Decorating rocks or stones with paints or sharpie pens is a popular craze that’s sweeping the UK – and beyond! Both children and adults are getting creative, and decorating rocks, which are then hidden around their neighbourhood, for lucky finders to either keep themselves, or rehide. Some of the artwork is really stunning, some have inspirational or encouraging messages, but the main point is that they don’t need to be works of art – the heartwarming glow comes from creating a treasure to be found by someone else, and hopefully providing a nice surprise, or a new lucky keepsake.
I myself was the fortunate recipient of a painted stone which I found as I put my carved pumpkin at the front of my house at Halloween (aptly enough it was a bat-covered beauty) and as I wanted to keep my precious find, I then created others to hide around the locality, as a token of thanks for my discovery. The stone in question, now sits as a lucky charm on my desk at work, as a decorative object, but also as a reminder that unexpected moments of discovery, and random acts of kindness, can be just around the corner…or even lurking at the end of your drive!
We’ve come up with a great competition to celebrate this fun pastime, and encourage both young and old, the artistic and the not-so accomplished, to take part, join in – and maybe win a prize! There are a few different ways to be in with a shot:
Find a Go Walkabout team’s #TravelRocks stone!
A few of us in the office have been inspired to create our own travel-themed creations, and we will be placing them in locations around the UK There are 10 in total, and the lucky finders of these, will each win a £10 Amazon voucher. Only the first finder of the stone will win this prize, and to be eligible to win, you will need to send a photo of the stone in your possession, and let us know exactly where it was. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are lucky (or clever enough) to be the intrepid person who tracks one down. Don’t forget to join our Facebook community Travel Rocks, as there will be updates when new ones have been released into the wild, and also clues as to their whereabouts!
Create your own rock and share it with the #travelrocks community
Gather your art materials and create your own painted rock on a travel theme (there are some ideas below) and place it out in your community or on your own travels (they can be placed either in the UK or overseas), in order to be placed into a random draw to win a fabulous Samsung Galaxy tablet (7 ” 8GB) The lucky finder of one of these stones, will also be put into the prize draw, if they get in touch as prompted on the back of the rock. Great artistic ability is not a prerequisite of entry to the competition, but as a reward for those who put that extra little bit of effort into their decoration, there is also an ‘Artistic Merit’ award given to the #TravelRocks entrant who our artist judge deems to be the best example in both the adult and child categories. To reward their artistic endeavours they will each win a £40 Amazon voucher (which will buy an awful lot more stones and art materials to carry on creating! *Not compulsory!) Please email us a close-up photo of your travel-themed stone, and also a photo of you (or the artist, if not you!) with your stone, in order to enter the random draw for the Galaxy tablet, as well as the ‘Artistic Merit’ competition too.
Guide to creating your painted rock or stone – or more, if you are feeling productive!
- Find your rock The first thing is to secure your perfect rock. It’s important not to fall foul of regulations in regard to taking stones from the beach (and you may not live in proximity to a coastline), so it’s recommended that you pick up your perfect pebble from either a garden centre, an enlightened craft shop, or find one in your own garden. It is easier to draw on a flat stone, so that may be your preference, but you can incorporate the character or shape of your selected stone into your design. Make it big! Not only do you need to fit on your message on the back, but you also want it to be spotted – if it is too insignificant – it may never be discovered, which would be a waste of your best artistic efforts.
2. Decorate your rock There are a number of different options, and materials that you can use for this purpose. The simplest option is to simply use permanent sharpie pens to write/draw your design, and I have tested this option out in all elements, and it has stood up to the rigours of a UK Autumn very well! There are so many different coloured Sharpie pens that you can find online or in the shops now, that your colour palette is huge. You can also use paints (you may choose to paint a base colour, let it dry, then add your picture on top, or simply paint straight onto your pebble canvas) You can also use a combination of sharpie pens and paint (be aware that you may need a couple of layers of paint for a good coverage), and also that the colour of sharpie pens can look different on your rock than they do on paper. I have also been a bit more creative in the past, and stuck on googly eyes with a glue gun, and also a 3D butterfly sticker was very effective when applied to a painted flower. You should make sure that you leave space on the other side of your rock to write your message (this is infinitely easier in sharpie pen than paint).
3.Write your message You should write your message on the opposite side of your rock than you’ve decorated, and the key thing it needs to include is:
‘#TravelRocks Visit www.travel-rocks.co.uk’
If someone finds your rock and lets us know, then you also get a bonus entry to the prize draw, as well as the finder. Please note that you have to be a ‘Travel Rocks’ community page member on Facebook to enter, and get the bonus entries if someone finds your rock and lets us know. If your child is entering a rock, then an adult needs to be a member on their behalf. For the purposes of the competition, a child is aged 16 and under and an adult is aged 17 and over.
- Seal your design as your rock is designed to be placed in the great outdoors, and needs to be as waterproof as possible. Designs can often be enhanced by the application of a varnish to add a shiny gloss to your finished design, as well as the fact that they are also then waterproofed. As mentioned, it’s not strictly necessary to varnish your design if you’ve just used sharpies, but you will definitely need to do this, if you’ve used paint, else it will just run off when it becomes wet. You can use the traditional paint-on varnish or you could opt for the spray-on version, which you can buy in craft shops, in a range of different finishes – the one I used recently was ‘pearl diamond glitter’ ‘Spray and Sparkle varnish’ which gave a lovely translucent yet glittery effect, almost as if a light layering of pearlescent snow has fallen onto it! One thing to remember if you try this method, is to put your stone into a box, so that you don’t end up spraying your surroundings as well as the stone!
5. Place your stone Whilst you want your stone to be spotted – you must place it somewhere that it wont cause annoyance to others – don’t stray onto private property, or put it inside a shop or public building, there are plenty of places in the great outdoors where people wont trip over it – yet it may well be spotted by someone walking their dog, walking to school, or browsing in a High Street – the choice is yours! Take a photo of your stone (or stones), as well as a picture of the artist with the stone as well, and email to us at email@example.com , and let us know if you are entering the children or adult’s artistic prize too. Have fun!
Terms and Conditions – Winning a £10 Amazon voucher for finding a #TravelRocks Stone
- There is only one winner for each of the 10 stones hidden around the UK, with a prize of a £10 Amazon voucher for the first person to email contact@ travel-rocks with a photo and the details of where it was found
- You must be over 18 to claim the prize (although it could have initially been found by a younger person) You don’t need to be a UK resident, as the prize will be emailed to you.
- You must not be an employee of Go Walkabout Travel insurance, or a relative.
- The stones will be placed in different locations around the UK throughout the duration of the competition, the deadline to email us with details of finding a winning stone is 28/02/2018
5 Clues will be placed on the Facebook community page Travel Rocks and notifications will be made when each of the rocks has been found, and where it was.
Terms and Conditions – Entering the prize-draw for a Samsung tablet after creating a #Travel Rocks stone and also entering the ‘Artistic Merit’ award to win a £40 voucher (one for a child and one for an adult)
- There is one adult and one child winner of a £40 Amazon voucher. For the purposes of this competition, an adult is classed as being aged 17 or over, and a child as being 16 or younger.
- When you email a picture of your rock,as well as a picture of the creator with the rock, please let us know the age of the creator.
- The deadline to submit your emailed photo entry is the 28th February 2018, the winners in the ‘Artistic Merit’ competition will be chosen by an local artist, and they will base their choice on how the painted design meets the brief of a travel theme, and how creative and imaginative the entrants have been, in using a stone/rock as the canvas for the creation.
- Please send a separate email for each rock that you create, and you will receive an entry in the prize draw for each rock entered (and a bonus one for each rock of yours that is found and the finder emails us)
- Employees or relatives of employees of Go Walkabout are not eligible to enter any of the ‘Travel Rocks’ competitions.
- The winner of the Samsung tablet will be drawn at random shortly after the deadline of 28th February 2018. Winners of all competitions will be notified by email, and they will be announced on our blog and Facebook page when decided.
Terms and Conditions – Entering the prize-draw for a Samsung tablet after finding a #TravelRocks stone that an entrant has created
- Please email contact@travel-rocks with a clear photo of the rock that you found, including where it was. You are then free to either keep it, or put it out again for someone else to find. You are also free to create your own #TravelRock to hide for an extra bonus entry in the competition to win the tablet.
- Employees and relatives of Go Walkabout Travel insurance are not eligible to enter.
- The deadline to submit your email and photo is 28th February 2018, after which the winner will be randomly selected. The name of the winner will be announced on the Go Walkabout blog, and the Travel Rocks page, and winners will be contacted by email.
- You must be over the age of 18 to send the email to be entered into the randomly selected prize draw to win the tablet.
The very best of Luck!! Don’t forget to ‘Like’ the Travel Rocks community page on Facebook to keep up to date with the competitions, see if your creation has been found, and see clues to where our stones have been put!