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Painted Santa Stones – Happy Hooligans

Santa Stone collage for Pinterest

Transform a smooth beach stone into an adorable Santa stone with acrylic craft paint. If you can paint a straight line and dot paint with a handle of a paint brush, you can totally make these! 10 Ways to use your stones are suggested in the post below.

See more crafts to make with stones here.

smooth stones painted to look like simple santa faces smooth stones painted to look like simple santa faces

I always have a stash of smooth beach stones on hand because my daycare Hooligans love painting them. They’ve made all kinds of paper weights and various other stone crafts over the years. The other day, I thought it would be fun to paint some of our stones for a Christmas art activity.

I came up with Santas, penguins and snowmen and they all turned out cuter than I ever could’ve imagined I’ll share the penguins and snowmen with you another day, but today I’ll show you how to make the Santa stones.

I kept them really easy so kids could make them, but grownups will love this Christmas art activity too.

What can you do with your Santa Stones?

You may be wondering what you can do with these stones after you’ve painted them, so I’ve come up with a few suggestions for you. I’m sure you and your kids can put your thinking caps on and come up with a few more of your own too.

10 Ways to use your painted Santa Stones:

  1. Write a message with a Sharpie on the back and put one in the toe of a Christmas stocking
  2. Put one at each place setting on your Christmas dinner table
  3. Hide and seek Santa – hide the stones around your house and have the kids hunt for them
  4. Find the Santa countdown to Christmas – Hide one stone per day for your child to find in the days or weeks before Christmas
  5. Weight down a stack of Christmas napkins
  6. Use large stones as Christmas paper weights and door stoppers
  7. Hide/Distribute them throughout your neighbourhood/community
  8. Sell them at a church or school holiday fundraiser
  9. Include with gifts/treats that you give to neighbours, friends, teachers etc. at Christmas
  10. Use for counting, sorting, stacking activities with toddlers/preschoolers

Ok, let’s paint some Santa Stones!

Painted Santa Stones Instructions:


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  • smooth beach stones
  • Gesso or a similar primer (this will give you better coverage)
  • acrylic craft paint (red, skin tone, white and black)
  • paint brushes
  • satin craft varnish (protects paint and adds vibrance/sheen)

How to Paint Santa Stones

  1. Wash and Dry Stones

    Scrub stones to remove any grit and debris and let them dry. This will ensure the paint adheres properly to the stones.
    Your stones will dry quickly in a warm, sunny spot, but you can speed up the drying process with a hairdryer.

  2. Prime Stones

    Paint the stones with a coat of Gesso or a similar craft primer. If you don’t have primer, that’s ok, but you may need several coats of paint to get full coverage.

  3. Paint bands of colour on stone

    Using the photo below as a guide paint bands of red, skin-tone and white on your stone: red for the hat, white for the trim of the hat, skin-tone for the face and white for the beard.
    Allow your paint to dry.
    For the back of the stone: You can leave the back of your Santa stones unpainted, or you can paint them in a solid colour or with a second Santa face.
    bands of red, skin-tone and white paint on stonesbands of red, skin-tone and white paint on stones

  4. 2nd coat

    Give each band of colour a second coat of paint and allow to dry.

  5. Dot on details

    Dip the handle of a paintbrush into some paint to dot on Santa’s pom pom, eyes and nose.
    I used the fattest paintbrush handle I had for the pom pom on Santa’s hat, and a couple of medium sized paint brushes to dot on the eyes and nose.

  6. Varnish your stones

    Once your Santa stones are completely dry, brush them with a coat of satin craft varnish to protect your paint and to intensify your colours and add sheen.

painted santa stones on black backgroundpainted santa stones on black background

I hope you’re as delighted with the results of your Santa stones as we are.

If you think up some creative ways to use them, that weren’t mentioned in the list above, please let us know!


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