How to decorate pebbles

Collecting stones from the beach to decorate is a fun and easy craft activity which children of all ages will enjoy. Here is our step-by-step guide to pebble decorating 

4th October 2017

Pebble decorating is a fun activity that can be combined with a trip to a local beach to gather stones.

Take your children to a pebbly beach for a coastal walk and, once you’ve blown off some steam by seeing how far you can skim pebbles over the waves, you can pick up some to bring home.

There are lots of great beaches around the UK for pebble collecting from Aberystwyth in Wales to Marazion in Cornwall.

Aberystwyth beach
Pebbles for decorating can be found on Aberystwyth beach in West Wales ©Getty

Look out for stones with a smooth, flat side if possible and choose a variety of colours and patterns.

There are lots of different ways to decorate your pebbles – for younger children, it’s a good idea to prime the surface of the stone first with white acrylic paint so it’s easier to see their designs (and they’ll be easier to spot if you place them outdoors). They can then use coloured pens, paints or even stickers to decorate their pebbles.

How to decorate your pebble

Older children will be able to decorate their stones using gel pens for more intricate designs – follow the steps below to make your own.

  1. Choose your stones ­– make sure they have a flat, smooth surface to draw on.
    Undecorated pebbles
    Pebbles with flat surfaces are easier to draw on ©Sarah Orme


  2. Draw your design using gel pens – you’ll find that some colours show up better than others, but you can always draw your patterns using white ink first so that the colours show up.
  3. Wait for the ink to dry completely. You can then cover the stones in varnish or PVA glue for added shine and durability.
Decorated pebbles
Covering the pebbles with varnish or PVA glue will make them more durable, especially if you want to display them outdoors ©Sarah Orme


Once the stones are finished, you can display them proudly in your home.

Enjoyed making these pebbles? You can find some more intricate designs for grown-ups on

Main image: ©Sarah Orme

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