Monday, September 10, 2012

Tutorial: Painted Number Stones

This fun little project sort of fell into my lap, begging me to give it a try. See, in one of my many internet-blog-wanderings, I came across a set of alphabet stones and thought they were pretty neat. It suddenly dawned on me that I had all the supplies I needed to create my very own! I settled on numbers instead of the alphabet for two reasons: there would be fewer stones and I had 5 colours of paint (26 isn't quite as nicely divisible as 10).


10 smooth polished stones
gloss enamel paint, or any paint suitable for ceramics/glass/stone
small paintbrush


1. Find some suitable stones and paint. This is the paint I used:
Flat stones work best. Before painting, decide on the order of your stones and colours - I chose two darker stones for the white paint and arranged them in my desired array. I also had to wash the stones with alcohol; follow the instructions on your paint bottles to properly prepare the surface of each rock.

2. Paint your numbers:
I used a small, flat, slanted brush and did one colour at a time. I painted free-hand, but you may want to sketch out the shape of your numbers first. Try to get a thick, even coat.

Before starting, I covered a small area of my desk with freezer paper to protect it. Freezer paper is pretty awesome to paint on because one side is plastic - perfect to use as a palette:

3. Once done, allow to dry.
Again, follow the instructions on your paint. Mine said to either air cure for 21 days or bake after 48 hours. I went with option B. So two days later, I popped them in the oven for 30 minutes (your paint bottle will tell you how long / what temperature):

And voilĂ ! A set of painted number stones:
These would make a great gift for any Waldorf-toy-loving family or kids learning their numbers! I also think they'd be a nice addition to any kids' rooms as decor.

  • To make these more educational, you can paint dots on the bottom (the number corresponding to the digit on top). 
  • You could go a step further (and appeal to older children) by making a few sets and adding in math symbols (+, -, =). 
  • By painting each stone a different colour, your child can learn their numbers and colours at the same time.
  • Make this project a little more grown up and personal by combining numbers and letters to paint a significant date (anniversary, birthday) or someone's name.
Make your own set of number stones, then leave me a comment so I can check them out!

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