How to make rock garden stone animals

Written by mary e. cook
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Rock gardens are filled with natural beauty in the shapes and forms of rocks, colours and plants. To add a touch of whimsy to your rock garden, create animals out of stones or rocks. With glue, paint and a creative eye, make stone animals that provide an easy way to enhance the look of your rock garden.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Rocks of different shapes, sizes and colours
  • Cement glue
  • Paper and pencil
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Nondrying clay
  • Sculpting clay (optional)

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Find or buy small stones and rocks that reflect different the shapes of animals. Use long, pointed rocks for reptile tails, small triangular shapes for cat ears and oval stones for animal bodies.

  2. 2

    Examine the stones and decide what animals to create. Some rocks may already have the shapes and features you need.

    Choose stones for the bodies, heads, limbs, tails and ears or antennae. Use coloured sculpting clay to create hard-to-find shapes for ears, antennae or tails. To create a bug, use six stones or clay shapes for legs, two for antennae and two or three for the body. To create a cat, collect enough stones or clay for a body, head, paws, tail and ears.

    If you have small enough stones, use them to create eyes or other small details on your stone animals.

  3. 3

    Glue the rocks or clay pieces together with the cement glue, creating the animals' shapes from the materials. Press each piece firmly to help the glue set. Allow the glue to dry. Some pieces, such as tails or antennae should be attached after painting to make it easier to paint. According to marthastewart.com, nondrying clay can help support the weight of the rocks while the glue dries. Gluing small batches of rocks at a time can also help the glue stick.

  4. 4

    Sketch a plan for your animal markings or colours before you paint. Use your imagination and add grey and white stripes with a pink nose for a tabby cat. Give a bug multicoloured spots, and make each body part a different colour.

  5. 5

    Paint the features on your rock animals with the acrylic paint. Start with a main body colour and--after the paint has a chance to set--add details such as stripes and spots. Allow the paint to dry after painting the details. Glue on tails or antennae as needed. Use pieces of sculpting clay to create markings for your animals or to add details you want to stand out. Paint first, then add the clay details.

  6. 6

    Place the stone animals in your rock garden. Consider the colours, shapes and plants in your garden and add the animals where they'll have the most impact.

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