There are stories living within all of us and sometimes they just need a bit of help to emerge. This craft is the perfect addition to your next road trip, dinner party or creative session. Come make some story stones with me.
You will need:
Assortment of smooth stones
White Paint and a small brush
Temporary Tattoos or stencil
Modgepodge or Sealant
*Optional cloth bag to hold stones
Decide if you would like a natural or white background. I chose white for mine because it helped the image to pop plus most stones are rathe dark and the white paint created a unified background effect. If you chose white, dab a thin layer on one side of each stone and let dry. I like mine to have an organic look and let the outline of shape be loose and natural. ie: let it be a bit messy.
Once dry to the touch it is time to place the tattoos! Choose some images that intrigue you, remove clear protective layer and place one face down on the stone. I ordered my tattoos off Amazon. Make sure the images are really small to fit on surface of stones. Place a wet cloth on top and press down for 30 seconds. Gently peel off white background and Viola you have a story stone. Repeat this process for as many stones as you would like to have in your collection.
If you chose to use a stencil, place it on the stone and dab coloured paint in stencil. Lift carefully and let dry. I have found it easier to use temporary tattoos over stencils due to rounded nature of the stone surface. But play around and see which method you prefer.
Once stones are dry you can cover with a clear sealant such as modgepodge or clear gesso. This will help protect the surface from scratches during use.
How to use Story Stones
We like to keep ours in a cloth bag so we can pick them blind and use the image as a jumping off point. For example if I picked an image with a tree, I might start a story with" Once long ago a tree spoke in the forest..." Then hand the bag to the next person to pick a stone and continue a story in a round. It gets hilarious pretty fast and when we get to the last stone it is always interesting to see how the story ends.
You an also use the stones solo as a source of inspiration. Simply blindly pick a stone as a muse. For example you chose the tree stone and you might translate that into an art project incorporating a tree, a poem about a tree, compose a song that sounds like wind in a tree, gather some bark to use as a texture rubbing etc... The stone acts as a nudge to your creative mind to wake up and try something new.
Why do this?
Telling stories is therapeutic. There is a reason why throughout humanities history we have gathered across cultures to share stories. Did you know that when we listen to a story we naturally sink into the same rhythm of breathe as the storyteller? We create a a deep connection through listening AND telling. Telling a story vs reading one aloud is its own medicine. The act of using our imagination in the moment grows new pathways in our brain and helps move emotions through our storytelling to new realms. We will often pull inspiration from our own lived experiences and even though it is expressed in metaphor the story helps us process our experiences. Lastly, the deep catharsis of being connected in a group through a unifying thread. Story is healing.
Try story stones at your next family dinner or the next time you sit down to create. The stones are so easy to make and are a wonderful gift to share with the ones you love.