This was such a fun project because I was able to involve my 4-year-old with every step of of the process. We spent the morning at our favorite exploring park and gathered stones together, carefully choosing the very best ones to bring home. Then, instead of cleaning the dirt off by myself, I filled up a tub with warm, soapy water, and the two of us sat outside in the sunshine and scrubbed our rocks clean with old toothbrushes. He thought that was the funniest thing in the world, by the way. Rocks don't have teeth! After our rocks dried off, we painted rocks together and turned them into these sweet little gnome homes. Once they were completed, it was fun to find special places in the garden to place the tiny gnome homes.
Start with a clean, dry stone. Place the rock on a flat surface to see how it sits and the best orientation.
Cover the entire rock with one coat of acrylic paint. I chose to only do one coat to allow some of the rock's surface texture to peek through. Even little kids can help with this step. It's okay to mix colors! Allow to dry.
Follw the natural shape of the rock and paint a roof on the top. If your child experimented with many colors for the first coat, try using a solid color for the roof.
Add window and door details by using a fine detail brush. Make small squares or circles in white or yellow for the windows, and a simple shape for the door. Allow to dry completely.
Define the details using a black permanent marker. Trace around doors and windows. Add doorknobs and roof shingles. Use your imagination and use the natural shape of the rock to inspire special details.
If you plan to keep the gnome home outside, finish it off with a coat or two of acylic sealer. Allow to dry. Then find a special place for your new property and wait for a magical creature to move in!