I came upon a realization lately - there seems to be a common thread to…
The spooky season of Halloween is upon us… So it seemed logical add to my collection of scary concrete stones! Whip up a bunch of these Rock Eye Peepers and they will keep a watchful eye on your place. And thanks Buzzfeed for noticing my crazy ideas, but really I’m not that crazy…
Hunt around and you probably have some of these decorative clear glass vase filler pebbles in the house somewhere. They come in a few sizes but I chose the largest I could find.
Dig out some nail polish as well especially tones of eye colours and plain white. Any colour of zipper will work but you will need about 6″ (upcycle from your old jeans). They can be cut shorter to suit.
Add some tin foil and old plastic bags, hot glue & glue-gun, as well as the usual safety equipment like gloves and dust mask.
The Eyes come first:
The process for making the glass eyes involves working on the flat side of the pebbles which will be the back. Think backwards as the first layers will be the most visible. A drop of black will be the pupil and then a combination of colours will make up the iris. Look into your eye and see all the small details. Multiple layers and some scraping back will give the details
The subsequent layers will show through nicely and combining a few colours make it more unique. Add a final thick solid layer of white to finish it off. Don’t rush the drying. If you need to fix edges an xacto knife will scrape away any errors.
Here’s looking at you! And I love that they are glass and not plastic.
The Rock Eye Form:
As a filler I have repurposed some of the plastic bags and then covered them with a layer of tin foil. It makes them lighter and it does not absorb moisture which is good. Crumple up a suitable shape and then hot glue the ‘glass eyes’ in place.
Setting the Eyes:
Since these will probably find a home in the garden the inside eye section needs to also be permanent. Mix a very stiff amount of concrete (this mix sets quick so don’t mix too much) and then spread it around the eyes to completely cover the foil.
It does not need to cover then entire rock though. Let it cure which with this concrete is about 1 hour (yay!)
The Zipper Eyelids:
Now the fun part; making some crazy eye expressions. Angry, sad, whatever you like. They can also be flipped since the poor fellows don’t have noses… Tack the zipper sections in place with hot glue and cut off any extra length.
Each one has a personality. There’s just something about looking into someone’s eyes… mesmerizing.
Patty-cake Patty Cake:
Do you now realize that playing in the sandbox (real sand and muck) was preparation for real life?! With a brush wet the zipper before spreading the stiff concrete mix up against the zipper. That way it will not rob the concrete of it’s moisture to make it crack. A knife or tongue depresser works great.
Fill in the rest of the ‘rock’ and use your hands if needed. This concrete will start to get stiffer and become quite moldable like clay. Not all rocks are perfectly round so leave some texture.
To smooth out any little lumps and have a clean edge to the zipper use a wet brush. Clean off any concrete on the eyes too.
They aren’t clean:
Rocks are not meant to be perfectly white or clean so a thin ‘drippy’ wash of a mud-colour acrylic paint will make it look like authentic rock. Let it run and drip into the details; could not be easier!
Where will you put your’s?
I’ve had some of the Smiling Stones in rock garden for a while now, even under the snow. Passersby get quite the chuckle. These will join the gang…
Unexpected little surprises in the garden are so much fun. Especially since they look natural, except for maybe the brilliant blue eyes. Oh I did see you smile… So it’s worth it!
Happy Concreting. Check out more concrete projects here
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