Is your yard or garden looking a little drab?
Whether you’re dealing with challenging soil or winter conditions, DIY painted rock flowers are a fast and fun way to brighten things up.
These colorful blooms are a pretty addition to any outdoor space — and you don’t need to worry about watering or weather!
I finished this easy DIY project in an afternoon with supplies I had on hand.
All you need is a few cans of spray paint (you can also use craft paint) and a few rocks. The best part?
Painting the rocks is easy-peasy; you can even get your little ones involved for a fun family activity.
Don’t worry if you’re not an artist — as long as you can apply a layer of paint, you can make gorgeous, colorful painted rock flowers.
Do you prefer video instructions? Watch me gather, paint, and arrange the rocks here:
- Rocks for flowers: Smooth river rocks, which have smooth surfaces and rounded edges, work best for the flowers. If you don’t live near a river or a lake, collect any type of rocks you can find. For each flower, you need one stone for the center and six stones for the petals. The center stone is relatively small; it can be round, square, or irregular. As you choose rocks for the petals, look for pieces that are longer and bigger than the center stone. For each set of six, choose stones that are approximately the same length and a similar shape. If you can find rocks that look like flower petals, great! If not, don’t worry — I used rocks in many different shapes, and they all look beautiful. As soon as you arrange them into a flower, the different textures and shapes add extra charm.
- Rocks for a border: While you’re collecting rocks for your flowers, pick up a selection of smaller rocks to create a border around your painted rock flower garden. I used rocks in a similar size for a neat, pretty look. If you prefer a more eclectic and organic vibe, collect any beautiful stones you can find. For best results, choose border rocks that are smaller than the rocks you’re using for the flowers.
- Acrylic spray paint in varying colors: This is the fun part! Choose spray paint in a variety of colors — the more you have, the more creative you can be. If you happen to have acrylic craft paint on hand, go ahead and use it; just make sure to add plenty of sealing spray. Most dollar stores, hardware stores, and home-goods stores carry budget-friendly paint.
- Clear spray for sealing: A clear sealing spray protects the paint on your flowers, helping them stay bright and beautiful in the sun, wind, and rain. If you’re on a tight budget, go ahead and skip the spray.
Choose a Construction Option for Your Rock Flower Garden
1. Lay the painted rocks directly on top of your grass
To create your rock garden, simply arrange the stones on any patch of grass to add color and curb appeal.
Pros: This method is a breeze to set up, so you can create your rock flower garden in no time. This is my favorite option; I love how the rocks look against the bright green grass.
Cons: Over time, the grass will grow and hide the stones. If you want to cut the grass, you’ll need to remove the rocks and replace them. This can be a time-consuming process.
2. Lay the painted rocks on a prepared garden bed
For a low-maintenance option, set your painted rock flowers on a bed of pebbles, mulch, or dirt. This method prevents grass from growing.
Pros: You don’t need to remove and replace your rocks every time you mow the lawn. The best part? This rock flower garden doesn’t require any maintenance.
Cons: This option takes more time and money. You’ll need to pay for the pebbles or mulch and spend time preparing the bed.
How To Arrange the Rock Flowers in a Garden
My favorite part of this painted rock flower garden is the flexibility.
The arrangement is completely up to you! You might choose to make flowers with one color for the center and a different color for the petals.
Alternatively, consider making rainbow flowers with petals in different colors.
If you’re bringing your kids in on the fun, this is a great time to let them use their imaginations for a truly personalized rock garden..
How To Make Painted Rocks into Flowers
1. Decide how many flowers you want to create.
For each one, collect 6 petal stones and 1 center stone.
As you’re collecting rocks, try to group your petal stones by size and shape; this makes it easier to remember which stones go together during the painting process.
Not sure which stones to choose? Try arranging them into a flower shape until you find the perfect collection.
2. Arrange the flowers in your driveway or yard.
This step takes a little bit of time, but it’s a big help when you start to paint! When your flowers are ready to go, you know exactly which stones to paint in each color.
Tip: try sketching your painted rock flowers with colored pencils. This helps you pick the perfect colors and serves as a reference when it’s time to paint. Need a visual? Check out my sample color chart below.
3. Gather your spray paint and prepare a painting area.
Collect all of your spray paint colors and set them in a well-ventilated outdoor space.
Remember, spray paint tends to go everywhere — it’s a good idea to choose a painting spot away from your house and car. Protect the cement or the ground by laying down a large piece of plywood.
Cardboard and paper are also good options; just keep in mind that the wet paint tends to stick to both materials, so you’ll need to do touch-ups.
4. Paint the stones, using one color at a time.
Pick a color to start. Find all of the stones for that color, and arrange them on the wood or cardboard pad.
If you’re using stones from different flowers, make sure to note which rocks belong to which bloom.
Before you start painting, shake the can according to the instructions on the package.
Hold the can about 20-40 cm from the rock and start spraying.
As you spray, aim to cover the surface of the rock with an even layer of paint.
Don’t worry about making the color too saturated; as long as it covers the stone, it will look beautiful.
After you spray paint one side of the stones, let them dry completely.
Then, flip them over and paint the other side. It usually takes about 30 minutes for the paint to dry.
If it’s hot outside, they might be ready in as little as 15 minutes.
When you’re done painting the second side, lift the rocks carefully, making sure to touch only the dry side.
Lay them on a piece of newspaper and move on to your next color. Repeat this process until all of your rocks are painted. Allow them to dry.
The painted rocks can be left on newspaper pages waiting to be arranged in the garden.
These are the acrylic sprays I used to paint my rocks.
I prefer Dupli-Color paint, but you can use a brand such as Rustoleum or any brand that’s available at your favorite store.
Option 1: Preparing the Ground for a Painted Rock Flower Garden on the Grass
While your painted rocks dry, it’s time to start preparing the ground for your garden.
Pick any open space in your yard or garden. Any size will do; I chose a rectangular area that measures about 1.5 m x 5 m.
For an extra-fun design, you can create a garden around a tree, next to the house, or in a unique shape. Make sure there’s ample space for all of your painted rock flowers.
Create a border around your chosen garden plot using the rocks you chase earlier. This simple border defines the space, giving it a neat, crisp look. Planning to use a unique shape? The rock border makes it pop.
As you can see below, I used a rectangular shape. To make the corners, I used triangular rocks.
After you’re done creating the garden bed edging, the fun starts! It’s time to arrange your painted rocks into flowers.
Lay your center stone and arrange the petals around it. Continue with the rest of your flowers.
Create an attractive layout, but don’t worry too much about perfect positioning at this point — it’s easier to make small adjustments after all of your flowers are in place.
Keep adjusting your layout until it matches your vision.
I didn’t use a pattern; I just kept moving my rock flowers until I was happy with the result.
The more flowers you painted, the more colorful your rock flower garden will be. Does your garden look sparse?
Make the rock border smaller or paint a few more rocks and add extra flowers.
Here is how my garden looks after I made all of the adjustments. For this version, I laid the rocks directly on the grass.
It’s beautiful from every angle!
Option 2: Preparing the Ground for a Painted Rock Flower Garden on Dirt, Mulch, or Pebbles
After you pick a place for your garden (see Option 1, above), you’ll need to prepare the ground. Before you lay down a border of rocks, place a sheet of plastic or nylon. Alternatively, use a mesh that prevents weeds and grass from growing through.
Once your plastic sheet is in place, create a rock border around the edges.
Cover the plastic with soil, fertilizer, mulch, or pebbles. You can also use wood chips if you have them on hand. As you can see below, I decided to use fertilizer.
Spread out your material evenly. The fertilizer should be the same depth across the entire garden bed.
If the edges of your plastic are visible, you can move the rock border out by an inch or two. The weight of the fertilizer will keep the plastic in place.
Once your bed is ready, it’s time to arrange your flowers! I love how the bright colors pop against the dark soil.
It’s beautiful both ways — all you need to do is choose which option looks best in your yard.
Isn’t it pretty? A bed of soil is a great option when you have limited grass or you want to use painted rock flowers around the edge of your home.