In today’s post: Learn how to turn river rocks into adorable pumpkins with this easy Halloween craft for kids that’s fun for adults too! Tuck these pumpkin painted rocks into your garden or place them around the neighborhood to make people smile.
Today’s project is a fun Halloween craft for kids and adults: pumpkin painted rocks. They’re easy to make and turn out adorable. Kids will love sharing them with friends and neighbors. Get the step by step directions below.
For a super easy Halloween craft for kids, visit this post: Paper Pumpkins
How to Paint Pumpkin Rocks
You’ll start by painting your rocks orange. You can use inexpensive acrylic paint and a foam paintbrush. Depending on what color your rocks are to begin with, you may need two coats of paint. If you are making lots of rocks and want to speed up the process, you can use orange spray paint instead. I only painted the top side of my rocks.
Once the orange paint is dry, you can have fun decorating your pumpkin rocks and turning them into Jack-O-Lanterns.
- I started by drawing curved lines with an ultrafine Sharpie to mimic the texture of a pumpkin. I traced circles that I cut from card stock to make the lines – you could also trace the sides of small plastic lids.
- Then I drew a green stem on each pumpkin rock using a green paint pen, and added some curled vines to some of the rocks.
- Finally I drew faces on using a black paint pen. I googled “Jack-O-Lantern faces” and used images I found online for ideas. Doing this made my pumpkin painted rocks MUCH cuter than if I’d just been trying to think up faces on my own.
In order to make pumpkin painted rocks, you’ll need the following:
- Rocks for painting
- Paint/paintbrush: you can use inexpensive acrylic craft paint and a cheap paintbrush, like a foam brush, but if you’ll be making lots of pumpkin rocks I’d recommend using spray paint
- Black and Green Paint pens: I used these ones from Walmart – you could also use paint and a small paintbrush but the pens are really easy to control
- Ultrafine black Sharpie if you’d like to add lines to your pumpkin
- Clear Sealant, such as Krylon Matte Finish. Please note that some sealant sprays can cause Sharpie to feather and run a little, so test your spray on one rock first. Also, spray from a little further away and use a couple very light coats to minimize this possibility.
- OPTIONAL: I cut some cardstock in circles of various sizes from about 1.5 inches to 3.5 inches and used these as templates to make smooth lines on my pumpkins. This is totally optional and if you’re making these with kids they might prefer to skip this step.
Where to Get Rocks for Painting
For painting, you want smooth, round-ish rocks that are fairly flat. I found a bag of white river rocks at my local Lowe’s for about $11 (photo below). The bag has 50+ rocks of different sizes and shapes, and I was easily able to find 20 rocks that worked great for turning into pumpkins. I have plenty of rocks in other shapes left over for other paintings, and lots of smaller rocks as well.
If you’d like to order rocks, you can try these options from Amazon:
- This set of 15 black river rocks varies in size from 1 inch to 4 inches. The ones I received were nice quality and very smooth.
- This slightly more expensive set of 10 black river rocks are all fairly large, between 2.5 and 4 inches, and were very smooth and nice and flat.
- Smooth River Rocks roundish if possible
- Orange Paint acrylic craft paint or spray paint
- Foam Paintbrush if using acrylic paint
- Green and Black Paint pens
- UltraFine Black Sharpie
- Clear Sealer like Krylon Matte Finish, see note below
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- Rinse the river rocks to remove any dust and allow to dry completely.
- Paint rocks orange and allow to dry. You can paint both sides or just the side you plan to decorate. You can use acrylic craft paint and a foam paintbrush, although if you are making lots of rocks spray paint with be faster. Two coats may be needed.
- If desired, use the ultrafine Sharpie to add curved lines down the front of the pumpkin. See note for tip about using circle templates here.
- To decorate the pumpkin rocks, start by using the green paint pen to draw a stem near the top of the rock. Add curled vines if desired.
- Use the black paint pen to draw a Jack-o-lantern face on the pumpkin. Search online for jack-o-lantern clip art to get ideas.
- When all the paint is fully dry, seal the pumpkin rocks with a clear spray.