Naming Rocks

Subscriber Lisa C. has an enormous basket of stones, collected from her rocky beach in Maine – my name is on one.  It is painted in a child’s handwriting. It means that I belong in this place and I love it.  Lisa began this tradition a long time ago (maybe Martha Stewart recommended it) and I am going to copy her.  I like the idea of having the names of friends and family piling up in a basket.  The painted stones serve as enduring markers.  They welcome people back. The best decorated rocks are vintage – made by kids.

Oh – the stones also serve as place cards.  Perfect.

So what do you need?  Stones –  flat, smooth stones – big enough for names, small enough that all of your friends can fit into a basket.  Now let your imagination run wild. Spray paint a rock and write a name with paint or magic marker.  Add some shading, polka dots or leave it in a simple, primitive style.  Finish up by spraying it with lacquer.

If you can get over your need for control – let each person paint his or her own rock.  Keep a bag of unadorned rocks, with supplies, to let guests add their names to your basket.

Make some rocks for one-time guests.  Here are some suggestions:

Big Cheese
Big Chief
Big Dipper
Big fish
Big kahuna
Bright star
BT – Big Tuna
GC – Great catch
Greedy Guts
HG – Honored Guest
HG from hell
Hot stuff
Loose cannon
Meryl Streep
Never again
Princess, Prince
SS (Super star)
Stud bolt
Swim to the sea
TD – Top Dog
There is no finish line
Three strikes
VVVV (Va, Va…!)

From your hardware or art supply store you’ll need:

Permanent markers that won’t run if they get wet

Metallic markers

Spray paint

Waterproof paint with small brushes for letters and drawings

Lacquer to finish

Rocks – smooth, flat – from your garden, beach or collected on exotic trips


If you do not have a rocky beach or mountain nearby, you can buy stones at: