Step 1 - Paint the surface under your stonework. You will leave a gap between each stone, so this paint will show through as your grout line. Choose your grout color and paint the entire surface of the wall or floor with that color. I used Anita's Acrylic Craft Paint in a dark gray color called Charcoal.
Step 2 - Collect cardboard egg cartons, fast food drink trays, and other types of bumpy textured cardboard. By using egg cartons and drink trays from different places, you'll get different colors of gray and brown so your stones will have different colors and textures. I also used a $1 pack of seed planting cups from Target.
Step 3 - Tear the cardboard into random stone shaped pieces. You can also use this same technique to make bricks by cutting the cardboard into uniform brick shaped blocks.
Step 4 - Begin gluing the pieces to the surface with the bumpy side facing up. Fold pieces around edges and corners so that it will look like one continuous stone on both the top and side of the surface. Leave a gap in between your stones to form the grout line.
I used my favorite glue, Fast Grab Tacky Glue to glue the stones to the surface. Tip: I keep my glue turned upside down in a mug so that it comes out easy when I'm ready, then I just drop it back in the mug. Fast Grab Tacky is a really thick glue, and it can be hard to squeeze out of the bottle if not kept upside down.
Continue gluing different colors and shapes of pieces on, leaving a thin line of gray showing through. Find pieces that fit together well or just tear the cardboard to fit the shape you need.
You can see the mess I made on the floor by tearing off little pieces to get the shapes to fit together.
Step 5 - Once all of the stones are glued in place, add more color to the stones with craft paint. Dry brush the stones with different colors of cream, tan, brown, gray, and even green for a mossy effect. I used Craft Smart Acrylic Paint from Michael's in Light Green, Spanish Olive, and Vanilla and Anita's Acrylic Paint from Hobby Lobby in Latte, Chocolate Brown, Burnt Umber, Rainy Day Gray, and Charcoal.
Dry Brushing - When you are doing a dry brush painting technique, you don't want to cover the entire surface with that color paint. You just want to add a shadowy hint of the paint color. To do this, dip the tip of your brush into the paint and then blot most of the paint off the brush on a paper towel. Then with the almost dry brush, lightly brush a faint hint of the color onto your surface. For the stones, I used a round brush and pounced a hint of color onto the stones.
The added creams, brown, grays, and greens give so much depth and dimension to the stones and make them look more natural. Look at the difference between the before and after of dry brushing these extra colors on.
|Before Dry Brushing|
|After Dry Brushing|
Step 6 - Paint the entire surface with Matte Mod Podge. This will seal and finish your stonework.
When you paint it on, the entire surface will be covered with a white haze, but it will dry clear. You can see the white haze in this picture, where I have painted the left side with Mod Podge, but not the right side yet.
Paint the entire surface with several coats of Matte Mod Podge, allowing time for it to dry completely between coats.
I applied four separate coats of Matte Mod Podge.
Once the Mod Podge is dry, the stones no longer look or feel like they are made of cardboard. They are completely hard, and they look and feel like stone. It's hard to see the depth and dimension in the pictures, but in person it is amazing.
Here is the final result.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that you can use this technique in the future on your own dollhouse, room box, or even just a winter fireplace scene for your favorite doll.
Please leave your questions or comments below.