In today’s post: Learn how to make Halloween “painted” rocks the easy way – using temporary tattoos! Just print out our sheet of fun Halloween characters on tattoo paper, then let kids transfer them to rocks. This is an easy Halloween craft that even young kids can have success with.
The EASY Way to make Halloween Painted Rocks
It’s fun to paint rocks to leave near your sidewalk or on trails around town, or even just to decorate with at home. But rock painting may not be ideal for younger kids, who might wreak a little havoc if you hand them a paint pen! Today’s version of Halloween “painted” rocks is perfect for little ones because it doesn’t actually require any painting. The cute Halloween images are transferred onto white rocks using temporary tattoo paper. The transfer is super easy and feels a bit like magic. Once the rocks are sealed with a matte spray, you can hardly even tell they haven’t been painted.
If you are looking for a classic painted Halloween rock tutorial, visit this post: Pumpkin Painted Rocks
To make these Halloween rocks, you will need:
- Temporary Tattoo Paper: I use this brand of tattoo paper from Amazon. Make sure you purchase tattoo paper for the type of printer you have (the kind I linked is for inkjet printers).
- Halloween designs to print and transfer: click here for the designs I used
- Smooth white rocks: I purchased a large bag of white beach pebbles at Lowes for around $11 that came with many many more rocks than you see here; you can also find white rocks on Amazon although they will be much more expensive per rock.
- Scissors, credit card or ruler, damp cloth
Print the Designs on Tattoo Paper
Tattoo paper comes in two parts: there’s a printable sheet and an adhesive sheet with a plastic backing. Print your designs on the printable sheet.
Apply the Adhesive Sheet
The adhesive sheet comes with a plastic backing. Peel the backing from one corner of the adhesive sheet and match that corner up with the top corner of your printed design. Peel away the rest of the backing, pressing the adhesive sheet down on the printed design. Use a credit card or ruler to smooth down the adhesive sheet so there are no bubbles.
Cut Out the Halloween Tattoos
Cut out each Halloween tattoo. It’s ok to leave a small border around each tattoo as you can see in the photo below. It won’t be noticeable once you seal the rocks with matte spray. However, you can trim the designs exactly if you prefer (I did not).
Transfer Tattoo to Rocks
If your rocks are dusty, be sure to wash them and allow them to dry before using. Find rocks that will fit each Halloween tattoo. Remember that the tattoos will be reversed once applied to the rocks. Peel the plastic adhesive sheet off of the tattoo and then place the tattoo face down on a rock. Press on the tattoo with a damp cloth until you can see the design through the paper and the paper becomes easy to remove, leaving the design on the rock.
Seal with Matte Spray
After the tattoo has been transferred, smooth it down with your fingers if needed. Allow the tattoos to dry at least 15 minutes. Then you can seal the rocks with a matte spray if desired. Different sprays can work differently, so test your spray on one rock first. I used Krylon Matte Finish. You could probably also paint the rocks with matte Mod Podge to finish them.
NOTE: I have not tested these rocks out in the elements, so I do not know how long the tattoos will hold up if they are constantly getting wet. If you’ll like to leave them outside, I’d recommend applying multiple layers of matte sealant.
- Temporary Tattoo Paper
- Smooth White Rocks
- Matte Sealant Spray
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- If rocks are dusty, wash them and let them dry first.
- Print designs onto tattoo paper.
- Apple adhesive sheet to printed designs and smooth down.
- Cut around each Halloween tattoo. Remove the plastic backing from one tattoo.
- Press the tattoo face down on a rock. Cover it with a damp towel and wait until the design shows through the paper and paper is easy to remove.
- Smooth down tattoo with your fingers. Seal with matte spray if desired.