Learn how to paint strawberries on rocks using this beginner tutorial. It’s a good project to do with children and includes recommended supplies for long-lasting results.
If you are new to stone painting, also see our starter guide: Stone Painting for Beginners.
DIY Strawberry Rocks for the Garden
These little strawberries are a good beginner craft paint project.
The tutorial shows you everything you need to turn small rocks or stones into charming, hand painted strawberries.
While they can be decorative, this is also a popular project to make with children. I’ve seen them used for homeschoolers for counting and math games as well as play food. I have mine as a colorful decoration in my little greenhouse.
Do Strawberry Rocks Deter Birds?
You may have seen tips suggesting painted strawberries act as a good deterrent for keeping birds away from strawberry crops. The idea is that the bird pecks the stone and determines that the crop is not edible (or something like that), and decides to find food elsewhere.
But would this work ongoing? Without studies to reference, you have to use your own judgement.
Personally, I’m skeptical. I’m not sure how you could ensure they peck the rocks and not the real fruit, or if this would actually be a deterrent, and that every bird would get the memo. Strawberries ripen at different rates so the birds are accustomed to hit and miss luck when dining. So, it’s an anecdotal tip at best. Plus, there are lots of other animals that eat berries—a bird might give up but the mice and squirrels aren’t going to mistakenly peck stones!
That said, if you find it works, enjoy your strawberries—both real and painted!
Tips for Making Strawberry Stones
- Stones | Use plain rocks and stones-not polished stones because the paint won’t adhere nicely.
Choose similar sizes and shapes. Wash and dry thoroughly before painting.
- Patio Paints (acrylic craft paints) | I used colors red, orange, black, light green, and dark green.
- Paint Brushes | Artist brushes for acrylics in various sizes
- White Latex primer or Acrylic Gesso | I use the type of primer made for wall painting. A base coat like this helps the strawberry paint colors (red and green) look crisp and bright.
- Paint pens or Fineliner pens for outlining details
- Acrylic varnish with UV protection (glossy or matte, liquid or spray form), polyurethane, or varathane.
- Pie Plate that looks like pie crust (Optional) | I found mine at a local thrift store. I also see them on Etsy. Try this search for “pie plates that look like pies.”
Use a photo of strawberries for reference. Beginners can paint following the steps shown here. More advanced painters may want to try more realistic depictions.
Each strawberry has green leaves at the top, red fruit, black dots to represent the seeds (which are technically actually fruits), and black to outline the leaves.
First apply primer to clean, dry stones. If you have an old baking cooling rack (dedicated to crafting), you can paint one side, allow a few minutes for it to dry, then turn the stone over on the rack and paint the other side. Allow everything to dry the amount of time listed on your primer product label.
For best results, allow each layer of paint to dry thoroughly before applying additional layers. You can use a hair blow dryer to speed up the drying process.
Sketch leaf shapes on your primed stones.
Fill in the berry area with red paint. I used a combination of red, with dabs of orange and black to get richer colors.
Paint the leaf sections using two colors of green. You can paint an entire leaf with one shade of green and use the other for highlights in select sections.
If the primer still shows through, apply another layer of paint after the first layers have dried.
Use paint pens to draw seeds (black dots) on red areas of strawberries.
Also, outline leaves with black pen (if desired).
Allow everything to cure (dry thoroughly), then protect with polyurethane or other protective product that is bird safe. Many thin layers, with adequate drying time between each layer, works best.
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How to Paint Strawberry Rocks
Supplies & Materials
- 10 Rocks similar shapes and sizes
- Wash and dry rocks.
- Apply 1-2 coats of primer or gesso. Allow to dry thoroughly between coats.
- With pencil, draw outline of leaves.
- Paint berry area using mixture of red and small amounts of orange, and black paint. Allow paint to dry thoroughly between coats.
- Paint leaves with medium dark green paint. Allow to dry and highlight with lighter green paint.
- When paint is dry, outline leaves with black or dark green paint pen.
- Draw series of dots all over red berry for seeds.
- Coat everything with a few layers of varathane or polyurethane, allowing to dry thoroughly between coats.