Appalachia crafts

Painting Rocks From The Creek

Painting rocks from the creek

Chatter and Chitter were homework free for their entire winter holiday from school. Oh I’m positive they could have studied or took notes or something, but for the first time in ages there was no pile of homework or projects to do over the holidays.

Cold creek waters in western nc

The girls thoroughly enjoyed their break from school. They made music, crafted, wrote in their journals, crafted some more, enjoyed putting their new rooms in order, and crafted some more!

One afternoon they braved the cold and took off down to the creek to gather rocks to paint. Have you ever painted rocks? The very first field trip I ever remember going on was to Fires Creek. Mr. Martin (from Martins Creek School) took us to find creek rocks to paint. I can’t remember if we painted them there or took them back to school, but I do remember the magic of painting my ordinary creek rock into an owl.

When the girls were small we’d have create days. They’d say “Momma lets create today.” It didn’t take me long to figure out we needed something cheap-as in free to create with. Two things we had an endless supply of was rocks and lumber scraps from The Deer Hunter. We spent many hours painting pieces of wood and rocks from the creek.

Easy craft of painting rocks

The girls borrowed their Daddy’s rubber boots; found a 5 gallon bucket; and took off to gather rocks for crafting.

Crafting with rocks

Of course they couldn’t help taking a short detour to look for arrowheads in Pap’s big garden.

Making paper weights with rocks

After they warmed by the fire, they washed the rocks and spread them out on a towel to dry.

Crafting with things from the yard

The girls googled around for painting ideas, and wouldn’t you know it, one of them decided to paint an owl.

Painting rocks is easy

These are my favorite creations from the day of rock painting.

Ever painted rocks?


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  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    January 23, 2019 at 12:29 am

    I belong to many rock painting pages…The Kindness Rock movement…Of course I have painted rocks all my life…from school crafts to Girl Scouts and what is old is new again…We paint and drop rocks for others to find to make someone have a happy day…This is for children and adults…Some rocks have just encouraging words painted on them…others have seasonal impressions…snow, snowmen, Christmas, New Year, Valentine’s Day..etc…We also have monthly rock challenges…to help decide on a theme when the mind goes blank…Some have daily challenges (that’s a lot of painting) and or weekly challenges…The rock pictures are posted by the month on the headline picture of the rock page..
    Your rocks are all very beautiful..and well done…
    Thanks for posting..
    You and the girls should consider joining a rock painting page in your area…there are many in NC…I belonged to one or two in the Carolinas, Florida and of course TN…as well as some national ones…Lots of fun..When I get the chance I will seen you some pictures of some of my rock…I paint a lot of Fairy and Gnome houses and homes…since I just love them and the magic…Also, I do jewelry on rocks as well as fridge magnets…right now I have dozens of owl magnets, penguins, gnomes, pumpkins, witches, aliens, Santa’s…LOL Sold quite a few as well as dropped/hid for the movement…

  • Reply
    January 22, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    My mom liked owl best. She.collects them. Which one of the girls painted it?

  • Reply
    Shawn J
    January 19, 2014 at 8:47 am

    Yes, I have painted rocks but they did not look near as good as your girls haha.
    smjohns63 at yahoo dot com

  • Reply
    January 17, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    I love rocks! Any shape, form or fashion. Never found an ugly rock.
    These are beautiful. I have painted many rocks. One painted for a special friend was cemented as her foot stone on her grave.
    A friend found your site for me. I will be back!!!

  • Reply
    janet pressley
    January 16, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    I miss painting rocks with them! Love the designs you came up with.

  • Reply
    January 16, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Wish I had thought of this when I was homeschooling–would have made a great group project. Love the girl’s painting!!

  • Reply
    Vicki Lane
    January 16, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Good for the girls — a ‘Create Day’ beats taking notes all to pieces.

  • Reply
    Roy Pipes
    January 16, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    I have a rock bear Miss Dale Sudderth had one of my sons, I think Jeffrey, painted in Bible School at the Old rock Peachtree Baptist Church. I use it still today, 35 years later as a paper weight.
    Glad to read that rock painting is still going on.

  • Reply
    Mary Lou McKillip
    January 16, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Oh my mother loved rocks and I do too. She was so busy keeping up with me to do much rock painting and when I married and left, she took this hobby up and made things with them. I was living in Atlanta at the time when she painted and made this fat lady and put shoes and hair on her. She was so proud of her Creations. I think I still have this special on in the basement.Your rocks are lovely. Someone brought some to the nursing home and the residents loved them.One which read, Hold me tight when you feel lonely and remember there is always someone who loves.

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    January 16, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    We love looking for unique rocks in our creek. We found one in a heart shape. My son has a box full of his special rocks that he thinks are cool. We also look for the perfect skipping rock to take to the lake near by. We have Cousin’s Camp every year when our nephews come from Texas. We do all kinds of activities for our boys. Rock painting is one of them. They love our mountains and streams and it is a fun filled week.

  • Reply
    Joy Newer
    January 16, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Remember in my teens we would go to the creek often and look for Geode’s, the rocks with the bumps on top of them, we would take them home and crack them open and they were filled with we thought cluster’s of diamonds.the one who had the most was the richest.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    January 16, 2014 at 11:36 am

    I never did any craft things with any
    rocks, but that gave me an idea for my
    smaller grandgirls. My oldest daughter
    would love some homeplace creek rocks
    to paint with them. Soon as they come
    in, the first thing they want to do is
    play in the creek. This is my favorite
    blog cause it’s always full of interesting things to do…Ken

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    January 16, 2014 at 11:11 am

    When I was a kid I watched my daddy put flour on the back of bees when they were watering so he could see them better and track them back to the bee tree. If I was smart I could have painted my slingshot rocks white so I could increase my range.
    If I was still slingshooting today, those dayglo or phosphorescent colors would be even better.
    Look out Mr. Bushytail**

  • Reply
    January 16, 2014 at 10:25 am

    I enjoyed painting rocks in my youth! The girls rocks are lovely, they’d make great gifts for paper weights or door stops (the larger ones anyway).

  • Reply
    January 16, 2014 at 9:54 am

    Once upon a time…I was invited to speak at a ladies retreat out in Idaho! I talked about David and the 5 smooth stones he picked up out of a brook and put into his pouch.I had read about it in a book by Fuschia Pickett. She named them; His Spirit, His Blood, His Name, His Word and His Faith. Well, a sweet lady came to the next meeting and gave me 5 beautiful painted stones she made for me… stones from a creek nearby . I have kept them in my basket with my books I do my quiet times with to remind me of those wonderful things the Lord has given us! I love painted rocks!

  • Reply
    Garland Davis
    January 16, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Never painted rocks. But, remember scouring the creeks for slingshot ammunition. A boy could never have enough!

  • Reply
    Kerry in GA
    January 16, 2014 at 9:23 am

    We painted rocks in bible school when I was growing up and we still do now. The kids love it. We even paint them in Sunday school every now and then.:)

  • Reply
    January 16, 2014 at 9:13 am

    One year I purchased some small rocks while in NC – I was a city girl – supposed to be special and not very large. I painted them, put some squiggly eyes on them and gave them a name. Then I added a piece of paper with the meaning of the rocks name. I was teaching then and not making a lot of money, but I wanted to share something for Christmas with my fellow teachers. I gave them odd names. The teachers had them on their desks for a long time. Some took them home; they didn’t want the novelty to disappear. Such good fun!

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    January 16, 2014 at 8:57 am

    when my children were in their teens they often took “Lynx” trips with Fellowship of Christian Athletes. One of their favorites was to North Carolina and they painted rocks!!! The bus was “Lynx” because the lynx roams at night – it was fitted with bunks and seats and they drove all night so weekend trips were possible, even during school months. Every child had a duffel bag for clothes and they had to bring their own plates/cutlery. The counselors cooked for them. Goodness, I certainly took a sharp turn there just because of a rock 🙂 But your post today brought back some great memories.

  • Reply
    January 16, 2014 at 8:50 am

    “This world is but a canvas to our imagination.” –Henry David Thoreau
    Another blog is in tune with you again today!

  • Reply
    January 16, 2014 at 8:46 am

    Reminiscent of “pet rocks”.
    My kids painted sayings on theirs and added a few decorations. My son (also a teacher)keeps one on his desk he did so many years ago as a reminder to himself and his students: “Do it First. Do it Right. Do it Best.”

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull, PhD
    January 16, 2014 at 8:28 am

    Tipper: You are one CREATIVE MAMA! The rocks and the girls are beautiful. This reminds me of my obsession with my RIVER OF TIME which does NOT flow through my garden – but is filled with special rocks depicting my sons, my sweetheart and the passage of time – where I find great comfort – just to sit on the ‘homemade’ bench and recall sweet memories!
    Regards, Eva Nell

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    January 16, 2014 at 8:19 am

    The rocks are beautiful! I remember the finger painting they did on that brown paper the Deer Hunter had. It was some kind of paper used in construction. One girl used red paint and the other green. Those are treasures for sure!
    It doesn’t have to cost a lot to make things. I like to refurbish old picture frames and make them new again and pretty with a new picture in them.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    January 16, 2014 at 8:16 am

    I have never painted rocks, but after looking at the girls’ creations, maybe I should take it up. Plenty of rocks around.

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    January 16, 2014 at 7:55 am

    What a long time it’s been since I’ve painted rocks or led my own children and grandchildren to “create” in this way. I wonder why I have not thought about it with my great grandchildren? Maybe because they’re not around to visit me long enough to get into something as creative as this “rock-gathering, rock-painting” project. Thanks for the pictorial adventure! Enjoyed seeing and reading about it–and it renewed some ideas for me!

  • Reply
    Karen Larsen
    January 16, 2014 at 7:50 am

    I love their painted rocks!! Once when I was a kid and the parents were out somewhere and my brothers were babysitting me, I took a notion to paint the two huge rocks that were on either side of our driveway entrance. I painted them white. When my parents returned, they were NOT amused!! Ah well…. maybe it was water-based paint and it wore off. I don’t remember.

  • Reply
    January 16, 2014 at 7:34 am

    Hubby and I trailer our motorcycle to NC mountains at least once a year, I always get him to stop at a creek or river and find a few smooth rocks to bring home….I just love to feel them, so smooth. I think the girls dud an awesome job painting their rocks.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    January 16, 2014 at 7:26 am

    What fun!

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    January 16, 2014 at 7:16 am

    Tipper–I never painted one, but I skipped a passel of them as a boy. A rock-throwing episode with my Grandpa Joe when I was about 10 years old provided me a memorable experience I still cherish, although it was painful (at least to my pride) at the time. Maybe I can share it with you someday.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    January 16, 2014 at 7:14 am

    Oh I love these rocks. Lovedy, love, love them ! I want the snowflake one.
    Hugs to you all
    Renea Winchester

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