Family Life


3 min Read

Rock Art Cacti

garden with stones painted like ladybugs and cacti

The trick to really awesome rock art is to find water-worn stones. The smooth surface is ideal for painting (otherwise you lose some of the detail of your work to nooks and crannies!). Use different sizes of rocks to create a scene or find a nice big one for our dip-dyed doorstop craft. Make the task of collecting the rocks into an outing—hit the beach or find a stream, pack a picnic and get searching.

Cactus-and-creature tableau


  • water-worn stones in a variety of sizes
  • acrylic paints
  • paint brush
  • googly eyes
  • hot-glue gun


  1. For cacti: Choose four to six rocks, in a range of sizes and shapes, and paint in various hues of green. Allow to dry. With a fine-tipped paintbrush or a paint pen, use white to add rows of uniform dots or asterisks (to look like spikes!).
  2. For creatures: Whether it’s a ladybug or a bumblebee, start with a base coat of one colour. Then use black to add details, like faces, wings and other patterns. Use the hot glue gun (carefully!) to add googly eyes. 

Once your rock art is completely dry, fill a clay pot with sand (either from the beach or from a craft store—just make sure it isn’t wet) and press the completed rocks into the sand to make a scene. Display either indoors or out; just be prepared that rock art left outside will wear faster.

Dip-dye doorstop


  • clothesline or cord
  • fabric dye


Choose a large smooth rock, heavy enough to keep a door open (test it first!). 

Cut a length of cord long enough to loop around the ends of your rock length-wise and to loop on top to make a handle. Glue in place. Then cut several lengths of cord just long enough to wrap around the rock width-wise. Tape the ends to prevent fraying and wrap each strand tightly around the rock, running over the base of the loop; hot glue each end to the underside. Repeat with as many strands as you like.

When the rock is complete, lower it into a pot of hot fabric die, with the loop at the top; make sure it isn’t completely submerged, so that the colour can wick up the rope to your desired height. Remove from pot and set on newspaper to dry. Make sure it is completely dry before using to avoid transferring dye to the floor. Quick tip: if you don’t want the rock to be dyed, paint it with a couple of coats of water-repellant urethane and let dry before adding the ropes.

a man carrying two children

Related Articles