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Hi, here is a very low cost craft idea that is one for all of the family, of all agesBUGS FRM XX

It is fun to do and always changing, the only thing you need is your imagination
and few inexpensive items to use. The small simple pebbles I painted in the photo here were all painted with odds and end of Emulsion paint in different colours  left over from home decorating jobs and stored in jars for use,
of course they can be mixed together  no problem for a whole range of colours
You can use Poster paint or Acrylic paint from Craft shops, which I use on most of my projects, it can be bought in tubes. which go a long way or in tubs of 500ml, also at the large DIY stores there are small  ‘tester’ pots of  emulsion colours which can be purchased for just a few pence, ideal to start with, but to
start your  first simple pebbles use what you have.
Paint brushes that are at hand for now, with a few small sizes for detail, used Yogurt pots or jam jars for water and kitchen roll for wiping brushes etc.
A pencil for outlines, newspaper to cover your table from splashes, old shirts, tops or aprons for protection and that’s it !!

If you live near the coast and can stroll along the beach, dunes, shoreline, you will find ‘pebbles’ of all sizes and shapes that have been thrown up by the sea.
So, pack a picnic lunch, a few sandcastle buckets and spades, suitable beach wear, sun hats and sunscreen, then off you all go together for a fun day in the fresh air and sunshine.

Just imagine a nice rounded pebble that has been pounded into shape by the never ending swishing and coming and going of the tides for many years. When I hold a pebble in my hand I think “How old are you, what size were you before you ended up here, smooth and round, where did you come from in the first place”

As you look around you will see ones that seem to say “I’m a kitten, or a furry rabbit, or just right for a lady bug, even an odd shape that would make a country cottage etc.
Just let your imagination go free.  The shapes you choose must have flat base to sit flat, if rounded it will wobble and be difficult to paint,
Don’t forget to collect any nice piece of driftwood that would go well with a flower arrangement or some nice sea shells that would be useful for another project.

If  not near to the coast maybe a creek or mountain area would be just as good, or the worst way, large Gardening Centres sell pebbles in heaps.

First to do is to wash and scrub them with a stiff brush to remove the debis and algae, then make sure that they are dry before starting, they will need a painted base, decide which is best for the top, turn it upside down and paint the base (my samples all have a black base) let it dry before turning over.
Whilst waiting get everything you will need ready to hand on your table.

Start with simple things like bees, bugs, fish, ladybirds as my samples
continue with the black and with a small brush paint the outlines, then fill in the shapes with the colours of your choice, adding details as it dries, children have wonderful imaginations for pictures and colour and here they can invent their own.

Make sure all is dry and then if you so wish (this part NOT for the kids) paint on a layer of varnish, I use a water base one that does not smell is easy to use, dries fast and the brushes can be washed in warm soapy water
I varnish the bottom as well as the top, painting the base first, leaving it to dry and then the top. You can if you so wish stick a piece of felt on the base to protect the furniture if need be.

The kids will now have a ‘masterpiece’ maybe with a funny face to put beside their bed, one they made themselves, a little smiley friend to see when they wake.

NEXT UP: Will be a little more on ideas for painting and making a living by selling your pebbles …
So bookmark this page and come back again. Thank you. Barbara .

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