October rock painting challenge – 31 ideas

october rock painting challenge

It's here! The October rock painting challenge — 31 rock painting ideas, one for each day of the month. Each month, we provide rock painting ideas so you can spend more time painting and less time thinking of designs to paint. 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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This month's challenge includes fun designs such as woodland critter, robot and dragon. It also includes Veterans Day, recognized in the United States on November 11. We included this in October's list to give you enough time to paint and have them ready to distribute in November. We encourage you to paint rocks with messages thanks and place throughout your community or give to someone who has served in the military. Psst, how fun would painted rocks be in a care package for service members who are deployed!?

We highlight some design ideas (with the full challenge list below).


Lights. Camera. Action!

If asked the question "what are your top 5 favorite movies?", everyone has their list. Comment below — what is your favorite movie? 🎬

We certainly have our list and just had to include "favorite movie" on this month's challenge. It'll be fun to see everyone's favorite movies in painted rock form.

So, what's at the top of our list?? Mary Poppins (and, we're referring to the original Mary Poppins film starring Julie Andrews). The story, the music, the fantasy world Mary Poppins creates for Jane and Michael — it's all pure cinematic magic! Admittedly, we were apprehensive to see the new Mary Poppins Returns movie because we're such big fans of the original. But, it was fun! And, the music from that film was whimsical and in many ways, celebrated the soundtrack from the original film.

Painted rocks with Mary Poppins designs

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is another favorite. The chase for the Golden Tickets, all the chocolate, Wonka's factory and the music just make this a playful and amusing film.

🎨Supplies Used:
For both the "practically perfect" Mary Poppins and Wonka bar rocks, we love the Posca fine point paint pens. They really allow you to write just the way you would with a pen, allowing you to achieve greater detail.

We use Apple Barrel acrylic paint as a base-coat. It dries quickly and often only requires one coat coverage. Tip: when using orange, pink and yellow, base coat your rock either white or black for better coverage.

As for brushes, this 50-piece paint brush set includes a variety of bristles & widths.

Remember to seal the rock so your artwork is protected. We've tried many sealers and like the DecoArt DuraClear acrylic varnish. It dries fairly quickly and gives our rocks a nice shiny finish.


Halloween-themed rocks are super fun. Pumpkins, bats, witch hats and spiders are go-to designs. We once saw a t-shirt with a ghost doing "the dab" and just had to give it a try.

painted rock for Halloween ghost design

Speaking of Halloween, we have been participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project for several years. We wanted to elevate what we handed out as an alternative to candy and thought ... painted rocks! Check out our free Halloween printables and rock painting ideas for Halloween.


Honor a military veteran

In the United States, November 11 is set aside to celebrate the service of military veterans. Perhaps you know someone who is currently serving, or has served (or, you're a service member yourself, in which case, thank you for your service!) This is a wonderful opportunity to paint rocks with messages of thanks or exhibiting patriotism and handing out as a thank you. Places to hand out rocks could be at a parade or outside a VA hospital. This article includes other great ideas for how to honor those who have served.

painted rock honors military veterans

Math & science ROCKS!

Science and math are two subjects that we're surrounded by in everyday life. Whether measuring ingredients while baking (which, in itself takes science to get it right!) or calculating a discount you'll get at the register on a new pair of jeans, it's important to have a strong foundation.

Designs related to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) would be fun to place around schools, college campuses and outside math learning centers.

STEM, math, science painted rocks

Under the Sea

We took these designs with us on a beach vacation and beach-goers had so much fun hiding (and, re-hiding) them around the resort in what turned out to be a big game of hide and seek! So, some design ideas for your next trip to the beach.

🎨Supplies Used:
We used fine tip Posca paint pens to draw the fine lines and details on these rocks. These paint pens glide nicely when the rock's surface is smooth and we're able to paint rocks a bit quicker than breaking out the paints and brushes.

And, see how nice & shiny the shark rock is? We love the DecoArt DuraClear acrylic varnish. We're in Northeast Ohio, which means we do a lot of rock painting during the winter months when the temps fall below zero. This acrylic varnish can be used indoors (no smelly fumes), dries quickly and holds up well to the outdoor elements (we've had some painted rocks in an outdoor garden for months and they look as nice as the day we set them out there).

Painted rocks with beach theme | sharks, crabs, jellyfish, ocean designs

The official challenge list for October

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, join our community at GoRock.com. 

Rock painting challenge for October


GoRock isn't your ordinary rock painting group

Paying it forward, one painted rock at a time.

GoRock.com 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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