When I was little, I loved restaurants that had paper tablecloths and crayons. Not only could I doodle while I waited for my food but it also meant I could play an endless amount of tic-tac-toe. I actually know of a way to make sure that every game ends in a tie, but I'll keep that a secret between me and Google.
(This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.)
After my friend Amy from While Wearing High Heels (an amazing blog you must check out) shared with me this creative tic-tac-toe version by Chicken Scratch NY using painted rocks, I knew I had to make my own. Instead of the traditional X's and O's, I wanted something that would fit perfectly with a garden. I've always been drawn to sunflowers, so that was an obvious choice. The leaves were a good match, but they needed something to make them a little more special so each one has a tiny ladybug. My playing board is a simple paver I picked up at Home Depot for about $1.00. I used chalk to draw the grid.
Painting rocks is easier than it looks. Here are some tips and answers to questions you may have:
1. The number one question I'm asked about my painted rocks is where do I find such smooth stones? I'm fortunate to live near a beach covered with them, but you can also look for rocks at the craft store, dollar store, and any garden or landscaping center.
2. Clean and dry your rocks before you paint. To be honest, I don't always do this, but when I do, I notice a difference.
3. I always use acrylic paint. Martha Stewart high gloss acrylics are my current paint of choice. I love that they are made for all surfaces.
4. I use very small watercolor brushes because I find them easier to control and perfect for details. If you are painting with kids, I would look for a variety of brush sizes.
5. I'm still experimenting with varnishes to protect my finished rocks. I most often use Mod Podge as a sealant, and I prefer the matte version.
6. Most importantly, don't feel like your rocks have to be masterpieces. You can pretty much paint anything on a rock and it will still look beautiful.
If sunflowers and leaves seem like too much work, traditional X's and O's still look great painted on stones. I can't wait to give this garden tic-tac-toe game to the kids who live next door. It will be a perfect game for them to play this summer in the yard.
(Post Update) For an even easier version, I decided to make a third option with rocks and foam stickers. For the playing board I used a craft wood slice that I purchased at Michael's.
I would love to stay in touch with you on my Facebook page. Besides letting you know when I have a new post, I always post other fun crafts, activities, and pictures that I don't put on the blog.
If you liked this rock craft, you might also like my other rock projects: