Making, Hiding and Finding Painted Rocks

Did you find painted rocks? Keep reading to find out how I notify people that new rocks are hidden.

This is why I paint and hide rocks - check out these two cuties and how excited they are after finding turtle rocks!

A wholesome new family friendly activity is making its way around the region right now. People are painting rocks and leaving them in public places for others to find and enjoy. The idea is certainly not new, and Victoria is not the first city to participate but some recent media coverage is fueling the fun. 

How it Works

Kids, their parents and individuals are participating in a giant treasure hunt where they paint and hide rocks around Greater Victoria, at businesses, beaches and parks with one goal – brighten someone’s day. When you find one, you can keep it or leave it or exchange it for one of your own. Whatever makes you feel awesome is the right thing to do! 

Are you ready for some fun?

What You’ll Need to Make Painted Rocks

  • Rocks - Start by locating some flat, smooth rocks. You usually don’t have to travel too far to find some great options – virtually every beach in the Greater Victoria region will have them. Some favourite places are Esquimalt Lagoon, Gordon’s Beach (past Sooke on West Coast Road), French Beach and Dallas Road Beach. If you don't have easy access to rocks - or you want perfectly shaped smooth rocks to paint, many of the members in my rock painting group use rock molds like this one from Amazon. (I know it looks like a bed pan but trust me, it really is for making rocks!)

Rock making mold (not a bed pan!)

  • Paint - Being the crafty type, I had a good assortment of acrylic paints from my local dollar store but when you are first starting out, don't go nuts buying every colour in the store! Start with a small set with the basic colours and this way you can get see if it is worth investing in more paint. Which most of us end up doing :) and most of us transition to paint pens from paint and brush. Paint pens are by far the easiest way to transform stones into art and the best ones on the market right now are Posca. We've checked out all the craft suppliers, and the best price we can find is at Amazon. 

Best paint pens for rock painting

Paint brushes, foam brushes or tools for making dots – all depending on your design. Again, dollar store is where I got these when I first started. If you continue with paint and brush, it will be worthwhile to invest in "better than dollar store" brushes. As for dot making tools, a toothpick, the "wrong end" of a paint brush, a dowel - any of these will work when you get started. Or you can jump right in and purchase some dotting tools for perfectly round circles every time. 

  • Sealant – it is not necessary to use a sealant but if you choose to, liquid Mod Podge or a spray sealant (both Rust-oleum and Krylon make a spray) are two options. Many people also choose to use resin for its resiliency and beautiful glossy look.
  • A tray for mixing paint – paper plates or clean containers and lids (such as yogurt) work well. Really the options here are pretty endless – just don’t use something you plan to eat off or store food in again. 
  • Water and a wet rag for clean up. 

Then you let your creative genius take over. 

Some people paint the rock first with a base colour. This is not necessary and is entirely dependent on your own taste and design. If you are going with a base colour, a foam brush using a dabbing technique works best. 

Painted rocks could have an inspirational word or saying on them, or a small pattern or design or a picture of something. There are no limits. That is the fabulous thing about art - there are no rules! 

Believe it or not, even more fun than just painting the rocks is the next part – hiding your treasures for others to find. Be sure to join the Facebook group Sooke to Sidney Rock Hunt! (SS Rock Hunt). On that page, you can post pictures of the rocks you are hiding and the location where you are hiding them. When people find them, they are encouraged to post a picture letting everyone know. It is such great fun. 

Brushes suitable for rock painting

Mandala dotting tools

Art Resin - perfect for sealing your painted rocks

If you need more inspiration, get your hands on one of these books:

Another great thing about this is you don’t even have to paint rocks to participate. You can just check recent posts to see where rocks are being hidden and go searching. As you can see from the Facebook posts though, not everybody finds painted rocks when they go out looking so it is important not to set expectations too high, especially for younger children. 

Get out and explore the region and happy hunting!

Rock hidden in Victoria BC found on Riviera Maya beach in Mexico.

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