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:
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:
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)
I drew a sketch onto my rock first:
Then, at a low speed, I slowly etched my design into the rock:
(Note: Make sure to wear protective eye wear!)
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:
The finished carving:
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:
Polished and ready for a gift or decor:
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:
You can also use a polishing wheel for adding beeswax:
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:
I found a rock with a thinner end:
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:
A fun necklace with a suede lace added:
Another idea….add a few words or a short quote to a rock:
Make a collection for the coffee table:
…..or make one for a gift:
Make sure to check out this tutorial on recycling broken china too!
Disclaimer: A big thanks to Dremel for sponsoring this post!
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Christina @ Homemade Ocean says
Oh la la I need one of those Dremels! I can only imagine all the fun crafts I could get into!!!!
Kitty Schaefer says
I guess I will be buying a dremel tool 🙂
I love the idea of just leaving these random places for people to find. Fabulous idea 🙂
Please be aware that Crystalline silica causes lung cancer. Please recommend the use of a mask.
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.
Madi W. says
That is awesome 😀 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 😉
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!
Do you know what is needed to use to drill through that piece of china?
Sorry I just saw that u said to use the same carbide grinding stone in your first instruction
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.
Now I know what to do with some of the dozens of rocks I’ve collected!
Awww…. Thankyou SO MUCH ! 😉
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 🙂
Charlie Hendricks says
My 4 year old is really into carving. Is this a tool he could use or is this not appropriate?
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.
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?
Can you do this with sea glass?
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…..