Quarantine Crafts with Mary S

Hello and welcome! For Quarantine Crafts this week I admittedly had a hard time feeling creative but I am glad I pushed through and stayed with my original plan (even though I wanted to abandon it about 27 times.) While I wasn’t feeling creative, I did enjoy putting on an audiobook and escaping from reality for a few hours. I hope you’re finding ways to escape too, if just for a little bit!

Deciding what to make this week was tough but going through the things in my house I discovered I had some river rocks in a craft bin that I originally purchased a few years ago for a gardening adventure with my oldest son. He promptly lost interest once the supplies were purchased so I figured I could try my hand at painting them. I’ve seen some cute plant pots with rocks painted as cacti on the internet so that’s what I settled on. Painting is most definitely not my strong suit but I figured I couldn’t mess it up too bad — and I didn’t! I’m pretty pleased with the way they turned out. I hope you’ll give these a try! I’ve also seen rocks with herb/vegetable names hand painted on them to place in a garden or herb planter if that’s more your style.

The materials I used are:

  • Rocks
  • Acrylic paint (This worked for my rocks as they will be indoors. If your rocks will be outside you will want to use acrylic patio paint or something compatible)
  • Paint brushes
  • Small flower pots

Step 1: Wash the rocks if they are dirty and if they are particularly rough, use a scrub brush. Any dirt remaining on the rock will affect how the paint sticks. My rocks were purchased river rocks and were very smooth so a quick rinse was enough.

Step 2: I painted a primer coat with a neutral color to give the green paint a better chance at showing up reducing the number of coats of green needed to coverage I liked. It’s not necessary but I do recommend it if your rocks are a dark color to start. Once that primer coat is dry, completely paint the rocks green. I had several different shades of green so I used more than one to give a variety of cactus colors. In some of the examples I’ve seen online two shades are used on one rock to create the texture of the cactus before adding the needle designs. Remember — there is no right or wrong way, be creative!

Step 3: Now that the rocks are all green and dry, use a fine tipped paint brush to free hand the needle designs. I used google for some inspiration —  there are a ton of beautiful examples! I used white paint for this but you can use whatever you’d like.

Step 4: This step is optional and based on what you have on hand. Along with the larger rocks, I also found little tiny pebbles in a bag. I grabbed a few of these and painted them bright colors to make cactus flowers! These will be glued onto the cactus rocks but I recommend setting these aside until you have arranged your cacti in your planter.

Step 5: If you don’t have a million little pebbles to fill your planter like I did, find something to fill the majority of the empty space in your planter pot. You could fill it with cardboard and use colored paper to create a desert like surface, fill it with sand, etc. Now arrange your cacti in the pot. If you didn’t paint cactus flowers, you’re done! Place your pot somewhere nice to bring you joy.

Step 6: Now we bring back the cactus flowers you painted earlier. I used hot glue to stick them on to a few of the cacti in the pot. One fell off immediately once I picked up the whole pot so I recommend using something stronger like super glue if you have it. If hot glue is all you have, just be gentle once you adhere the flowers.

I painted enough rocks that I could fill a decent size pot without it looking bare. I also separated them out into mini pots to see what that looked like. My kids liked the little ones and snatched two for their bedroom so these are the remaining in their new home next to my furry friends. I’d love to see what you can do so share your creations with me! Happy crafting!





The Library will be closed November 26th through November 28th for the Thanksgiving Holiday. We will reopen Monday, November 30th from 1pm-7pm.