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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…

The Stuff:

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.

The impatient part of me is using a fast setting concrete again, but you may check here to see what other choices you may have.

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

(Intended for personal use only: Publishing of this design is prohibited without permission)


I'm an artist & I make things... all kinds of things.

This Post Has 41 Comments

  1. Barb your newest piece is a hoot! I love how you made all the different expressions with the zippers. Great job!

  2. Oh my, this is the cutest stinkin thing I’ve seen in …forever!!
    Thanks so much for,sharing how to make it. This is definitely on my bucket list for the new year!!

    1. Well, sometimes I just can’t turn off my brain and I come up with too many ideas. That is NOT what I have a shortage of! But time is not at abundance! Thanks!

  3. OMG! I got hooked from your smiling rocks and NOW THIS?! I LOVE IT! I’m wondering how it would look and if I could make one with the eyes AND the smiling face together? This is so cool and like someone else said here, I love your brain and the way you think, lol! So cool!
    Thank you for the tutorial!

    1. It’s a story; as I also teach young adults how to draw and many many times they just say they don’t have any ideas… How the heck can that be?! I think the problem is we have been conditioned to restrict our thoughts to such logic and not allow us to develop ideas that are somewhat ‘outside the box’! Once you open up your acceptances great things can happen!

      Sure, you could try a composite smile/eye rock! But it should be quirky as well!… Myabe noses, ears etc are next!

  4. I’m a former journalist and cannot stop proofreading. It’s a curse at times. However, I have to tell you that in one section headline, your “your’s” should be spelled “yours.” Your project are incredibly creative.

    1. Oh thanks! I’ll look into that. As you can see I’m a pretty busy person and sometimes things slip through. I am surprised you did not find more as I swore I would never really need to learn typing…

  5. Hi there. Just completed two eye peepers and let them dry completely. But now the concrete seems to just turn to powder if I touch it too hard. Do I need to seal the concrete? Thanks for any ideas you have to make this work for me. Love your projects.

    1. Oh dear! There’s a few things to consider; Which mix did you use? Was it not too old concrete? Was it mixed with enough water? Was it wet enough during the cure? (temperature, wind etc) It could be any of those… I may have to make a troubleshooting post!

  6. What size zippers did you use? I purchased some eyes that are 30 mm. Super excited to try this.

    1. Those sound quite large! I would get longer zippers and then they can be cut to suit. I would use 6″ or so, but hard to say without the full picture. Good luck!

    1. It is not a very solid ‘rock’ so I’d say at least 35 🤷🏻‍♀️… but Not sure (but I can’t see them needing more than a pound each. If you have extra, there’s lots of projects to make…

  7. I love these! I want to make a flower pot with this idea. Should I make the pot our of the cementall or out of a sand mix concrete? Then I am assuming I would put the eyes on with the cementall.

    1. If you have a plastic inner form you could do it possibly in one step if you allow the first layer to somewhat set. The Rapidset Cementall is so very dense that it is strong at a thin thickness. The water also does not penetrate as with usual concrete like the sand topping. I’d be interested to see the finished one!

  8. Hi Barb! I absolutely love these and I’ve made the smiling stones before! However I tried using the same method to get the look of a satin pouch that looks like it’s inside the rock with a zipper on the outside. I wanted to fill it with gems but I can’t get it to work right! Any advice?!

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