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Tips for Stamping on Rocks

Hi, everyone!

Shelley here today. Stamping on rocks? Yes, it’s a thing! On a recent visit to Whidbey Island, I got caught up in the painted rock hiding and hunting that’s popular there. If you aren’t familiar with it, people paint rocks and then tuck them into hiding places along streets, park paths, and other nooks and crannies. When you find a rock you take a picture of it and post where you found it on the Facebook page. Then you can keep it or re-hide it. We stumbled upon one in the low branches of a tree in a beach park and you would have thought we’d found a pot of gold! This inspired me to paint some rocks of my own.

Freehand drawing is not my forte, so I was trying to figure out what I could paint. In keeping with the beachy island theme I thought a fish would be perfect, but after trying my hand at sketching on paper first I wasn’t too impressed. Then it hit me…maybe I could use stamps!  I gave it a shot and was pretty impressed with the results.  Here’s my first rock featuring Phyllis and Finn the Fish from the Animal House collection (Sorry, no fancy photo. I just laid it on the carpet!). I learned several things and will perfect the technique as I make more, but I thought I’d share how I did this in case you’re inspired to paint a few rocks of your own.

Stamping on Rocks by Shelley Goff for Technique Tuesday

  1. I started with a flat rock. The flatter the rock, the better the results. Find with rocks that have smooth surfaces and sit as flat as possible. Precision painting on a wobbly rock is difficult!
  2. To create an ocean like background I blended multiple shades of blue and green acrylic paints. Once it was thoroughly dry it was ready for the stamped image.  Rock painters recommend acrylic paints and paint pens.
  3. You have to get creative when you stamp your image. I found getting the best stamp image required NOT adhering the clear stamp to a block. I laid the stamp on a crafting mat and inked it with Black Staz-On ink, then gingerly picked up the stamp and held it in my hand to lay the inked side of the stamp on the rock. I gently pressed around all the edges of the stamp, trying not to let it shift or slide. Since the stamp is clear, it was pretty easy to tell if the ink hadn’t transferred completely and I would go back and give the area another press.
  4. Then I carefully peeled the stamp off the rock, let it dry a bit.  
  5. To paint the fish I used some opalescent paints. They were a bit more translucent than regular acrylic paint and allowed some of the stamped image to show through. It also gave some nice shine and movement to the fish.
  6. After painting the fish I wanted the outlines to be more prominent so I took a very fine paint brush and black acrylic paint to reinforce the outlines in some places. If I were to do it again, I’d use a fine-tipped permanent marker! The “Catch You Later” sentiment is from the Phyllis and Finn the Fish stamp set too.
  7. To seal the rock and make it water resistant, use spray paint clear coat.

My sister and I did some more experimenting with stamping on rocks. We found if the rock’s surface was very smooth and flat we could stamp images without applying any base paint. Some of the images on the plain rocks were quite striking. We didn’t even feel compelled to paint the stamped image. Seeing the details of the artwork on the textures of the rock, especially after a clear coat spray, was beautiful. 

So, next time you’re walking the beach or lake shore, pick up a few rocks and try stamping on a new medium. Happy hunting!


PS. Don't forget to check out the blog hop featuring the Technique Tuesday and My Sweet Petunia design teams. You'll find lots of inspiration for your stamps! And you'll get some great tips for using the Misti stamping tool from My Sweet Petunia! 


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