painted Rocks

I'd love to hear from you!
Where are you in the process? Are you a pro at painting on rocks, just getting to or are you in the information gathering stage? Are you ready to dive right in or are you stuck where I was for so long - worried you "may not have what it takes" to do this?

AND...where are you located?  The painted rock idea is spreading so fast, I'd love to hear where you're from and how long it's been going on in your area. Is it in full swing or are you going to be getting the group up and running yourself?

Join The Conversation - or get it started