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Dad Rocks: a Father's Day Gift by Brenda Ponnay for

Dad Rocks Father’s Day Gift!

By Brenda Ponnay

Everybody knows that dads can rock. But, do dads know that they can rock?

What if we painted dads as rocks, and then they could use them as paper weights in their offices, at home or keep them wherever is handy to remind ’em of what great artists their kids are and are becoming? No matter how you look at it, this is a really fun craft that is definitely going to melt dad’s heart when they receive this as a gift for Father’s Day.

Painted rocks for Father's Day gifts

Here’s how you make this Father’s Day gift!

tutorial for painting rocks for Father's Day

Supplies you’ll need:

  • river rocks (you can buy these at any garden store if you don’t have them in your yard or garden or on
  • water-based (and kid-safe) acrylic paint
  • a clear coat acrylic sealer (this should only be handled by a responsible adult)


Smooth rocks are the best for painting. Wash and dry your rocks so they are ready to paint. Then mix your flesh-toned-colored paints. This is probably the hardest part of the whole craft but a great teachable moment. Skin comes in all different tones and colors; what combination of colors do you need to make your dad’s skin color? We started with white, yellow and a tiny bit of red. But you might need to add some brown or even blue to get your dad’s color just right. If mixing colors is a little out of your comfort zone, you can always buy it pre-mixed at your local craft store. We love mixing colors so getting it just right was part of the fun.

After you have your skin color paint mixed, paint a large circle on one side of the rock. Then let it dry completely. On a warm day this usually takes 15-30 minutes so take a little break and come back.

Child painting men's faces on rocks for Father's Day

Once the base coat of skin color is dry, you are ready to paint on the facial features! Eyes, nose (just add a tiny bit of black to that skin color you mixed earlier), mouth, facial hair, glasses….paint it on and let it dry. Don’t worry about perfection, dads will recognize themselves in the artwork.

After the faces are completely dried, apply a quick spray of clear coat acrylic sealer. This step should be done outside and away from children.  But once dried, your rock craft is completely safe. It’s just not best to handle spray paint where kids can inhale the fumes so have a responsible adult do this step and the instructions on the can should always be followed.

And those who know me well, know that I can’t just leave a craft and not create some cute packaging to go along with it!

Painted rocks inside a gift bag for Father's Day

Finish up by gift wrapping “Dad Rocks” in clear cellophane lollipop bags with tissue and then finally inserting them inside tiny paper bags for which you cut out a window out so that the rock face can show through! (You can skip the window and just decorate the bag…no need to get crazy.) Then decorate the bag with a printable tag  (click here if you’d like a “Dad, You Rock!” tag of your own) and staple it shut and it’s all ready to give to dad for Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day, to all you Dads who rock!

Find more homemade Father’s Day cards and gift ideas:

Great Father's Day Gifts that kids can help make: click through for the tutorials (found on

About the Author

Brenda Ponnay

Brenda Ponnay is an author and illustrator who loves to craft and make big messes when she’s not working on her books. Whether it’s painting, baking, drawing, making castles out of card...

Brenda Ponnay is an author and illustrator who loves to craft and make big messes when she’s not working on her books. Whether it’s painting, baking, drawing, making castles out of cardboard boxes or just doing the laundry with flair, Brenda Ponnay has learned that what really makes her happy is being creative every single day.

You can read about all her crazy adventures on her personal blog: Secret Agent Josephine.

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