Tuesday, March 6, 2018

How To Transfer a Design onto a Rock

Okay, now that you have selected a rock, and hopefully given some thought as to what you would like to paint on the rock, it's time to start transferring your design.  How exciting!

There are a few different methods as to how you can make it easier to paint a beautiful design on your rock.

Transferring designs onto a rock is relatively easy.  You can always paint freehand if you know how to, and painting freestyle might work well for you.

However, if you need a little help, there are at least five ways that I know of to transfer graphics (link to the Graphics Fairy) or flower designs onto a rock.

It will mostly depend on how detailed you want your painting to be and which products you may have access to.

The transfer methods I use are as follows:

1.  Using a stencil design
2.  Transfer a design using black transfer paper
3.  Transfer a design using white transfer paper
4.  Image transfer using Mod Podge or Liquitex
5.  Image transfer using white acrylic paint

(Click the above links to be taken to a seperate page for detailed information on each method.  For a general outline of each method, see below).


A stencil is a great tool to use for many reasons.  Stencils are simply plastic pictures with the openings of the design cut out so you can outline (or paint) your image onto a surface.

You can use the stencil to make a simple outline with a pen, or you can use paint and a stencil brush along with the stencil to get your image transfer.

Theorem stencils are stencils that come in multiple layers that give your designs an extra realistic effect when finished.

You can learn more about theorem stencils at the following link, 'Using a stencil design'.

You can also use a simpler stencil and get a very realistic look to your rock painting.  I used a large stencil like the one pictured below to create my spring flowers garden rock.  


Below is a picture of the rock I made with a large stencil...

Hand-Painted Spring Flowers by nancymaggielee

Learning how to use theorem stencils is a bit more complicated than using a simple stencil, so you may want to try a basic stencil first and move on to theorems later.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Wonderful World of Rock Painting

Hello, and thank you for stopping by today - it’s so nice to have you here!

My name is Nancy (my artist name is “nancymaggielee”, which I guess you could say is my brand),  and I enjoy anything  creative, making anything with my hands, and   writing about crafts and sharing inspiration for new exciting craft projects.  

This blog will be dedicated to my crafting passion which may, to some, be considered somewhat of an unusual one… "I love painting on rocks!"

There, I said it, lol!

I painted my first rock as a child when I was about 10 years old (you can read that story here), and I picked up this amazing hobby again as an adult when I was looking for a creative outlet.

I knew I was hooked when I picked up a copy of 
"Painting Flowers on Rocks(affiliate link) by Lin Wellford.

Lin is the master rock painter in my opinion and gives great instruction in all of her educational books on painting.   

Pictured below is one of my painted flower rocks that I learned how to  make from the above titled  book.  

Throughout this blog, I will share my own painted rock creations as well as those of other  rock painters.  I will share tips and tricks and instructional video and information about the world of rock painting.  

There will be a page where you can see my current rocks listed for sale, as well as pictures of those rocks I created in the past and have sold or given to friends and family as gifts like the painted butterfly rock  below.

I will have links to videos and instructional information on how you, too, can learn the amazing, fun, and wonderful craft of rock painting, so sign up for my email list or check back often to see what’s new!

Be creative, and be happy!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

How To Start Painting on Rocks

Did you ever want to try painting on rocks?  I'm here to help!

Painted rocks can make beautiful additions to an already beautiful garden...

Pink Gerbera Daisies
hand-painted rock by nancymaggielee

When you're rock is displayed among other flowers, from a distance you may not even be able to tell which ones are real and which ones are painted!

Hand-painted rocks make excellent gifts, and one of the best things about painted flowers is that they last forever!

Rocks make an excellent painting canvas for a number of reasons.

Firstly, many times they are free which, in my book, free is always nice!

I'll explain more about where to find rocks in the post called 'Gathering Supplies".

Secondly, rocks are extremely forgiving of mistakes.

If you don't like what you have painted you can easily start over again with no problem at all.

Just paint over your mistakes and try again until you get it to your liking!

Painting is a relaxing hobby and if you need a creative outlet, it can be a great stress reliever as well.

It's a fun craft for kids too, they love it.  I painted my first rock when I was a child and really liked it. You can read that story here.

Later on in life I turned my rock painting passion into a business and started selling my rock creations on ebay and Etsy.

The daisy rock above was painted using my stencil method.  Learn more about using stencils in the art of rock painting here.

This gives me a chance to share my creations with others, and speaking as an artist, there's no greater satisfaction than seeing someone else appreciate my creations.

The rock scene pictured below displays irises, tulips, daffodils, impatiens, crocuses, and pansies.  It is a large (over 2 ft. tall) custom piece I created for a customer and I am very proud to display it here on this page.

I love to paint on rocks!  I picked up a copy of Painting Flowers on Rocks by Lin Wellford about 15 years ago and I have been hooked ever since.

There are four basic steps to painting on rocks and they are as follows:

1.  Gathering supplies
2.  Draw your design or transfer your design to your rock
3.  Paint your rock with your preferred method
4.  Seal your rock with a weather resistant sealant

So if you're ready, let's go paint some rocks!!!

Rock Painting Basics

Painting on rocks is an easy, fun, and inexpensive craft for all ages. The sky is the limit as to what you can paint on rocks.

Rocks are everywhere!  You can even buy a bag of them online now.  Smooth painted stones are a great canvas to start painting on.

The more you paint on rocks, the more you will see interesting rocks laying about.

When I paint tall flowers like hollyhocksirises, or sunflowers, I like to use a tall, thinner (1" to 1 1/2") piece of slate.

You can probably find pieces of slate in a rural area, but you will probably have better luck in a local stone yard (click this link to learn more about where you can buy rocks at a local seller).

Slate pieces you will find in a misfit stone pile in a rock yard
(click the link called 'stone yard' above to learn more)
You just might be surprised at how an ordinary rock will start to stir the creativeness within you.

Different shaped rocks can obviously become different things.

Smooth round rocks are probably better for flowers that grow low to the ground, such as impatiens, violets, phlox and ground cover.

You can find rounder rocks at a stone yard as well...

Because round rocks are heavier, they may cost more at a stone center, so you might want to go rock hunting at the beach or on a greenway.

I like to paint flowers on rocks.  Fairies too.  Here is a link to some of the pictures of my hand painted rocks.

All you need is a little imagination, a few inexpensive supplies, oh, and a rock! LOL!

So once you have your rock selected, you will need some other supplies that can easily be purchased at a local craft store or on line.

Using a Stencil to Transfer a Design onto a Rock

One of my favorite methods for transferring a design onto a plain rock is through the use of stencils.

Many different craft stores carry a good selection of stencils, but there is probably a better selection available on line and at different stenciling websites.

Stencil Kingdom has an enormous variety of stencils that come in all shapes and sizes...

This daffodil stencil is from Stencil Kingdom
(non-affiliate link highlighted in paragraph above)

Stencils are simply pieces of plastic with a design cut in it for outlining.

Using the above picture as a reference, the colors shown (yellow, green, and orange in this case) would be openings cut into the plastic.

You will fill them in using a stencil a form of painting which is called stenciling, which is basically just using a special brush with a tapping motion (more about that later).

The rock you would need for the daffodils pictured above would probably need to be quite wide as well as tall to fit these beautiful spring flowers onto it so keep that in mind when making your selection.

The hosta flowers pictured below would need a similarly shaped rock...

Hosta Flower Stencil
(affiliate link)
In the hosta flower example above the openings would be the violets and greens, respectively.  This picture is just showing the end result.

While there is a post on this blog about 'Gathering Supplies', it's more for rock painting in general than for specific ways on how to paint a rock through the different methods I will outline on other posts on this website.

If you choose the stencil method, here is the list of supplies you will need (all are affiliate links which only means I will make a small commission if you buy through this link):

Rocks (the link here is to small rocks) or slate*
Stencil brushes
Acrylic paints
Painters tape
Acrylic sealer
*Remember to keep the size and shape of your flower in mind when selecting your piece

Learn how to stencil by watching the videos below:

Remember that one of the most important things to learn about getting a great result from stenciling is that the brush should be relatively dry and drip-free.

Here is my video from a few years back explaining how to stencil forget-me-nots:

A stencil is a great tool to use for many reasons.  Stencils come in so many different designs and sizes, the sky is the limit as to what you can paint or draw using a stencil.

Theorem stencils (non-affiliate link to Jean Hansen Publications) are basically just a stencils that come in multiple layers having different openings in each one.  This will give your design a realistic effect.

If you decide to purchase a theorem stencil, the instructions for how to use it will be included on the package.  You may want to purchase the exact colors from the company recommends to use in a theorem stencil.

The reason I say this is because theorem stencils are based on multiple colors in each design giving a realistic shading effect that comes out just beautiful.

Jean Hansen Publications has a wide assortment of theorem stencils like the one pictured below...

Tulip Theorem Stencil

Gathering Supplies and Where You can Find Rocks to Paint

Rocks are literally everywhere!

Most of the time they are free, however you can now purchase rocks online too (more about that later).

Most towns or municipalities have a stone yard or landscape supplier where they sell rock, slate and stones by the ton (just Google 'stone yard + your town, state').

At most of these stone yards, they keep a pile of misfit rocks that they will sell to the public at a discounted rate.  At my local stone center, they call me 'the rock lady', lol!

I buy rocks from the misfit pile and they are nice enough to charge me the ton rate (which is about .10/lb.- remember they are broken pieces of rock that they can't sell to most customers because they are just that, broken and misshapen).

I  also gave them a painted rock to display in their garden which has rendered me some custom work from a few people that saw it there, and also to thank them for giving me the special discount.

When you go to a rock yard, you will have to pick through piles of  misshapen and broken rocks, so I will suggest you bring gloves, wear long pants and closed toed shoes, but most of all have fun deciding on which rocks will best fit your project.  (And don't forget to ask nicely for a special rate!)

For example, if you're painting irises, you will want a tall rock, and if you're painting a basket of forget-me-nots (see the pic below), you would need a smaller and perhaps rounder rock.

Forget Me Not Basket
After you have painted your first rock or two, you will start to look at all rocks and imagine what you could paint on that particular rock based on its size and shape.  You probably will never look at rocks the same way again! LOL

Your local craft store such as Michaels will have many of the supplies you need, or you can also purchase everything you need on Amazon, even the rocks!

What's more is that there is always a coupon you can use available you can access from your phone to purchase at least one non-sale item at a discounted rate, usually 20% off (sometimes more).  These stores ususally accept each other's coupons even online, but this could change at any time so don't hold me to that.

I always use the Michaels coupon because I know how to access it quickly.  Go to Michaels click on 'Weekly Ad', select 'Coupons', select the coupon you want to use, select 'View & Print' to access the picture of the coupon with the barcode.  Show it to the cashier so it can be scanned.  There you go!  Instant savings.

People everywhere are gathering together to paint small rocks, then hide them for others to find their inspirational messages.  You can read about that here.

Rocks are also available on Amazon now.  They sell bags of smooth stones that many people are purchasing to use in the rock painting craze that's sweeping across the nation in 2017!

Here is a picture and link to the rocks available online to purchase:

My preferred way to find rocks is a stone yard.  It's safe and easy and inexpensive and there are many shapes to pick from out of the misfit pile (as I stated above).  Plus, sometimes, as you may know, rocks can be a bit heavy so it's nice to have your car right there to transport them.

You can start by painting on smooth stones like the ones pictured directly above, then perhaps if you like it, start hunting around for rocks in nature at places like the beach or on a nature walk through a greenway.

A local rock yard like the one pictured below will provide a great variety of rock shapes to get your creative juices flowing. 

This looks just like my local stone center
Find yours by Googling 'stone center + your town & state"

Or perhaps you would like to go rock hunting at the beach...

After all, the beach rocks!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Rock Painting is Sweeping the Country!

Have you heard???

There is a rock painting craze sweeping across the United States!

People everywhere are getting together to paint rocks that they then hide in places where they hope they will be found by someone who needs their messages and inspiration or just a smile.

People report that finding these hand painted stones lifts their spirits and can be quite thrilling.  Who would have thought a simple rock could make someone so happy?

There are Facebook Groups where people post pictures of the rocks they find, which magnifies the pleasure of the person who created the painted rock by seeing how it made someone happy.

Hope, faith, love, inspiration and joy come to mind.

So far, more than 50,000 people have joined the group below that is painting rocks, hiding rocks, and leaving them for others to find.

Imagine a person finding a rock that says:

You can purchase a bag of rocks on Amazon!

$39.35 for a 30lb. bag of rocks on Amazon
Smooth rocks ready for painting available to purchase on line
(click picture above to learn more)

You could turn a bag of the above rocks into these adorable ladybugs!


Acrylic paint pens (affiliate link below) provide great control for writing inspirational messages on the rocks such as the one above that says "Be your own kind of Beautiful"

$17.99 on Amazon
(click picture to learn more about this)

More rock painting ideas:

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