Pebble Art

This peek at Pinterest involves something that caught my eye several months ago: pebble art!  You need only to search Pinterest with those two words, to reveal a variety of various interpretations of “sticks and stones” art.  What intrigued me most, was how such simplistic materials could capture the emotions and actions of the human form, with amazing accuracy…I knew I had to give it a go!


Here are the basic supplies needed for this project: A shadow box frame, illustration board, various river rocks or pebbles (the thinner the better), sticks, twine or other embellishments, painter’s tape, X-acto knife and Super Glue.  Most of my pebbles came from a craft store, but feel free to pick up some from a park or your own backyard…I did.  You can even order a nice assortment online.


Using your X-acto knife, cut your illustration board to fit the back part of your frame (Mine was 8 x 8).  Check to see how far the shadow box insert piece comes in from the sides, and mark lightly with a pencil.  Apply painter’s tape on those lines for all four sides of the piece of illustration board.  Now you’ll have an accurate surface to layout your design on, because this is the part that will show through once it’s inside the frame.


The next step is to begin laying out your design on the board. Mine represents my daughter walking our dog, Riley.  The artist in me, couldn’t help but try to color match everything…and I was fairly successful, too!  I used light brown stones for her ponytail, aqua stones for the jeans and white stones for my predominately white dog.  I didn’t have black twine, but just applied a black Sharpie over a tan piece.  I was lucky enough to incorporate a heart-shaped stone into the design, as well.  Starting with the larger stones, apply Super Glue to the illustration board and the back of the stone itself.  This should ensure a tight hold.  You can also use a few dots from a glue gun, to assist with placing the larger pieces.  Here’s the most important part you’ll need to remember:  When gluing each pebble down…patience is a virtue!  This is NOT, I repeat NOT an instant bond!  I’m talking about waiting an hour or more for these stones to dry and thoroughly adhere themselves to the surface of the board.  I honestly didn’t think the glue was holding, but it did eventually stick!  So please, just give it time…Super Glue is the best glue to use for this type of artwork.


After everything is dry and holding firmly, carefully peel off the painter’s tape and erase any pencil lines.  You’re now ready to insert it into the shadow box frame and hang it on a wall.  Probably the hardest part of pebble art is finding the perfect shape, color and size rock that brings that realistic quality to the piece. For those who haven’t tried this uber popular art form yet: you’re just a stone’s throw away…!   



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