The spooky season of Halloween is upon us… So it seemed just so logical add to my collection of scary concrete stones! Why do we always have the same old Halloween designs and decoration?! Be original and whip up a bunch of these Rock Eye Peepers and they will keep a watchful eye on your place. These are my completely unique concrete designs as I love working with concrete!
And thanks Buzzfeed for noticing my crazy ideas, but really I’m not THAT crazy…
Step 1: The Stuff:
- Hunt around and you probably have some of these decorative clear glass vase filler pebbles in the house somewhere. They come in a few sizes but I chose the largest I could find.
- Dig out some nail polish as well; especially tones of eye colours and plain white.
- Any colour of zipper will work but you will need about 6″ (upcycle from your old jeans). They can be cut shorter to suit.
- The impatient part of me is using a fast setting concrete again, but you may check here to see what other choices you may have.
- Add some tin foil and old plastic bags,
- hot glue & glue-gun,
- as well as the usual safety equipment like gloves and dust mask.
Step 2: The Eyes Come First:
The process for making the glass eyes involves working on the flat side of the pebbles which will eventually be the back. Think backwards as the first layers will be the most visible. A drop of black will be the pupil and then a combination of colours will make up the iris. Look into your eye and see all the small details. Multiple layers and some scraping back will give the finer details.
The subsequent layers will show through nicely and combining a few colours makes it more unique. Add a final thick solid layer of white to finish it off. Don’t rush the drying. If you need to fix edges an xacto knife will scrape away any errors.
Here’s looking at you! And I love that they are glass and not plastic.
Step 3: The Rock Eye Form:
As a filler I have repurposed some of the plastic bags and then covered them with a layer of tin foil into a ball-like shape. It makes them lighter and it does not absorb moisture which is good. Crumple up a suitable shape and then hot glue the ‘glass eyes’ in place. You can make shapes that resemble imperfect rocks.
Step 4: Setting the Eyes:
Since these will probably find a home in the garden the inside eye section needs to also be permanent. Mix a very stiff amount of concrete (this mix sets quick so don’t mix too much) and then spread it around the eyes to completely cover the foil.
This is the inside eye section so it does not need to cover then entire rock. Let it cure which with this concrete is about 1 hour (yay!)
Step 5: The Zipper Eyelids:
Now the fun part; making some crazy eye expressions; angry, sad, whatever you like. They can also be flipped since the poor fellows don’t have noses… Tack the zipper sections in place with hot glue and cut off any extra length.
Each one has a personality. There’s just something about looking into someone’s eyes… mesmerizing.
Step 6: Patty-cake Patty Cake:
Do you now realize that playing in the sandbox (real sand and muck) was preparation for real life?!
Mix a small amount of the concrete mix. With a brush wet the zipper before spreading the stiff concrete mix up against the zipper with a flat tool like a knife or tongue depresser. If it is too dry it will not 'rob' the concrete of it’s moisture to make it crack.
Fill in the rest of the ‘rock’ and use your hands if needed. This concrete will start to get stiffer and become quite moldable like clay. Not all rocks are perfectly round so leave some texture and bumps. They are rocks not potatoes!
Step 7: Cleaning Up:
To smooth out any little lumps and have a clean edge to the zipper use a wet brush. Clean off any concrete on the eyes too.
Step 8: Rocks Aren’t Really That Clean:
Rocks are not meant to be perfectly white or clean so a thin ‘drippy’ wash of a mud-colour acrylic paint will make it look like authentic rock. Let it run and drip into the details; could not be easier! I find concrete lasts better without thick layers of paint as they tend to peel or flake off.
Step 9: Where Will You Put Your’s?
I’ve had some of the Smiling Stones in my rock garden for a while now, even under the snow. Passersby get quite the chuckle and the kids are quite startled. These will join the gang…
Why have to put away the Halloween stuff?! Keep them out all year! Unexpected little surprises in the garden are so much fun, especially since they look natural except for maybe the brilliant blue eyes.
Oh I did see you smile… So it’s worth it!
Have fun, be safe and amaze your friends!
Runner Up in the
Halloween Contest 2018