Two years ago, while visiting family on the east shore of Lake Michigan, my children spent an afternoon knee-deep in warm lake water filling an ice cream bucket of rocks and pebbles—which later turned into what we call pebble art.
That statement says two things about our family: we eat a lot of ice cream, and we’re easily entertained.
Fast forward to now. I have three bored-off-their-gourd kids, a bucketful of penny-sized pebbles (still), and a hunkering for some creativity. Doing what we moms do best, I turned to Pinterest for motivation. It did not disappoint.
Introducing Pebble Art
Let me first say, you don’t have to drive to Michigan, gorging on ice cream to do this craft. The Dollar Store sells pebbles and rocks, as do most craft stores.
Pebble art is just what it sounds like, a piece of art using pebbles. Any quick search for pebble art will pop up a slew of inspirational ideas ranging from simple to complex. We went for simple.
What you’ll need to create Pebble Art:
card stock paper and frame** (or canvas)
fine-tipped Sharpie, black
pencil and scissors
twigs and twine if desired
*We used Aleene’s tacky glue for its strong bonding qualities while still being appropriate for little hands. It dries clear and has a price point of $2 a bottle.
**If you want the art behind glass, use a photo box frame.
Spread the pebbles out, making them easier to see. Embrace the time-consuming process of children oohing and ahhing over all the cool rocks—because they will. It’s also beneficial, like spreading out the pieces of a puzzle before putting it together. You need to see what you have to know what you’re working with.
Cut paper to size to fit inside the frame. Lay the pebbles out in the chosen design, using twigs or twine as desired for embellishment. For birds on a twig, glue the twig in place first. Press and hold gently for 30-60 seconds. Eager kid fingers sometimes press too hard on glue, and items may slide from the original location. If possible, draw beaks before gluing the pebble birds: glue pebble birds and any additional embellishments as desired. Always sign your art. Allow the glue to dry completely before framing.
Do all background work first. Use watercolors to paint a scenic background or colored paper to create a simplistic scene before adhering to the pebbles. For most ideas, we found gluing pebbles was the last step. Curlicue cattails, twigs, twine, balloon strings, inked lines for beaks and feet: all worked and looked better if they were placed first.
Enjoy! Use for décor or gifts for friends, grandparents, and teachers.