"Pick Me Up" Message Rocks




About: I am a teacher outside of Boston and I love making cool stuff! Any prizes I'm lucky enough to win will go directly to my classroom (when appropriate) where I teach 6-12th grade English & Social Studies (...

This year one of the items for a scavenger hunt we participate in was "124. Be someone’s “rock” to get them through the hard times. Hand-paint small rocks with a message of kindness & leave them in areas that need a pick-me-up. (On the underside, please write “Pass it on.”) You must paint & hide at least one rock for each member of your team." This is a great idea and so I took on the task of creating these messages to hopefully brighten someone's day.

This is a great activity to do outdoors, with kids, and a nice random act of kindness. Life is tough and sometimes when you're having a particularly hard day there's nothing like a couple positive words to lift you up.

Step 1: BoM

Glossy craft/acrylic paints

Paint brushes of different sizes

Rocks with at least one smoothing surface

Fine tip paint pens

Step 2: The Rocks

Rocks can be collected pretty much anywhere. These I found outside my apartment. I brought them in and cleaned them up, getting all the dirt etc off and then letting them dry.

Step 3: Background

I started by painting backgrounds on all the rocks. Some of the rocks I painted just one face, the rest I painted whole.

Step 4: Frames

I used liner and spotter brushes to paint lines, dots, etc on the rocks to create frames. Then I let them dry as I planned what messages to put on which rocks.

Step 5: Messages

I went to friends and Pinterest for message ideas, and tried to pick on-religious but very positive and "things will get better" type messages. I used fine tipped paint pens to write the messages as my hands aren't steady enough for painting messages with brushes.

Step 6: Place

We decided to place some of the rocks near a local college where students passing could see them. We ultimately moved them away from the bridge to a different visible area so they aren't at risk for being dropped on cars by accident or on purpose.



    • Organization Contest

      Organization Contest
    • Weaving Challenge

      Weaving Challenge
    • Pie Contest

      Pie Contest

    3 Discussions


    Question 7 months ago on Step 3

    I want to do this as a culminating activity with students and parents for summer school, but I'm worried that the paint will take too long to dry...did you do this over the course of a couple days?

    1 answer

    Reply 3 months ago

    Craft paint (those .50 cent bottles from art stores) dries pretty quickly. If you give your students a couple rocks to paint, by the time they have the first color on all of them the rocks should be dry enough to add more details etc. Some kids work faster than others, we did this over 1-2 hour long periods.


    1 year ago

    Very thoughtful. What may seem like a small gesture isn't small at all--especially to anyone happening by who is really struggling with depression (or any number of other issues, for that matter!) Coming across one of these "pick me up" rocks could make all the difference for someone out there. :-)