Once you have tumbled your own rocks and have loads of gorgeously polished gemstones, you may start wondering what you can do with them. Sure, they look wonderful in a shallow bowl or trinket tray, but there are many more creative ways to display your tumbled rocks.
Use tumbled rocks to make jewelry, keyrings, bookmarks, mosaic pictures, and mirror frames, and craft beautiful hanging mobiles. Use them to decorate pot plants, as groundcovers in the garden, to add a colorful accent to a glass vase or candle holder, or use them as game markers or paperweights.
Crafts made using tumbled rocks make brilliant gifts, or they can be sold at community markets. The only limit to what you can do with tumbled rocks is your imagination! This article is full of ideas to inspire you.
Ground Cover Around Plants
Tumbled gemstones add a pop of color and interest around the base of potted plants. You can also use tumbled rocks as a colorful ground cover in garden beds.
It looks beautiful, and the layer of rocks saves water by preventing it from evaporating from the soil. This is especially effective in xeriscapes and drought-prone gardens.
Simply Fill A Glass Jar Or Vase
Tumbled gemstones look great displayed in a glass container, like a mason jar or flower vase. If you do not have enough tumbled stones to fill the container, place the rocks around a filler object.
You can just have the gems in the container, or you can add some flowers. The weight of the gems in the bottom of the vase helps to stabilize it. It prevents top-heavy arrangements from tipping over.
It can look very striking to coordinate the colors of the flowers and the gems. For example, white or lilac chrysanthemums will look great in a vase with tumbled amethyst in the bottom.
Wire Wrapped Jewelry
One of the best ways to use tumbled gemstones is to turn them into wearable art. Wire-wrapped semi-precious stones make gorgeous pendants, bracelets, brooches, and rings.
Wire-wrapped jewelry can be as simple and minimalistic or as intricate as you want. It’s a craft that is really easy to get into.
There are many informative and inspirational tutorials on YouTube, like this one:
TIP: Moonstones are a popular rock for tumbling. Do you know how valuable these rocks can be? You might be surprised. Find out the real value of moonstone in the article below:
Are Moonstones Valuable Rocks? The Real Worth of Moonstones
Attach Gemstones To Jewelry Blanks
The easiest way to turn your tumbled rocks into jewelry is by using jewelry blanks. Simple ring settings (Amazon link) are relatively cheap and available in bulk. You can make tumbled stone stud earrings using simple stud earring blanks (Amazon link).
All you have to do is glue your gemstones onto the circular pad of the setting. Try to use rocks that have at least one large, flat surface.
Macrame With Tumbled Stones
Macrame knotting is a textile craft that is used to create all sorts of decorations – jewelry, wall hangings, friendship bracelets, belts, and plant hangers.
You can incorporate tumbled gemstones with macrame to create truly gorgeous handmade pieces of art. Watch the tutorial below that teaches you how to make a beautiful macrame gemstone bracelet.
TIP: Pebble rocks are naturally tumbled by water and other rocks on the beaches. Pebbles are really interesting rocks so find out how they are formed and more in the article below:
All About Pebble Rocks: What Type of Rock, Forming & More
Decorate Your Home
There are endless ways to use tumbled rocks in your home’s décor:
- Fill a small vase with some tumbled stones and embed a votive candle.
- Display tumbled gems in a small bowl or trinket tray.
- Show your tumbled treasures on a small floating shelf.
- Stick tumbled gems into a picture frame for an interesting display.
- For a classic look, display your stones in a glass case.
- Use large tumbled rocks as paperweights on your desk.
Use Tumbled Rocks For Games
Instead of using boring, plastic counters in board games, use different tumbled gemstones. You can do this for any type of game that requires players to have a unique counter – Monopoly, 30 Seconds, Pictionary, Snakes and Ladders.
You can also use two contrasting colors of tumbled rocks as game pieces in a natural, DIY set of checkers or tic-tac-toe.
Kids love painting tumbled rocks and attaching googly eyes to make pet rocks. This is a brilliant activity for kids’ parties or for a rainy indoor craft day.
Mosaic With Tumbled Rocks
Tumbled rocks can be used for the craft of mosaics. You can create beautiful mirrors and picture frames, tabletops, and even floors using mosaiced tumbled rocks. By using differently colored stones, you can create patterns or motifs.
Make magnificent stepping stones for your garden using a cement mixture and tumbled rocks. You could also make mosaic paths or walkways. It will take a while, but the result is definitely worth the time and effort.
TIP: Do you know what rocks are good rocks tumbling? Not all of them are good for tumbling. Find the good ones out in the article below:
What Rocks Are Good For Tumbling? 15 Best Rocks & Minerals
Tumbled Rock Makeup Brush Holder
Decorate your dressing table with something that is beautiful and functional – a tumbled rock makeup brush holder. This will keep your brushes safe and organized and display them in an interesting way.
Fill a wide-brimmed vase with your favorite tumbled rocks until about halfway. Then, stick the backs of your makeup brushes into the gems. Make sure the layer of rocks is deep enough to support the weight of the brushes.
BTW: Do you want to know more about rock and mineral identification? The books listed below are the best ones you can find on the internet (Amazon links):
- Smithsonian Handbooks: Rocks & Minerals
- Gemstone & Crystal Properties (Quick Study Home)
- Ultimate Explorer Field Guide: Rocks and Minerals (National Geographic Kids)
Tumbled Gemstone Resin Coasters
Embed beautiful, tumbled gemstones in clear resin to make unique and eye-catching coasters. This is a great entry-level project if you want to get started with resin art as a hobby.
Sets of silicone coaster molds (Amazon link) are readily available online. They even include a mold for a storage box for the set of coasters.
Tumbled stone coasters make fantastic, handcrafted gifts for friends and family.
Getting hooked on the hobby of tumbling rocks will leave you with quite a considerable amount of beautifully polished gemstones. Luckily there are many creative ways to use them!
Use tumbled rocks to make jewelry (macrame, wire wrapping, or simply sticking them to jewelry settings), resin mosaic art, or something as useful as a makeup brush holder.
You can also just fill a glass vase or mason jar with your favorite tumbled rocks as a way to display them decoratively. The options for what you can make with tumbled rocks are endless!
TIP: Are you going to buy a new rock tumbler? Check out the best rock tumblers for hobbyists in the article below:
Best Rock Tumblers: Beginner and Hobbyist Options