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 the kids will love to do. They also make great gifts!

Step 1

Prepare the Rock

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

Step 2

Paint the Rock

Using a paintbrush or stencil and dabber, paint the designs you have in mind — like names of plants — either freehand or using stencils (image 1). Paint abstract designs and other decorations (images 2 & 3). Allow to dry.

Step 3

Add Embellishments

Add decorative touches by gluing colorful glass marbles or tiles onto the rock following the directions on the adhesive package (images 4 & 5). If advised, work in a well-ventilated area. Spray with fixative (optional).