Carving Rocks with a Dremel

How to carve and drill holes through rocks with a Dremel via lilblueboo.com

There is something very gratifying about carving into a rock.  This project was kind of therapeutic. I was thinking I’d carve some words into rocks and maybe start leaving them around Palm Desert to see if people find them….

I love large river rocks:

 

Carving River Rocks with a Dremel via lilblueboo.com

All you really need for this project is a Dremel (I used the new cordless Dremel 8220), a few different attachments, a bowl of water and rocks:

Materials needed to carve rocks with a Dremel via lilblueboo.com

For softer rocks a silicon carbide grinding stone is all you need. (it’s the same attachment that I used for the broken china accessories here)

Carbide Dremel Attachment via lilblueboo.com

I drew a sketch onto my rock first:

Carving River Rocks with a Dremel (Step 1) via lilblueboo.com

Then, at a low speed, I slowly etched my design into the rock:

(Note: Make sure to wear protective eye wear!)

Carving River Rocks with a Dremel (Step 2) via lilblueboo.com

I carefully went over my design, etching a little deeper each time. Every few seconds, I dipped it in water which cools the rock off and makes it easier to see what I’m doing:

Engraving River Rocks with a Dremel (Step 3) via lilblueboo.com

The finished carving:

DIY Carved Rock / Pebble via lilblueboo.com

I took a rag and applied a little beeswax and buffed the rock to a shine which makes the design stand out a little more:

Use Beeswax to polish rock via lilblueboo.com

Polished and ready for a gift or decor:

Use Beeswax to polish carved rock via lilblueboo.com

Some rocks are a little harder than others. I’m not a geologist so I can’t help you out here….you’ll have to experiment a little. Harder rocks will require a diamond bit for carving….or you’ll wear out the carbide bit too quickly:

Dremel Diamond Bit Attachment via lilblueboo.com

You can also use a polishing wheel for adding beeswax:

Dremel Polishing Wheel Attachment via lilblueboo.com

Sunshine:

Finished Etched Rock via lilblueboo.com

To make jewelry and accessories with rocks all you have to do is drill a hole. You can use a diamond bit on a drill or use your Dremel for this as well:

How To Drill a Hole in a Rock via lilblueboo.com

I found a rock with a thinner end:

How To Drill a Hole in a Rock (Rock for Jewelry) via lilblueboo.com

And used the Dremel to drill through the end. It takes a little patience, and lots of water, but eventually I got through…..it took about 8 minutes of on and off drilling:

How To Drill a Hole in a Rock with a Dremel via lilblueboo.com

 

A fun necklace with a suede lace added:

DIY Rock Accessories via liblueboo.com

Another idea….add a few words or a short quote to a rock:

How to Carve Words in Rocks using a Dremel via lilblueboo.com

Make a collection for the coffee table:

Tutorial for Carving and Etching Rocks via lilblueboo.com

…..or make one for a gift:

Tutorial for Carving and Etching Rocks with a Dremel via lilblueboo.com

 

Make sure to check out this tutorial on recycling broken china too!

 

How to make upcycled accessories from broken china via lilblueboo.com

 

Disclaimer: A big thanks to Dremel for sponsoring this post!

 

P.S. Make sure to sign up for my weekly newsletter.…it’s where I give my weekly rundown. Your info is safe with me…..never shared with anyone else…..promise. I don’t spam. Promise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

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Comments

  1. 1

    Oh la la I need one of those Dremels! I can only imagine all the fun crafts I could get into!!!!

  2. 2
    Kitty Schaefer says:

    I guess I will be buying a dremel tool :)

  3. 3
    Gabby says:

    I love the idea of just leaving these random places for people to find. Fabulous idea :)

  4. 4
    sergio says:

    Please be aware that Crystalline silica causes lung cancer. Please recommend the use of a mask.

    • 5
      Irv says:

      Close, but Crystalline silica DOES NOT cause cancer. It causes SILICOSIS. If you’re not also wearing protection for your lungs, you’re an idiot.

  5. 6
    Madi W. says:

    That is awesome :D Those rocks are so cute and I think you should totally leave them around town! I used to leave random notes around the school to see if people would pick them up ;)

    -Madi

  6. 7
    Michelle says:

    I want to make some of these with messages for my daughter to find around the house. Could also make a fun game out of these. Fun post!

  7. 8
    Sheila says:

    Do you know what is needed to use to drill through that piece of china?

  8. 9
    Sheila says:

    Sorry I just saw that u said to use the same carbide grinding stone in your first instruction

  9. 10
    Sharon says:

    I have used the dremel on my fused glass. I put the piece I needed to drill a hole into directly in the bowl with water and started drilling. That way didn’t have to stop to let it cool off. I guess you could use it the same way with the rocks.

  10. 11
    Terry says:

    Now I know what to do with some of the dozens of rocks I’ve collected!

  11. 12
    karen says:

    Awww…. Thankyou SO MUCH ! ;)

  12. 13
    Jenny Hoople says:

    Nice post! Love the little sunshine carving :)

    Another good drill bit for making holes is a diamond-tipped, hollow coring bit (I get mine from RioGrande) The drilling goes faster because your cutting out a tube instead of grinding away a ton of rock :)

  13. 14

    My 4 year old is really into carving. Is this a tool he could use or is this not appropriate?

    • 15
      Dory says:

      Please don’t let your 4 year old use the dremel. While it does have adjustable speeds, it changes speed with the roll of a little wheel that would be all too easy to accidentally speed up. This is one of those mighty might tools :) It has a lot of power and would be very easy to loose control of, especially when pressure is applied such as carving in to a stone….better safe then sorry.

    • 16
      Dan says:

      Surely you can’t be serious? A 4 year old with a dremel? How about a scalpel, chainsaw, or a shotgun?

      My 4 year old loves fireworks and sparklers, should I give him a box of matches and some rockets?

  14. 17
    Stacy says:

    Can you do this with sea glass?

  15. 18
    Sharon says:

    Thank You so much.. I am experienced in using the dremel tool, but I have been carving on Deer Antlers. Wahoo.. I have a lovely creek running through my land and will be out there looking at the rocks.. and can’t wait to try my hand at rock carving…Great idea, thanks for sharing…..

Trackbacks

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