Painted Name Rocks

Painted Name Rocks | Mama Papa BubbaBack in early spring while hanging out down by the river, we stumbled upon a new-to-us rock beach area begging to be explored.  While Miss G enjoyed throwing rocks into the water, I sort of randomly began filling my pockets with particularly smooth, nicely-shaped stones with some sort of craft project in mind (crazy mom alert!)  Though at the time I thought we’d use them to create rock bugs or monsters or something of that sort, with Miss G’s recent name fascination, a new project took shape.

IMG 2285It started the other day when Gracen wanted to make something and I really wanted the two of us to get outside and get some fresh air.  We pulled out our rocks, some acrylic paints, a couple of foam brushes, and set up a little workspace in the backyard.  Grae painted her rock collection all sorts of bright colours, while I painted mine with a couple of coats of plain white.

IMG 9299Once dry, I typed Grae’s name into a word-processing doc, selected a font that is similar to the way I’d like her to print her name (in this case Illuminate – see some of my favourite fonts here), and copy and pasted it using different font sizes just to be sure I had one that would work (in this case the top name, in font size 100 fit my rocks perfectly).

IMG 9303Next, I carefully cut the letters out.

IMG 9305Because my rocks were not collected with a specific project in mind, they were all a little bit differently shaped and sized, so I just took my letter cutouts and matched each one up with a stone as best as I could. 

IMG 9309Then, using a regular children’s glue stick, I stuck the paper letters directly onto the painted rocks.

IMG 9310Using acrylic paints again (we went for rainbow colours, because well, we love rainbow!), I painted the rocks.  I made sure to use a dabbing motion near / on top of the letters, just to be sure that I wouldn’t get paint underneath them and they wouldn’t move around.  Two coats of coloured paint gave really nice coverage and the white paint underneath really allowed the colours to pop.

IMG 9312My original plan was to actually soak the paper letters off in warm water once the paint was dry, but to my surprise, they peeled off very easily.  As you can see, the letters certainly weren’t perfect at this point.  I also had not yet painted the bottoms of the rocks yet {mostly because I wasn’t sure if this method would be a success}, so I made sure to do that carefully, but next time I’d do it before removing the paper letters.

IMG 9338Next up, I used a flat-tipped brush and some white acrylic to just touch up the letters here and there.  This certainly isn’t necessary (Grae thought the rocks were perfect as is), but it was really easy and did make the edges look a lot cleaner.

IMG 9341Lastly, once the white touch up paint was dry, I gave the rocks a once over with Mod Podge  to protect the paint from chips and scuffs.  I like Mod Podge a lot because it’s water-based and non-toxic, but you could use a spray-on finisher if that’s what you prefer.

IMG 9354Here’s the end result…  Bright and colourful and great for both playing with and learning with.

IMG 9353Gracen was so anxious to get her hands on them once they were done, she could barely contain her excitement.

IMG 9368Just for fun, I set them in a tray of sand (mixed up of course) and the little lady immediately began spelling her name.  

They’ve been such a hit that I’ve already agreed to make more for both of her middle names, and I have a feeling that I’ll get coaxed into making some for her last name too…  Times like these make me wonder why we gave our child a name with 26 letters – hah!


For all kinds of other fun ways to create with rocks, visit my friend Sam’s rock craft page here.  She’s the rock craft QUEEN and her projects are always gorgeous!


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3 thoughts on “Painted Name Rocks

  1. Another idea I’m saving for a couple years down the line. I think another fun way to use these letter rocks would be to display them in a shadow box, perhaps with other decorations or things that your daughter loves and then hang it up in her room, or place up on a shelf! I think it would make a creative, beautiful decoration!

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