Have you been spotted painted rocks appearing around your town and wondered what is going on?
There is a new craze sweeping across the country and it is such a sweet happy one that Sherbet Lane wanted to join in!
It's a simple idea, you decorate stones and pebbles and hide them around your home town for people to discover. Most have a message on the back to either keep or re-hide the rock for the next person to find. The only mission is to get creative and then share it to make somebody smile - now that is something worth getting involved in isn't it?!
There is no need to be an amazing artist, it is a creative craze everyone is invited to join in with and it's a brilliant activity for kids to join in with.
There are some large Facebook groups, one of the biggest is called Love On The Rocks UK, as well as many smaller local ones where people post up rocks they have created and other post up pictures of rocks that they have found.
How do I get started?
You can see if there are any local groups to you and go rock hunting when people have said they have been out hiding them then get making rocks yourself too!
What stones or rocks do I use?
You are bound to find something in your garden that will do to start you off - the smoother the surface the easier it is to decorate. You can collect some pebbles from a beach if you are lucky enough to live close by but check your local rules as some authorities have a ban on this to preserve vulnerable beaches.
Once you are addicted you might find it easier to buy a small bag of rocks from a shop garden centre to keep up with your creating.
Do I have to prepare the rocks with anything?
Just give them a quick wash to remove dirt and dust and you are ready to go! Some people prefer to give them a coat of acrylic paint or use one of those little match pot testers for wall paint to give the tone a base colour to decorate over.
What equipment do I need?
Acrylic paints will work best as the colours remain strong when dried - a set of fine brushes will help to get lots of detail in your painting!
Most felt tipped pens or markers will work but the colours can look a little muted. Sharpies can work quite well and, though expensive, acrylic paint pens such as Posca look amazing as the colours really 'pop'. It's handy to have a pen to write on the back of your rock to tell people what to do when the find it.
It is best to 'seal' the rocks once you have finished them as they will be left outside open to the elements. This can be difficult to get right as some varnishes will make pens bleed and run a bit so you may need to do a bit of experimenting first. Many people have been buying cheap yacht varnish from shops like PoundWorld or Wilko which works well (warning it is rather smelly!) I use a spray varnish on mine.
I'm stuck for ideas!
Look up other rocks people have created for inspiration - there are many here on my Pinterest board. Copy a picture you love, you can trace onto a rock first with pencil to help you! If you still don't feel confident with your drawing skills why not try out some patterns? Click here are some simple design ideas to get you started.
Where shall I leave them?
Put them outside anywhere around your town, place them where people might just catch them out the corner of their eye! I have left mine on benches, in flower displays, next to letterboxes, on paths in parks and on walls.
Happy rock finding and creating!
Claire Keay is an illustrator who has spent many years working in the children's picture book industry. With Sherbet Lane she has now branched out into the grown up world to create a truly unique monthly stationery subscription box bearing her cheery illustrations. Each month subscribers get delivery of a box packed with beautiful stationery illustrated by Claire based around a different theme every time. Want to keep up to date with her new illustrations and happy stationery? Just sign up below for the newsletter!