DIY Rock Craft - 3 Handmade Projects to Try

Three inspiring DIY rock craft projects to try at home from simple to make fairy garden stones and farm animal story stones to the more challenging mix and match rock people. 

Rocks are such a great resource - cheap, easy to find and so tactile especially for small hands at play. I have made some story stones before, some pirate themed ones. Today I'm sharing three different rock projects you can make easily using only a few materials over a weekend. Perfect for pretend play, your children will love these handmade toys as much as mine do and the preschoolers I work with!


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Three different handmade rock projects - perfect for play!  Find out how to make your own farm-themed story stones, mix and match people and fairy stones and why allowing our children to play with these things is important for their development | you clever monkey
1.Farm Themed Story Stones

I made our farm themed story stones using pictures I'd cut out of some old toy catalogues and it can be as simple as that - pictures from brochures, old books, stickers or print some out and use them. 
They are super easy to make.  

To start you will need -

- some clean stones (these came from a landscape supplier but large hardware stores also sell bags as do some discount shops)
- pictures/stickers of farm animals
- a brush
- a pot of Mod Podge

Three different handmade rock projects - perfect for play!  Find out how to make your own farm-themed story stones, mix and match people and fairy stones and why allowing our children to play with these things is important for their development | you clever monkey

Compared to the stickers, I found the pictures much easier to work with as the thinner paper was much more flexible. 

After painting the stone with a thin layer of Mod Podge, add your picture and then seal it by painting over it with more Mod Podge. 

I usually do two coats, letting them dry in between. Leave the rocks to dry on baking paper or a plastic sheet so they don't stick to the surface.


Three different handmade rock projects - perfect for play!  Find out how to make your own farm-themed story stones, mix and match people and fairy stones and why allowing our children to play with these things is important for their development | you clever monkey

And here's the finished product. Bring them outside to play or bring the outside in.

Three different handmade rock projects - perfect for play!  Find out how to make your own farm-themed story stones, mix and match people and fairy stones and why allowing our children to play with these things is important for their development | you clever monkey

Three different handmade rock projects - perfect for play!  Find out how to make your own farm-themed story stones, mix and match people and fairy stones and why allowing our children to play with these things is important for their development | you clever monkey

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2. Fairy Stones

Our second rock project is even simpler than our farm story stones. We turned some of our rocks into colourful fairy stepping stones for our fairy garden play.

You will need -

- thick paint (we used leftover house paint)
- glitter
- small smooth rocks

Simply paint the rocks using some paint in different colours. While they are still wet, sprinkled on some fine silver glitter to make them more fairy worthy.

You can find the wings I used here at the fantastic blog Filth Wizardry.


DIY fairy play - make your own fairy scene #youclevermonkey

Three different handmade rock projects - perfect for play!  Find out how to make your own farm-themed story stones, mix and match people and fairy stones and why allowing our children to play with these things is important for their development | you clever monkey

3. Mix and Match Rock People

I finally got around to making some mix and match rock people like these and theseThey're been used in one of our interest areas at preschool this past week to tie in with our 'bucket filling'. These took more time to create but weren't that difficult.

To make your own, you will need -

- smooth flat rocks in different two sizes (small ones for faces, larger, longer rocks for bodies)
- thick white prep coat paint (I used some interior house paint for this)
- a lead pencil
- different colour paints
- small brushes
- paint pens (we like these Giotto pens)

Three different handmade rock projects - perfect for play!  Find out how to make your own farm-themed story stones, mix and match people and fairy stones and why allowing our children to play with these things is important for their development | you clever monkey

After undercoating the front of the rocks with a white prep-coat, I then sketched in some details before painting them. 

I started using some acrylic paint but finding that too thin, I switched to some old house paints we had in the shed. 

Once dry, I used some paint pens and a black Sharpie pen to refine the details. I then coated them with a layer of Mod Podge to help protect the paint. 

They turned out okay but not quite as nice as I saw them in my head. Kids love them though.


Three different handmade rock projects - perfect for play!  Find out how to make your own farm-themed story stones, mix and match people and fairy stones and why allowing our children to play with these things is important for their development | you clever monkey


Three different handmade rock projects - perfect for play!  Find out how to make your own farm-themed story stones, mix and match people and fairy stones and why allowing our children to play with these things is important for their development | you clever monkey

Why make these things?  

I believe it is important for children to have access to both realistic materials and materials without clear function (objects capable of taking the place of something needed in play but not readily at hand) during their play. Providing them the space and materials to encourage their play without controlling it. 

To me the story stones are unexpected but still familar, allowing children to play confidently but also with the growing understanding that objects like rocks can be used in place of realistic models in play.

Imaginative play is so very important as it helps children develop their oral language skills through story telling; it encourages longer, sustained periods of play which require greater concentration; it helps develop their understanding of emotions - both their own and those of others they are playing with; it improves memory function by allowing them to re-enact and reinforce the world they've seen either in real life or through books; it allows them to be creative and imaginative and, perhaps most importantly, it's fun! 

Originally I saw the story stones idea in the book Show Me a Story by Emily A Neuburger.  I love this book! And it's also now available on Kindle.



Outside the US? I recommend The Book Depository.

Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository

A lot of ideas I see like this I save to my Things to Make board on Pinterest and, then, sometimes I even get around to doing them ;)




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4 comments

  1. What a super clever idea to use the Schliech catalog! Oh and I love the mix and match people.. another clever idea!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for visiting Kate :) The pictures were much easier to use than the stickers being thinner. Makes me think of using some of the kids drawings to make some others.
      The mix and match people have been great fun to play with. My youngest was given some Giotto markers at her party yesterday and they work brilliantly on rocks. Got to love Pinterest for inspiration.

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  2. These ideas are very creative! Thanks for posting! I love the farm animals!! :)

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