Rocky River Rainbow Yard Decorating

9 Materials
3 Hours

I got this idea from a school that involved their students in making a colorful rainbow rocky river. I knew it would give my own yard a beautiful burst of color and wanted to do something similar.


Lay out your landscaping fabric and stake down the roll of edging with the waviness of a river.


We staked ours out along some logs and fencing. This part of the process took maybe 30 minutes max.


We gathered up all our old cans of spray paints. Anything in bright colors was okay for mine! But certainly go with the colors you want. A variety of blues would be amazing!

Some bigger rocks we gathered up free but we needed more so bought a few bags of river rock. We did wash ours to be sure the paint would stick well.

I used leftever tins to paint in but boxes work as well. Once you spray the rocks, let them dry then flip them over or at least get their sides that might show. The painting is what took the most time. My granddaughter helped with the spray painting- she's a great help!


We mixed our colors up to get a rainbow effect. Pretty, right?

Last you'll trim off the edge of the landscaping fabric from the edges to better define the wavy river look. Or you could add mulch or plants along the edge.


We added some bags of "glow in the dark" rocks from Amazon but our area is rather shady. Perhaps if used in a sunnier location they'd glow brighter. If you try that let me know how it works for you.


Our gnomes really enjoy their Rainbow River- it's magical!

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Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Dusty
    on Sep 4, 2019

    Doesn’t the paint wear off fairly soon? Especially under water.

    • Kathy from KY
      on Sep 4, 2019

      If worried about the rocks getting wet you can buy a spray can of clear sealer to spray over the paint after it dries. This is very pretty! It gives me an idea. I have a concrete eagle in front of our flagpole. I have bushes and flowers around the pole and I have been wondering what to do to keep out the weeds. This is my solution! I will paint red, white and blue rocks!!!!!!!! Thanks so much!

  • Val
    on Sep 4, 2019

    It's so cheerful, can you see a row of marigolds in front of it?

Join the conversation

3 of 65 comments
  • Sheryl
    5 days ago

    Several years ago, when lots of kids were at our place for Easter, I painted river rock to use in place of eggs for a hunt. They turned them in for goodies they got to pick out of bowls or boxes. Anyhoo, those rocks are still scattered in my garden and are as colorful as ever. I love the ‘river’ idea.

  • Bev Warren
    26 minutes ago

    That is a clever idea. I have the paint & the rocks, so will give it a try & put it in the "boring" part of the flower bed.

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