HVL NC Rocks!

Today I’ll show my latest crafting obsession, so much fun. I know I saw this on a news program some time ago. Then, a couple of weeks ago, I found this rock painted with a chicken at the post office. It was sitting on a large boulder next to the front door that is in a rock garden. I have a lot of chickens in my kitchen, so it caught my eye. The back had a facebook logo and a name. So I took it home and looked it up. Turns out there is a group of folks that do this regularly, so I joined the group and posted my find.

My Sweet Babboo went to the driveway and found a few rocks for me to begin painting my own to hide. He found a few flatter ones, and I spray painted them yellow, and then added some crude flowers. I used a butterfly sticker on one. Then I put them out in the wild.

That just got me charged up to do more. So, we went to Lowes and found a bag of large river rocks. I brought those home and started with washing them. They were reasonably clean, just dusty.

I found several cans of paint that would probably do, so I did a few in white.

Then, for variety, I did more in yellow and lavendar.

Once they had two coats all around, and had fully dried, it was on to the fun part of decorating them. I had no idea what would work and what wouldn’t, so I started with using my stamps and ink to do a little snail and a couple of ladybugs.

The ink was OK, but when it dried, some of the detail was lost, so I enhanced those details with a sharpie pen. I thought the ink would do better as an outline for painting. So I found another set with larger motif outlines. Then I could use acrylic paint to finish.

I had a such fun time painting, I am thinking this is going to become addictive.

On the underside, I took an idea from another poster on the group and made labels to decoupage onto the underside. If you see one, you can keep the rock, re-hide it somewhere else, or take it out of town and re-hide near your home. Some have found one taken out of state, which is fun.

Then I did a few more with just acrylic paints for a base, this gave me more colors. For all, they are finished with a clear spray varnish.

So, now to put these out to be found. Many of the participants are doing the local parks, post offices and downtown, so I wanted to do some other places. I started with putting a few at local grocery stores, in the outdoor seating areas for lunch. I put some at the facility where we have pickleball lessons this week. I hid one on a retaining wall.

A heart is placed in an empty pot along a sidewalk.

My Sweet Babboo said it was like having an Easter Egg hunt when I put this pink one near a sign along a walkway in front of the courts. If you are local, look around everywhere you go, you just might find a surprise. If you’d like to see some of the amazing creativity of other people, check out the HVL NC Rocks facebook group. There are some really clever folks on there, using the shapes of their rocks to inspire things like m&ms with bites taken out, to alien faces, bumblebees and candy corn.

Last week, I was having lunch with a friend downtown, and as we walked back to our cars, I spotted a pretty one painted with tulips on a windowsill of a business. I had just been telling her about this fun activity, so I stopped and showed it to her. She took it home and posted the find on the group. Now, we are going to get together to paint more. I’ll be prepping the rocks with base paint and the labels so we can jump into being creative. There are books on Painting Rocks on Amazon, believe it or not!! I need to check the library to see if we have any. I ‘rocked’ the library when I returned a book.

Then I ‘rocked’ the pickleball / tennis courts where we practice.

This little snail is so cute, I need to do more of those.

Doesn’t this look like fun? Have you ever found a painted rock? Does your community have a ‘rocks’ group?

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There is a 25% off sale at Impression Obsession for stamps and dies in their May curated category The Great Outdoors.

42 thoughts on “HVL NC Rocks!

  1. Julie

    I still have a painted rock my Mom got on a trip to Narragansett RI back in 1972 & you should see the size of the fish my Dad caught! Mom’s rock was on sale for tourists not in the same spirit as the current trend. Thanks for noting the rocks should be sealed after painting. My toddler grandson picked one up on a hike a few weeks ago and got covered in paint. Its a cute idea for kids to do but needs some adult supervision.

  2. Vicki in MN

    I painted a couple for the first time earlier this year, it is fun. I hid mine in AZ. Not part of any group, I just did it for fun.

  3. Gabriele

    We found a painted rock at our camp site at Oregon Islet, NC. It was left on our grill. We think it was put there by our neighbors as they pulled out of the camp ground. It is a great souvenir of our first trip after retirement!

  4. Linda Rattie

    My Aunt lives in Burford Ontario Canada. She has been painting rocks for several years now. She really enjoys it. We brought some home (300 miles away) and put them in our town park for her. Lots of fun

  5. Donna

    Isn’t rock painting fun? My friend who has three boys introduced me to rock painting and hiding them! I painted about 12 with just words like happy, hope and smile. All my rocks were picked up within a day or two, I hid them in a park near my house. Yours are really adorable! I have some more I want to do paint that will look like cute monsters! I will use the plastic eyes! If you google painted rocks you will see all kinds of ideas! Have fun!

  6. Bonnie Hartel

    What a great idea and not really expensive. Gets the quilter outside and allows creative expression. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Terri

    I love it when I find a painted rock. My niece-in-law paints them and when I was in the hospital, she had hidden a few. It lifted my spirits so much when I happened to find them. I also found one in a silk plant that belonged to my mother. She passed away last year and I was cleaning her house and again, that little rock lifted my spirits so much. I’ve never painted one myself, but I may give it a try.

  8. Mary Brehmer

    I am just getting in to painting rocks, too! It is fun and have you seen all of the ideas on Pinterest?? They are wonderful! I really like paint pens. My hand sometimes shakes so the pens are great. I found the paint samples at Home Depot for around $4.00 really cover the rock well with one coat and they are real paint. They will make any color for you. The samples at Lowe’s aren’t real paint, just tint so the color will wipe off, not good. Our neighbor’s husband has been enjoying painting rocks in his retirement, too!

  9. Sherrill

    Yes, the painted rocks craze has been around for a few years here. I’ve never gotten into it and never found one though I know there a few ‘painted rock trails’ in a couple of parks close by. Some of them are works of art!!

    1. Yvonne

      My sister used to hide rocks with zentangle designs.
      Are any of you familiar with “I found a quilted heart”?
      Same idea, but with quilted hearts. Google it for the very loose rules and the label. Have fun!

  10. A few weeks ago I found a rock painted as a ladybug on my sidewalk. No idea who left it but it’s very cute. I moved it to the side edge of the front porch so no one would trip on it.

  11. Diane

    My mom is 90 and has spent her life painting on canvas & wood slices. This past year Mom had been living with my sister and her husband so she wouldn’t have to be isolated in her independent living apartment. She took all of her painting supplies with from her apartment.to my sister’s home and continued to paint. While she would walk on their patio and look at all the cool rocks, she decided to paint some and give as gifts. She painted a rock for her each of her grandchildren and great grandkids. It’s amazing how we can find beauty in a rock. Life is good!

  12. Melanie

    Reminds me of when “Pet Rocks” were the thing and sold at Hallmark and other gifty type stores….oh that was waaaay back then. My sister decorated a rock for me when she was a child and I still have it and use it as a paperweight on my desk. Have had it probably 50 years or so!

  13. My granddaughters have done some rock painting and hiding. Mostly they use acrylic craft paint, and I doubt they seal them. My daughter for her, it is a multi step process, and every time she gets one looking perfect her toddler likes to add her own artistic touch. It has taught her great patience! How fun it is to have a group ‘tag” for the bottom of the rocks. Enjoy your new craft!

  14. I’ve found rocks while on walks and on hikes. Mostly I’ve left them, for others to find and enjoy, but they always bring a smile to my heart knowing someone out there was so kind. A couple which I picked up I hid in my yard, for the two young neighbor kids to find. They are so excited when they find them and polite to ask if they can keep them. This year I began painting rocks to take with me and hide on hiking trails in the PNW this summer (e.g. most likely in the San Juan Islands, WA). I like your idea of using stamps!

  15. KJ

    What fun. We moved into a new-to-us house in November and there are a couple painted rocks in the back yard. I am pretty sure they were done by the kids that used to live here, but we back onto a trail so…
    We have lots of river rock in the yard so this might be something fun to try, and put a couple on the trail. Gee, another craft for me to try. Thanks. 🙂

  16. Love, love, LOVE this Carole! I have actually found a rock on my front porch, left by someone. We enjoyed it for a day and then passed it on to a random house that looked like they would enjoy it. This is something I could easily do with my littles. Great idea and a fabulous way to spread cheer and goodwill! ~smile~ Roseanne

  17. Rita C.

    Those are cute, and I always smile when I see them. I have picked them up and relocated them too. 🙂

  18. Patricia Evans

    The 3 yr old down the street and his mother painted rocks last summer and left them in people’s front yards. But not everyone finds them delightful. There was a running commentary in our weekly free shopper (they have vibes and rants column). Someone complained for weeks about painted rocks being left in the park claiming it was littering and dangerous to walkers.

  19. Bonnie Coleman

    This has been going on locally for several years here! My niece artist paints them and hides them on St. Simons and Jekyll Island! Good to put the starting point, i.e. State, on them. 😄

  20. Debbie

    That looks like a lot of fun! Only one concern I have is for the landscapers that might mow over one of the bigger rocks and damage their equipment or get injured from flying rocks or pieces of rocks.

  21. Rosemary B

    I love painted rocks. Yours are so cute. The kids in our neighborhood leave lots of rocks and chalk messages on our numerous trails for years now. This is such a fun idea. Why didn’t we think of this back in the days of olden?

  22. Carla Hundley

    We have several groups here and
    we have found 4 rocks! I’ve got
    things ready to paint, just haven’t
    done any yet.
    Carla from Arizona

  23. That is a new thing to me, and is very cool. I have never found one, and know of no group in this area. Thinking of painting some rocks, though.

  24. thedarlingdogwood

    Such pretty rocks! I’ve never seen any in our neighborhood, but finding them when we go camping at state parks and the like has been common the last few years. It is like an unexpected treasure hunt when you find one!

  25. Paula Giles

    This one might interest you – http://www.ifaqh.com – I found a quilted heart. Same concept. You make small quilted hearts and hide them around. I hung them on trees on our trails here at Sun City Carolina Lakes.

  26. Such fun Carole! Your rocks are so cute! I have a friend that hides painted rocks, and she also makes them and sells them. She gets commissions for animal portraits and all kinds of things, so you just might have a new business coming up!

  27. Sandi Scarlett

    I always enjoyed finding painted rocks when I lived in NYS. I just recently moved so will see if they are doing it down here (FL). Your rocks are beautiful!

  28. thatfabricfeelingcom

    Oh how fun. A friend of mine in Wisconsin does this too. It’s a lovely little joyful project. About a year ago, I did take a book from my library on rock painting. It was cool. They have you sometimes use a series of rocks to form a design. Those acrylic paint pens are wonderful for rock painting. You can get a set for not much on Amazon. Keep up the good work. I don’t know where you find all the time for your creative projects!!

  29. How fun! Throughout my teens, my cousin and I painted rocks — usually bigger ones used as door stops. I love how these are placed and bring happiness to people!

  30. Susan Nixon

    I see them now and then, but I’ve never participated. I think it’s fun, but I don’t take them, leaving them for someone who does participate. Your rocks are adorable. I don’t know that I could resist taking one of them.

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