Introduction: Rock Collage

Hello everybody! One of my biggest flaws is I'm a huge hoarder (as most DIY artists are). If it looks pretty, I keep it in my collection. Well, I realized I had to throw some things out because the clutter in my house was becoming a big problem. I then remembered about all the rocks and shells that I had collected from the beach last year. I was about to just throw them out when I realized I just couldn't! They were all so beautifully and shiny! However, they were useless at the bottom of my closet. That's when I came up with the idea of the rock collage.

This project is about re using rocks to make simple yet alluring room decor. While it might seem daunting, I promise that it is so much easier than it seems. No matter what kind of rocks you have, I know you are going to make something amazing!

Let's get started!!!

Step 1: Supplies

The great thing about this project is you only need household items! You will be using:

  • Rocks and shells (You can just go to the beach or the park to get these! If that's not an option for you, you can find some great ones online.)
  • Cardboard
  • Glue (You need something that is very strong, not a glue stick or school glue.)
  • Paint (Any color of your choice)*
  • Pencil and paper
  • Paint brush
  • Scissors

*For the paint, I would recommend acrylic paint since we will be painting on cardboard. Other paints might not show on the cardboard. In addition, you will have to do five to six layers, so make sure you have a good amount.


  • Glitter
  • Rock paint
  • Crayons, oil pastel

Step 2: Plan Your Design

This step is crucial to your project. If you don't have a plan, your art will be sloppy and all over the place. Take a pencil and paper and sketch out the possibilities! For this tutorial, I decided to make a guitar, but feel free to do something completely different like your name or favorite animal!

Once you choose a design, be sure to practice drawing it. This will give you a perfected framework for your art.

Advice: Don't make your design too detailed. We will be using rocks, so the shape will not be perfect.

Step 3: Sketch It Out on the Cardbaord

Slowly draw your design on the cardboard. It shouldn't be too small, but the size will ultimately be decided by how many rocks you have. Don't worry about putting in too many details, just a good outline. After you draw it pencil, outline in pen or marker.

Step 4: Start to Place Rocks

We are now going to move on to rock placement. You want to outline you design with your smallest rocks and pebbles. Make sure to be exact as possible so you can make you design look as real a possible. However, don't expect it to be exactly on the line, it might be a little off. Don't glue yet!

Step 5: Fill in Bigger Rocks

Now you want to fill in all those huge gaps with your big rocks. Don't worry if your smaller rocks move a little bit. As long as you stay near the original shape, it's fine. This is also a good tie to add your shells if you have any. Again, don't glue yet!

Step 6: More Pebbles

If there are any more gaps, you can fill those in with your leftover smaller rocks. Don't worry if they overlap or it doesn't look as neat as you wanted it to. I like to think of it as part of the beauty!

Step 7: Glue It Down

Finally, you can glue! Pick up the rock, brush on a little glue, and place it back. This process can be a little tedious, especially if you're impatient like me. I got a little "Me Time" out of it and put on a good movie while sticking. However, if you find it peaceful and relaxing, then just keep on going! Make sure to place it back in the right spot or you'll mess up your design. Leave it to dry overnight. Trust me, it'll be worth it :)

Step 8: Paint

Once it's completely dry, it's time to paint! Pick a color and start working the background. Since cardboard absorbs moisture, don't worry if it still looks super brown after the first coat. I had to do six coats for it to look decent, so hang in there! My paint took an hour to dry after each coat, but other paints might take longer or shorter. If a little paint gets on the rocks, don't panic! You'll be able to wipe it afterwards.

Step 9: Finishing Touches

Once your background is completely set, you can start perfecting your piece! Delicately wipe any rocks with paint on them and cut off excess cardboard that isn't painted.

Step 10: Optional Touch Ups

If you would like, you can add glitter and rock paint to your rocks. If not, the rocks shine with natural beauty! You can also add some details to the background like doodles or words.

Step 11: Enjoy!

Take a minute to look at what you made. Yeah, you made that! Give yourself a pat on the back. You can hang this in your room or even gift it to someone! Let me know in the comments how your project went and any improvements you might make to this collage!

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