25 Creative Ways to Use Stones in the Garden
If you’re looking for a way to renovate your garden on a budget, we have the ideal solution for you.
All you need is some rocks, stones or garden pebbles!
Yes, you read that right. Stones are a natural material that do not require any maintenance, can be found everywhere and with a little creative flair, can add a unique and creative touch to your garden.
Stones are such an easy to use material that your garden is probably already full of them. All you need to do is find the ones that work best for your chosen idea (check out our list of 25 suggestions below), and voila! Your garden will look elegant, brand new, and unique.
One of the easiest ways to get creative with stones is adding a splash of colour and creativity by painting them for games or just decoration. Here are some examples to inspire your creative spirit.
Bumblebees and ladybugs
You’ve heard of naughts and crosses? Introducing the garden variation – bumblebees and ladybugs. All you need for this game is 10 small pebbles, paint and a tree trunk as the table. Paint the pebbles in two sets of five (one set as ladybugs, the other as bumblebees) and keep your guests and kids entertained with this fun garden feature.
Do you have a pot plant that needs some colour or maybe you want to leave some decorative pebbles in random parts of the garden? Painting strawberry shaped stones is a cute decorative idea that will bring colour and life to your garden.
Instead of putting up boring markers to know where you’ve planted various plants and herbs, why not paint your favourite herbs onto stones and use them as markers instead? This is a bold, beautiful, practical and better option for the environment as the stones do not deteriorate over time.
If you have a home with a minimalist design and modern aesthetic, consider painting some stones in grey or black and white stripes and leaving them around in various places, pots, doorways as an added decoration to the space. If you want to add splashes of colour to your space, paint the stripes in different colours!
If you have kids and want some fun and creative activities that get them away from sitting inside with a screen to playing outside, gather your paints and stones and get the entire family involved with making these decorative stone bugs. Some ideas to get you started (along with the ones pictured above) include transforming the stones in caterpillars, ladybugs, bees, butterflies, and any other garden insects you’d like to make an appearance in your backyard. Place them in the herb garden, or under a tree and create a treasure hunt for the kids to find them!
Are you someone with absolutely no green thumb? Like – you can’t even keep a cactus alive? We feel you and have the perfect stone painting idea for you! Simply find stones in a variety of sizes and shapes, paint them in different tones of green and speckle them with white dots to resemble the spikes of cactuses. Next, find a pot or bucket, fill it with pebbles or any other filler and then ‘plant’ your painted cactuses into the pot! Throw in some plain pebbles as ‘ground-cover’ and voila! You have yourself a plant that requires basically no maintenance at all and doubles up as a practical piece of art for your garden.
Are you teaching your kids the names of their grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles? Make your life easier by creating a family tree using stones and a marker or paint and place them under the tree. This way, your kids get to have hands-on experience learning the who’s who of their family and your tree gets a decorative touch at the same time! And if you’re feeling adventurous, you could first carve each family member’s name in the stone and then paint it, like in the photo above.
If your kids love hopscotch and you’re not the biggest fan of chalk, we have the best solution for you that will win your kid’s hearts and give you peace of mind from cleaning chalk off your pavers! Simply get 10 big stone pavers, paint them in bright colours and add numbered stickers over the top (or paint the numbers on – whatever works for you). Lay them as you would a hopscotch and watch as your kids enjoy their time outside.
Mosaic Stepping Stones
If you are more artistically inclined and want an activity that gets you away from the computer, screen and indoor lighting and involved with something that is a cross between puzzles and art, look into creating stepping stone mosaics for your path! They are unique, artistic and will transform your pathway into a walking art gallery.
This flower pattern stepping stone design looks easier to make than the reality of actually putting it together. Combining two different colours or textures of stone to create contrast in this mosaic is the reason for the challenge. If you have a romantic-styled garden, this is an ideal stepping stone design that will blend nicely with the rest of your theme.
Mandala Inspired Design
Mandala designs are very on trend at the moment, especially as mosaic inspired stepping stones. They add a mystical, relaxing and meditative element to your garden and work best in areas you’ve designed for relaxation and retreats like near a water fountain or a table and chairs hidden amongst some trees. Making mandalas from stones is fairly too. All you need is coloured pebbles or stones and a round stepping stone base. Place the smaller stones around the border until you get to the centre of the circle! Use different colours depending on the colour palette that best suits your garden and enjoy the tranquility of the designs.
Building with Stones
If you prefer to keep things neutral and natural in your garden, check out the designs below. Here we explore ways you can use stones to create unique works of art and statues as decorative pieces for your garden.
This unique stone feature will definitely draw attention and awe from everyone who spends time in your garden. Fortunately, it’s actually really easy to create. All you need is a selection of stones in different sizes (preferably the same oval shape), a metal bar and a concrete base. Drill a hole through the centre of the concrete base and the centre of each stone and put each of these through the metal bar as you layer the stones on top of each other. The most important part of this project is ensuring that you drill the stones in the centre using drill bits, otherwise you may end up with something resembling the Leaning Tower of Pisa which can be a hazard and danger in your backyard (especially if you have pets and children crawling around).
Many studies show that the sound of moving water is relaxing. If you love waterfalls or rivers, you can easily recreate this natural looking and sleek waterfall structure in your garden. Whether you prefer a symmetrical or asymmetrical design depends on your garden design and general aesthetic. For the waterfall to work, you would need to install a pump, which requires electricity, and a pond for the water to flow into. This will require a little more work and if you need to, hire a skilled handy man who can help you whip this together in next to no time.
If you’re a fan of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, this idea is for you! Re-creating this little house made of rocks will add a whimsical and fantasy element to your garden. We suggest building it against the base of a large tree trunk, or as a standalone feature: either way, this cute little addition to your garden will keep your children entertained for hours on end.
For those who love musical chimes, this pretty wind charm can be created using an array of colourful stones and rocks and connected with copper wire rings. It is super easy to make, and makes a chic addition to your window or balcony.
Artsy Stone Designs
Do you have various boring and dull corners around your home or garden that could use some life? These rock art sculptures will instantly add intrigue and interest to the space. With some imagination, and a little bit of wire, you can create beautiful sculptures ranging from a swan, to a caterpillar, and even a cute family of frogs.
If you’re an animal lover and want to attract local wildlife to your home, get creative with a these beautiful stone birdhouses! Made entirely from natural materials, they will blend easily with the rest of your garden and make the birds feel right at home. If you like, you could even build a matching bird pond or bath as a set for the bird house. The local wildlife will appreciate the food, water and shelter – especially during a rainy, stormy or hot summer day.
Giant Flower Baskets
This idea might need a second pair of hands and some professional help (depending on how big you want to build it). But it’s a beautiful and creative signature flower bed – resembling giant baskets – built from stones and concrete. You can even change the flowers depending on the season or use them as herb gardens. Either way, your garden will always have a basket on hand as a beautiful decoration and focal feature for all to enjoy.
Fancy getting creative with your garden retaining walls? This idea will give your garden both intrigue and a unique texture. All you need to create this trendy mini retaining wall is stones, wire, and blocks of treated pine. Fill wire boxes with different coloured stones in a variety of sizes to give it an artsy feel. This retaining both helps maintain the different levels of the garden and looks amazing at the same time!
This might be one of the coolest outdoor tables ever! If your garden has a rustic aesthetic, this idea is absolutely perfect for your patio. Similar to the mini fence made of wire and filled with stones, all you need to make this table is a selection of stones in the colour palette of your choosing and a few wire cage boxes. Fill the boxes with the stones and top them with a material of your choosing (marble or wood – whatever suits your garden). You definitely won’t find this design at a furniture store.
Rock Outdoor Sofa
Want an outdoor setting that really blends with your garden? This sofa lounge made from stones will stand the test of time and add a natural element to your space, flowing seamlessly with your garden. When you think of stone you might think it will be uncomfortable – which is correct to a degree. The beauty is that you can spruce it up with outdoor cushions in the colours of your garden design. Remember to choose cushions that are made for outdoor settings and won’t be damaged by exposure to wind, rain or sunlight. Alternatively, store the cushions in a separate location when not using them!
Stretched with time and want to add a cute touch to your garden? Probably one of the easiest arrangements you can do with stones, is create an artwork made from stone feet. All you need is a base (preferably wooden) and stones in a variety of sizes (so that they represent feet). Arrange the stones in the desired shape and attach them with glue onto the wooden board and place this in dull corner, hang it on a wall, and enjoy the view!
Whether you’ve been in the garden and your muddy feet need a wash, or you’ve been in the pool and you need to rinse your feet from the salt and chlorine before entering the house, a framed stone foot wash will do the trick! As well as being a a foot wash, the stones can also serve as a natural foot massage. A win-win for all who experience it!
Have an empty bucket that you want to recycle? Turn it into a stone tiled pot! Get some small pebbles, tile them on the outside, place some soil inside and plant your favourite flowers.
And there you have it: 25 creative ideas to transform your garden with stones.
So whether you are looking for a small creative project or something a little bit bigger, there is an idea here for you.
And if you need any help with natural garden stone pebbles, natural stone pavers, stepping stones or any other tiling or paving needs, please reach out to our stone experts at Armstone online or at 1300 560 560. We would love to help answer any questions and help you transform your garden into an enjoyable and relaxing oasis.