December rock painting challenge – 31 ideas

rock painting ideas christmas winter

Our December rock painting challenge features fun holiday themes and celebratory designs to help us ring in the new year. We highlight some design ideas (with the full list below).

Challenge yourself to try one design a day and share with us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter what you've worked on!

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Peek-a-boo snowman

Let's face it. The first time there's snowfall, it's hard to resist the urge to head outside and make a snowman!

We saw a design similar to this on Pinterest and wanted to give it a try. We're imagining this snowman is in a snowball fight and is hiding behind a tree. 🙂

snowman painted rock

🎨Supplies Used:
The snowman was painted using a combination of Posca fine point paint pens (for fine detail work like black outline and the holly leaves in the snowman's hat) and medium point paint pens (to color in larger areas like the tree). They really allow you to draw just the way you would with a pen, allowing you to achieve greater detail.

To seal the artwork and to protect the rock from water, we use DecoArt DuraClear acrylic gloss varnish. It brushes on, which means it can be used indoors (no smelly fumes). It dries fairly quickly and gives our rocks a nice shiny finish.

Cozy gingerbread cottage

Decorating a gingerbread house has become a family tradition and signals the start of the holiday season. We used to try rolling out the gingerbread dough and cutting the shapes, but ... that's really hard! Thankfully, there are gingerbread house kits that make it fun (and, easy) to make your own wintertime cookie & candy creation.

For us, painting gingerbread houses on rocks proves much less stressful than assembling them out of cookies. The possibilities are endless in terms of how to decorate your cozy cottage. For this rock, we stuck with our Posca fine point paint pens as they allowed for the tiny details.

gingerbread house painted rock


And, if you're going to paint a gingerbread house, you may as well paint some gingerbread people! This design isn't officially on the list, but they're too fun to pass up. It would be fun to paint some of these and bring to a cookie swap party for each guest to take home.

🎨Supplies Used:
We use Apple Barrel acrylic paint (color: Country Tan) as a base-coat, then painted the shape of a gingerbread person using the color Toffee. It dries quickly and often only requires one coat coverage.

As for brushes, we used a smaller tipped brush to paint the shape of a person. This 50-piece paint brush set includes a variety of bristles & widths. Then, we added an "icing" outline, face and buttons using a white Posca fine point paint pen.

gingerbread man painted rock


Festive plaid

Plaid is one of those classic patterns that is versatile. From bows to stockings hung by the fire to tablecloths, plaid adds an instant festive feeling to your holiday decorations.

The idea of painting plaid was, at first, a bit intimidating. But, just like anything new, the only way to learn was to try! After painting one rock and realizing it was totally doable, we put together a step-by-step tutorial in hopes it would help others give this design a try. If you do give the tutorial a try, please comment below and let us know how it worked for you!


Holiday peppermints

When we came across the smoothest and roundest rock we had ever seen, we immediately thought of a peppermint candy! This is a year-round favorite candy in our house, but we make sure to stock up when the holidays roll around.

🎨Supplies Used:
First, we drew the swirl pattern using a pencil. It was basically an "S" shape, rotate the rock, then draw another "S" shape, and so on. This took a few tries to get the spacing just right.

Then, we painted the rock white using acrylic paint and finished by using the red Posca fine point paint pen to paint/color in the red swirls.

Idea: Paint a batch of these and set in a bowl to add a festive decoration to your dinner table, or set your painted peppermint rock in a bowl of actual peppermint candies for a fun surprise. (psst, these are the soft peppermint candies in the photo below - they're so yummy!)

peppermint candy painted rock

Happy New Year!

So many fun ways you can paint your rock in celebration of the new year. Simply write the words "Happy New Year" and fun designs like fireworks, confetti, balloons, party hat or a countdown clock, like what we tried below.

New Year's Eve painted rock

More holiday ideas!

Sure, we check Pinterest and Google for ideas of what to paint. But, sometimes it's just easier to sit at your painting station and not have to stare at a tiny image on your phone screen, or print out ideas from the computer. That's when we turn to those "How to Draw" books, like this How to Draw Christmas and Holiday Winter Things doodle book. They have tons of fun doodles and often show step-by-step how to draw a design.

The official challenge list for December

Challenge yourself to a design-a-day! Share with us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter what you've worked on. And, if you want to track where painted rocks travel and spread joy, join our community at


GoRock isn't your ordinary rock painting group

Paying it forward, one painted rock at a time. is a global rock painting community where:

  • see on a map where your painted rocks travel and spread kindness
  • be notified when your painted rocks are found
  • read stories from those who have found your painted rocks
  • it's easy for rock finders to post they've found a rock (no social media required)
  • your painted rocks lead to donations to charity. Learn more about our Rock It Forward program where we're paying it forward, one painted rock at a time.


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