Rock art is one of the most ancient forms of artistic expression in the world. The oldest cave painting dates to a whopping 64,000 years ago: a red hand stencil painted by a Neanderthal in Maltravieso cave, Spain. Making handprints are still popular today - and it's likely that if you have kids, you might have a colourful poster paint version of a tiny hand somewhere in your house.


Rock painting and pebble painting is a fantastic craft that anyone can enjoy - there are lots of different styles and designs you can create, many of which follow an easy rock painting formula to ensure beautiful results every time. Scroll down to see some of my favourite Mandela rock painting ideas for what I mean by 'easy rock painting formula'.

In this article, you'll discover heaps of inspiration for rock painting ideas, from simple rock painting ideas to more advanced designs. Some of the best rock painting ideas are marketed towards kids - it's a great holiday craft activity and will keep them occupied for an hour or two, just make sure to put down plenty of newspaper!

If you like this, you might also enjoy our 50 Craft Ideas for Kids to make at home or our Papercrafts for kids round-up. We’ve also got lots of inspiration for specific ages too, with our favourite collections of craft ideas for toddlers and craft ideas for teenagers.

We love seeing what you make, so don’t forget to share your arts and crafts projects with us on Facebook and Twitter, too!

Easy rock painting ideas

Ready? Let's dive into some of the best rock painting and pebble painting ideas.

1. Domino rocks

This is probably one of the easiest rock painting ideas we've come across - domino rocks! Repeat Crafter Me (fantastic name for a blog) has put together a fantastic tutorial on how to create these black and white beauties - check it out!

2. Strawberry rocks

These strawberry rocks look good enough to eat! Crafts by Amanda has put together a detailed step-by-step tutorial on how to create your own basket full of delicious looking strawberry rocks.

3. Stationary rocks

We love these stationary-themed rock painting ideas - thanks to Sam over at ColorMadeHappy for this great idea!

4. Glitter word art

Have you tried Glitterific paint? You'll want to once you've seen this fabulous rock painting tutorial over at 100 Directions!

5. Vegetable rocks

How about some rock painting ideas with a purpose? Paint up these garden vegetable rocks by Adventure in a Box, and use them to mark the locations of your vegetable seeds!

6. Rock magnets

Here's another practical idea for your miniature masterpieces - rock magnets. We love the bright, bold colours in Alisa Burke's designs!

7. Puffy paint sugar skull rocks

Puffy Paint has long been a favourite among crafters, so why not add some dimension to your painted rocks? Sam at ColorMadeHappy shows you how!

8. Rock painted photo holders

How about this - another practical use for your painted rocks! Wrap some wire around your rocks and use it to create these beautiful rock photo holders. Find the tutorial over at One Little Project.

9. Wedding rocks

Add a touch of gold leaf to create these deceptively easy painted rocks - they would make unique and cute wedding favours! Find more inspiration for wedding rocks from Frieda Therés.

10. Gilded rocks

You can create some gorgeous designs by painting glue in different patterns and applying gold leaf. Country Hill Cottage has taken this to quite literally create gold leaves with their gold leaf - but you can paint whatever shape you like!

11. Herb garden markers

This is a really on-trend project, and if you love the cottagecore aesthetic, then this is for you! Find the full herb garden rock painting tutorial at Plaid Online.

12. Doodle rock painting idea

This is a very satisfying project. Use paint markers to create tessellating shapes, and decorate each shape individually using a finer nib in black or white. Check out the full tutorial from Sam at ColorMadeHappy!

13. Pour painted rocks

Feeling creative but don't want to physically paint anything? Then these pour painted rocks are for you - and you needn't waste the run-off paint, either - pop a canvas underneath to catch the "wasted" paint. Check out Jackie's blog, Happy Hooligans for the full tutorial.

14. Emoji rock painting ideas

Cara Dura Designs has a LOT of great rock painting ideas on her Instagram - including these fun emoji rocks!

15. Pumpkin patch painted rocks

Check out this easy to follow tutorial from Adventure in a Box for these wonderfully characterful pumpkins! Unlike real pumpkins, you don't need to throw these painted rocks out after a few days - so you can bring them out year after year!

16. Pretty petals

Build up a pretty flower garden following a Life of Colour Products easy rock painting tutorial! Take your time, and let each layer dry before adding the next.

17. Watercolour style butterfly rock idea

Learn which paint to use to create this simple, yet effective watercolour-style painted rock (clue: the secret is in the paint!) - check it out at I Love Painted Rocks.

18. Pokémon rock painting ideas

Another great idea from Cara Dura Designs - we love these pokémon face rocks! Can you paint 'em all?

19. Turtle rock painting idea

Kaz Windness has created this lovely totem turtle rock over on her blog, Random Acts of Creativity - she's added glitter and sealed it with Mod Podge to make it more durable!

20. Glitter butterfly painted rock idea

Watch the free video tutorial over at I Love Painted Rocks and make this gorgeous glitter butterfly rock! To help the glitter stay in place - use a spray sealer or varnish to finish.

21. Stamped rocks

No artistic skill? No problem! If you don't have time to learn how to paint, how about using stamps instead? Michelle's Party Plan-it shows you how!

22. Spiderman rock

Painting spiderman has never been easier than with this tutorial from Life of Colour Products! The pattern is broken down into manageable steps - try it out!

23. Minion rock painting ideas

Who doesn't love Minions? This easy rock painting idea has been created by Mum in the Madhouse - the details are drawn on with a sharpie!

24. Hogwarts painted rock idea

This is a great rock painting idea - and one that can be painted onto rocks of every shape and size - thanks to Karen Jakicic on Instagram!

25. Puffy paint rocks

Did you know you can also use puffy paint to create a pigmented wash? Sam at ColorMadeHappy shows you how!

26. Inspire kindness

Want to spread a little kindness with your artwork? Check out this tutorial from Inspire Kindness, which includes lots of quotes for rocks painting to get you started.

27. Alcohol inks

The Rock Painting Guide has an extremely thorough tutorial on everything you need to know about creating vibrant works of art on rocks using alcohol inks and is definitely worth a browse!

28. How to draw a cactus with paint pens

Learn how to draw this adorable cactus using paint pens in this easy tutorial from Color Made Happy!

29. Sea view tutorial

Rock Painting 101 has designed this easy step-by-step tutorial and is a great place to start if you want to create a beautiful beach scene.

Mandala rock painting ideas

30. Beginner's Guide

Learn everything you need to know about Mandala rock painting over at The Rock Painting Guide. Learn about the different tools, patterns, supplies and follow this step-by-step tutorial. This is a great place to start for anyone wanting to get into mandala rock painting ideas.

31. You Got This

Combine mandala rock painting ideas with inspirational quotes to create this stunning work of art. Go check out creator Rain on Instagram for more beautiful mandala rock painting ideas!

32. Easy mandala rock art tutorial

Colorful Crafts have put together a really easy to follow step-by-step photo tutorial on how to create this piece of mandala rock art. Learn how to get the perfect spacing between dots!

33. Love hearts

Just beautiful - what's not to love about this gorgeous rock painting idea? Go check out creator Rain on Instagram for more beautiful mandala rock painting ideas!

34. Ladybug mandala rock painting tutorial

This is a great tutorial on how to create a ladybug using the mandala dot art method - it's easy to follow and includes LOTS of picture steps, so it's a great beginner project, too. Go check it out at The Things We'll Make.

35. Be strong

Combine your rock painting ideas with a simple message - we think this would make a lovely gift for someone! For more stunning mandala rock painting ideas and lots of positive vibes, follow creator Rain on Instagram!

36. Mandala rainbow rock painting tutorial

I Love Painted Rocks has a great tutorial that makes use of temporary tattoos to create mandala artwork on rainbow painted rocks - such a great idea!

37. Mandala heart rock painting tutorial

These easy mandala hearts are the ideal quick project - find the full tutorial over at Sustain My Craft Habit!

38. Tools of the trade

So what can you use to make your own mandala rock art? Head over to Concord Monitor where they have ranked the best and worst items to use.

39. Improve your technique

Improve your mandala rock painting technique by following the useful advice over at RockPainting101.

Rock painting ideas for kids

40. Pet cactus

This design really is one of the best rock painting ideas for kids! Paint a rock green, add some white spots or stripes and stick a couple of googly eyes on it. We're in love! Check out the full tutorial over at The Best Ideas for Kids.

41. Baby chick rocks

This is such a simple idea - but we are in love! There are so many great tutorials over at The Rock Painting Guide this is one of their Easter projects. Go check them out!

42. Glow in the dark monster rocks

Use glow in the dark paint to create these fun monster rocks! Cover the rock with paint, then grab a sharpie and draw on some funny mouths - find the full tutorial here!

43. Ladybug rocks

Who doesn't love ladybird rock painting ideas? Crafts by Amanda has created these fun, colourful painted rocks - ideal for kids - check out her blog for more details!

44. Bee rocks

These bee rocks are a really nice rock painting project for kids - they're bright and colourful, and easy to paint. Head over to Easy Peasy and Fun for all the details!

45. Learning is fun!

Teach little ones about colours with this fun rock painting project from Homemade Heather.

46. Shark rocks

We love this idea - and it makes great use of triangular rocks that you might not otherwise know what to do with. Find the full step-by-step tutorial over at Sustain my Craft Habit!

47. Caterpillar rocks

These caterpillar rocks are great - kids can paint multiple rocks with green paint, add some eyes to one and arrange their caterpillar to be creeping around the garden!

48. Sharpie caterpillar rocks

You don't need to use paint if you want the best rock painting ideas for kids - how about this fab colourful caterpillar? We love it! Head over to Glued to my Craft Blog for products and a tutorial.

49. Very Hungry Caterpillar rocks

Take storytelling to the next level and create your own Very Hungry Caterpillar! Go visit Sam at ColorMeHappy to find out how to give this Very Hungry Caterpillar its wings!

50. Toadstool house

Add two rocks together to create your own wonky toadstool house - the wonkier the rocks, the better! Check out more great ideas at Life of Colour Products.

51. Noughts and crosses

Turn painted rocks into a fun game with this fantastic idea from Run Wild My Child. One person has even commented that this would make a lovely Father's Day gift - we absolutely agree!

52. Heat embossed alphabet rocks

Fancy switching things up? How about using alphabet stamps with heat-activated embossing powders? Find the full tutorial over at ColorMadeHappy!

53. Zombie rock painting idea

Simple Everyday Mom has created this easy tutorial for how to paint your own zombie rocks - ideal for Halloween, or just because!

54. Eyeball rock painting idea

This is another great project for kids - or for Halloween! Check out the full tutorial over at Carla Schauer Studio.

Advanced rock painting ideas

55. Fairy houses

Why not make miniature fairy houses and add a touch of magic to your garden! You'll find lots of fairy house inspiration over at Kezban Myself.

56. Moonrock

Okay - so it's not technically a moon rock - but we love this design. Doodlecraft Blog has paired up a holographic background with the first words ever uttered on the moon to create this fantastic painted moon rock design.

57. A touch of lace

This multimedia project will draw in techniques from papercraft and découpage to create these beautiful layered painted rocks. Find the full tutorial and products at Plaid Online.

58. Colour shift rock painting idea

Combine this cool colour shift technique with mandala dot art - Plaid Online shows you how in this step-by-step tutorial!

59. M & M rocks

You don't always need to use the perfectly round rocks - keep the quirky shapes and celebrate their differences! We love these M&M rocks by Our Art World.

60. The eyes have it

How about this for some advanced rock painting ideas? Jennifer Allnutt uses rocks as an extension of her studio, leaving them to be found (or lost) around Queensland. What a talent!

61. Volcanic vista

Learn how to paint this gorgeous volcanic landscape with this video tutorial from Annamoon FineArt!

62. 3D rock painting ideas

Theresa Frankart has created this stunning 3D butterfly - and there is plenty more inspiration for advanced rock painting ideas on her Instagram page - go check it out!

63. Baby turtle

Follow the Painters Forum tutorial on how to create this sweet baby turtle over on their website!

64. Fairy door

Instead of painting the whole fairy house - just paint the fairy door! Find the full tutorial with tips and tricks over at Adventure in a Box.

65. Owl rock painting idea


Watch this video tutorial from Rachel's Rocks Canada and learn how to paint this beautiful owl rock! Take time to plan out your design first in pencil onto a white painted rock first.


Holly SpannerStaff Writer, BBC Science Focus

Holly is the staff writer at BBC Science Focus, and specialises in astronomy. Before joining the team she was a geoenvironmental consultant and holds an MSc in Geoscience (distinction) from UCL.

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