Recently, the boys have got involved in the new thing that everyone seems to be doing at the moment – collecting rocks, decorating them and hiding them for someone else to find and rehide. It’s actually a really fun activity (and I’m really enjoying it as well!) that involves getting outside, a bit of exercise and creativity in decorating them and finding somewhere to hide them. It makes going for a walk a lot more interesting because they’re always on the lookout for decorated rocks. We haven’t been lucky enough to find any yet, but some of ours have been found and posted on the two local rock pages on Facebook that we are part of – Rhyl Rocks and North Wales Rocks. The kids were really excited that their’s were found, and everyone who finds decorated rocks and posts them on the groups has said how lovely it is to find a rock with a picture or a little message on. If it momentarily brightens up someone’s day – well, it can only be a good thing, right?
The only issue is that rocks are actually harder to decorate than they look. They’re uneven and small, and whilst it’s fun, it can be a bit fiddly and very messy, especially when kids are involved. The mess, in particular, was the one thing that put us off doing it for a while, until I realised that we didn’t actually need paint to do it.
Crafty Arts sent us out some various pens, which we have been using to decorate our rocks, and whilst they’re not as beautiful and artistic as many of the rocks posted in the groups (see the bottom of the post for some incredible examples), we’ve all had fun doing it.
The pack of 5 Ecoline Brush pens (£8.99) are essentially liquid watercolours. Considering they are watercolours, they are quite vivid and intense, even on the grey stone background. They’re easy to use, and can be mixed. They’ve been great for background colours and patterns on the rocks.
The pack of 6 Callicreative decorative itallic markers (£7.99) are almost made for rock decorating. The colours are really rich and vibrant and become water-resistant after 4 hours (although we do still varnish ours). Again, they are really easy to use and are perfect for the job, for writing and more intricate patterns and drawings.
We give our rocks a quick spray of spray varnish to seal them – a super important step. We are, as we are with everything we do now, mindful of how it affects the environment. As far as I know, decorating with pens and a very light coat of varnish doesn’t have any negative impact. We don’t add stickers, gems, googly eyes or anything like that, which could come off and be swallowed by wildlife.
If you want some rock painting ideas, take a look at my Pinterest board or look at these incredible ones that members of the Rhyl Rocks Facebook group have given me permission to share. Have a go at it yourself!
Thanks to Leanne, Cheryl, Carol and Teresa for these images.