DIY Story Stones

Story Stones

Story stones make beautiful presents. Make small sets for friends to take home instead of lolly bags at a party.


How to make:

Making story stones involves a bit of basic DIY. Bigger kids will love to help out or make their own set of stones. You could also make little drawstring bags to keep their collections in.

First things first–you’ll need some stones. You can turn this part of the process into an adventure in nature and forage for stones at a creek, a river or perhaps in your garden. Ideal round, flat stones can also be bought at craft shops or landscaping/gardening supply stores. Make sure they are clean from any dirt and debris. Next come the pictures and there are a few ways you can do this but include a mix of characters, settings and props to ensure your stories have a variety of elements.

A photo of handmade story stones with fair tale images on them by Beci Orpin for Lunch Lady
  • Cut out images from magazines, catalogues or old books. Use Mod Podge glue to stick them on, press out any air bubbles and then use a sponge to smooth a bit of Mod Podge over the picture to varnish it, pressing around the edges to create a good seal between the paper and the stone.
  • You can paint images onto the stones using a fine paint brush and acrylic paint or paint pens. We used Posca pens–easy to use, less mess and lots of poppy colours to choose from.
  • Paint your stones in two coats of chalkboard paint and then use chalk to draw pictures on your stones. This method means you can keep reusing them for different stories or themes, but the pictures rub off quite easily.
  • You can create sets of stones on a favourite story or theme such as the ocean, camping, Christmas, family, reptiles or your child’s favourite fairy tale.

Photo of handmade story stones with food images on them by Beci Orpin for Lunch Lady Magazine

How to play!

Story stones have endless possibilities–their simplicity makes them super versatile. They can be used to foster collaboration and taking turns in a group activity or as a solo game during quiet play. Sometimes the best way to play is just to give your kid the stones and let them make the rules. There is no right or wrong way to use them but here are some fun ideas for more structured games.

photo of handmade story stones with spooky images on them by Beci Orpin for Lunch Lady
  • Roll a dice and then choose that number of stones to create a story.
  • Bring a bag of story stones on your next road trip. Pick a stone to start a story and then take turns drawing a stone at random. Incorporate each new character or object into the story. You’ll never get the same story twice!
  • Mix up two sets of stones for hilarious hybrid fairy tales, like the one where Goldilocks and Jack climb up the bean stalk to have brunch with the three bears and the giant and they have scrambled golden eggs.
  • Build a story. In a group get each child to draw a stone. One person starts by placing their stone on the ground and beginning the story. “Once upon a time …” The next person lays their stone down and adds the next bit of the story, and so on.
  • Ask children to count the stones or sort them into groups–characters, animals, things you can eat, stones with blue on them, etc.
  • Use your story stones as prompts to draw a picture or to ignite ideas for craft projects.
  • Draw a simple chalk map so kids can add stones to it and incorporate the places on the map into their story.
  • Tell your child a story and ask them to lay out the story stones in order as you go.
Photo of handmade DIY story stones by Beci Orpin for Lunch Lady


DIY Story Stones was created by Beci Orpin for Lunch Lady Magazine Issue 12. Photography by Jacinta Moore.


Tags Craft