Make a Painted River Rock Cactus Garden-Fun Craft Idea

If you liked our earlier post where we made candy corn out of river rocks, you will love this new river rock project! Let me show you how easy it is to make this Rock Cactus Garden. This is a fun craft for all ages and best yet, this cactus garden will thrive even if you have two brown thumbs.

When I was gathering river rocks, I looked for shapes that resembled cactus plants. Flat oval or round shapes are best. Choose a variety of sizes. I painted the rocks on both sides with craft paint that you can find in any craft store or in the craft aisle of mass retailers.  Pick a green you like and get to work.  When the green paint dries you can embellish the stones with some accent painting to make them appear more realistic.  Seal the rocks with a Mod Podge or similar sealer.  After the sealer is dry, choose a container to showcase your cactus garden.


I used clean play sand as my base and packed it tightly in layers.  When the sand reached the top, I arranged the rocks and used decorative stones to cover any sand that was showing.

Cactus 1


cactus 3

Cactus 4

The result was a beautiful, bright, non-prickly cactus garden that I placed on the ledge alongside my whirlpool tub. Now, when I am relaxing in the tub, I can look over and smile at the memory of fun summer days at the river and crafting at home.

Cactus 6

Cactus 7

So what do you think? If you make one, please share your results.


Filed under Crafts, DIY, Family Fun, Main Page Post, Mommy Ramblings

18 Responses to Make a Painted River Rock Cactus Garden-Fun Craft Idea

  1. Holly E

    This is such a great idea. I would love to do this with my nephews.

  2. Leela

    That is such a cute idea!

  3. Melissa J

    This is such a great idea! It would make a wonderful gift for grandparents from grandchildren!

  4. Brittany Carter

    Love this idea all my kids love doing crafts and will definitely be trying this one thank you for sharing

  5. Rosie

    This is just adorable, and way more fun than simply painting rocks. I can imagine everyone will want one for their own room, and the living room, too.

  6. Amy D

    This is the cutest idea! I’ve never seen this done before! Clever! My daughters and I love to paint rocks!

  7. Leela

    I’d love to make this one with my kids! I’ve got a nice collection of jade plants and cacti.

  8. Susan Smith

    This looks like a lot of fun to make. I know this is one “plant” that I can’t kill.

  9. Dana Rodriguez

    This is a really cute craft. I think it would be great for kids!

  10. Melissa J

    This is a super fun craft! I’ll have to try it with my son.

  11. Buddy Garrett

    It looks like a fun craft idea for children.

  12. Anita Jude

    This is great ideal for the grandkids to make with me

  13. Shakeia Rieux

    This is such a great idea, and it’s cute! I wouldn’t have thought of doing something like this on my own.

  14. Sue E

    This is one of the cutest, easy, and cleverest crafts that I have ever seen!
    It looks realistic! I am going to make this with my grandkids. I shared on Facebook and pinned this. Thank you for sharing!!

  15. Janet W.

    That is the cutest idea!! It looks so realistic, too!

  16. Wendy R.

    I love this!! It’s actually on my list of things to make! The biggest problem is trying to find flat rocks, which we have to do at the landscape store and they’ve been out of river rocks for a long time.

  17. Stacey Roberson

    Love this! My 6 year old would have a blast. He loves painting rocks for our garden.

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