How To | DIY

DIY Rock Garden | You Rock! Appreciation Gift

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Kids DIY Rock Garden Project. Tell Dad He ROCKS! for Father's Day this year. This Handmade Appreciation gift is Cheap, Easy and Fun to make with the kids. Make a DIY Rock Garden for Mother's Day Gifts, Father's Day Gifts and even Teacher Appreciation Gifts. Plus, you're making Cactus Home Decor, so that's a win-win!

Nothing affirms appreciation like seeing “You Rock!” on your desk every day. Who wouldn’t want to get to work and be reminded of that each morning? What’s even better is that it’s coming from your kids. With this super simple, mess-free, kids DIY rock garden project you’ll be sending someone an adorable appreciation gift. Plus, I’m totally into the cactus and succulent trend!

My kids LOVE to paint. They’re always down for any project but I’m not always down for cleaning it up. That’s when the idea of a painted cactus rock garden came to mind. As spring rolls around we have plenty of appreciation gifts to make- Father’s Day and Teachers’ Appreciation day so you can imagine we are going to be making a few of these easy DIY Rock Garden Gifts, since making them is so easy!

Ready to get started?

Kids DIY Rock Garden Project. Tell Dad He ROCKS! for Father's Day this year. This Handmade Appreciation gift is Cheap, Easy and Fun to make with the kids. Make a DIY Rock Garden for Mother's Day Gifts, Father's Day Gifts and even Teacher Appreciation Gifts. Plus, you're making Cactus Home Decor, so that's a win-win!

Kids DIY Rock Garden

What you need

The total cost per DIY Rock Garden is about $2 if you have enough paint on hand. We already had paint, paintbrushes and a few other things in our craft supply. I’m guessing you will too. The rocks we painted were FREE because we literally walked outside and picked them up. Bonus! Free nature walk!

  1. 4″ Planter Pot – $0.97 at Wal-Mart
  2. Filler Rocks – $1 from the dollar store
  3. Ziploc Sandwich Bags, Green Paint, White Paint, Paintbrushes, Black Permanent Marker, Cookie Sheet & Wax Paper for drying {I already had all of this}
Kids DIY Rock Garden Project. Tell Dad He ROCKS! for Father's Day this year. This Handmade Appreciation gift is Cheap, Easy and Fun to make with the kids. Make a DIY Rock Garden for Mother's Day Gifts, Father's Day Gifts and even Teacher Appreciation Gifts. Plus, you're making Cactus Home Decor, so that's a win-win!

Step 1 | Mess-Free Painting

As previously mentioned, I wasn’t up for much clean-up with this DIY Rock Garden so I had the boys do some mess-free painting. Grab a plastic sandwich bags and have your kids squeeze some green paint into them. Drop a rock in, seal it and let your kids squish away. When the rock is completely covered, open the bag and let it drop out onto the wax paper for drying. Continue painting rocks until you have enough.

Kids DIY Rock Garden Project. Tell Dad He ROCKS! for Father's Day this year. This Handmade Appreciation gift is Cheap, Easy and Fun to make with the kids. Make a DIY Rock Garden for Mother's Day Gifts, Father's Day Gifts and even Teacher Appreciation Gifts. Plus, you're making Cactus Home Decor, so that's a win-win!

Quick Tip

When you’re collecting rocks for your Rock Garden, find rocks that are tall or long so that they stand up in your rock garden as a cactus would.

Step 2 | Drying and Drawing

After dumping the green painted Rock Garden rocks out onto the wax paper we did other things while waiting for them to dry. While you wait you can paint your 4″ Planter Pot and have the kids write, “You Rock!” on it. I traced the letters in pencil first and then had my eldest write over it with the permanent marker.

Once your Rock Garden rocks are totally dry it is time to add the white Cactus lines and dots to them. The kids loved this part! I did a few to show them the technique and idea. {Otherwise our Rock Garden rocks would have been painted all white} They then painted the other side of my rocks and did others all their own. I had them use small brushes to get detailed dots and stripes.

Kids DIY Rock Garden Project. Tell Dad He ROCKS! for Father's Day this year. This Handmade Appreciation gift is Cheap, Easy and Fun to make with the kids. Make a DIY Rock Garden for Mother's Day Gifts, Father's Day Gifts and even Teacher Appreciation Gifts. Plus, you're making Cactus Home Decor, so that's a win-win!

Step 3 | Putting it all together

Now you have a ton of cute, green, rock garden cactus rocks to choose from! At this point, everything should be dry and your planter pot should be ready to fill. I did crinkle up a ball of paper and put it in the bottom of our rock garden pots just to displace a bit of the filler rocks so we didn’t use as many. After doing that I poured in the filler rocks until about halfway. Then, have the kids choose 3 to 4 rock garden cactus rocks to stand upright in the pot. As they held them in position, I poured in more filler rocks. The Rock Garden Cactus rocks are buried about 1″ under the filler rock so they stand up. You may need to push them down for a final touch.

Kids DIY Rock Garden Project. Tell Dad He ROCKS! for Father's Day this year. This Handmade Appreciation gift is Cheap, Easy and Fun to make with the kids. Make a DIY Rock Garden for Mother's Day Gifts, Father's Day Gifts and even Teacher Appreciation Gifts. Plus, you're making Cactus Home Decor, so that's a win-win!

Happy Mess-Free DIY Rock Garden Making!

Don’t forget about Mom! She, of course, also rocks and would probably love a rock garden. Dads, you can totally rock this rock garden project with the kids and make her one. But, if you’re looking for something a bit more useful, make her a Custom Mug or Tote Bag!

I hope you have the most fun making your DIY rock garden appreciation gifts. My boys really enjoy making gifts for everyone they love, all year long including our postal workers. You can find more kids DIY Posts here!

What are some of your favorite inexpensive kid’s crafts?


Like what you read?

Hi There! I’m Kandice
Wife, WAHM and mother to 2 Hooligan boys, sharing my Sweet & Sticky Story of Motherhood.
Life changes after 2 Toddlers {obviously} so now I’m sharing how I turn those every day #MomProblems into a Story of #MomWinning by building new Small Systems, Organizing Mom Routines and Making Mommy Money Online by Blogging.

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