Tuesday, April 23, 2013

How To Mod Podge a Napkin onto Rocks

I was saving a pretty napkin for a craft project and decided to try Mod Podging it onto a large rock. (I love painting rocks and stones but wanted a break from detailed painting.)

First, I cut a design from the napkin that would fit best on the rock.

Then I used a brush to paint a thin coat of Mod Podge on the rock and pressed the napkin design carefully onto the rock.

Next I applied a coat of Mod Podge over the design.

PROBLEM: I could not smooth the wrinkles from the Mod Podge-saturated napkin without tearing it.

So, I left the wrinkles/bubbles.

Napkin design Mod Podged onto large rock

Maybe less is more? I decided to use smaller designs and smaller stones following the same steps as above.

This time I was able to smooth the Mod Podge-saturated napkin without tearing it.

Napkin design Mod Podged onto small stones

SOLUTION: When Mod Podging portions of a napkin onto a stone, smaller is better

Tips & Ideas:
  • Look for pretty napkins with small designs that would fit nicely on small stones
  • Work carefully once Mod Podge is applied to the napkin design to avoid tearing
  • My fingers worked best for smoothing the napkin after the Mod Podge was applied
  • Once the saturated napkin has dried, you can sponge paint around the edges (like the 2 green stones pictured above on the lower right)
  • For no-skill-required painting, Mod Podge the napkin design onto a stone and apply paint over it (using the design as a guide) so the rock will now look painted rather than Mod Podged
  • Add a few paint strokes in strategic spots or use 3-D fabric paint strategically for added dimension and interest
  • For a child's party, buy extra theme napkins and Mod Podge them onto stones as a party favor

© Cindy Thomas Painted Rocks


  1. Do you seal it with anything after to weatherize it?

    1. Yes. You would want to apply 2-3 coats of a clear acrylic or polyurethane sealer to protect it outdoors. However, no sealer will permanently weatherize a stone. It's necessary to occasionally apply additional sealer when needed.

  2. Hi, I'm going to be a full time RV'er in the next few months and I think the idea of leaving stones with inspirational sayings and drawings is an awesome idea. Question on your comment: "For no-skill-required painting, Mod Podge the napkin design onto a stone and apply paint over it (using the design as a guide) so the rock will now look painted rather than Mod Podged". Won't the paint cover the modge podge napkin piece? Thanks for all your great tutorials!!

    1. Hi Pam. I'm happy to hear you find the tutorials helpful. You'll be spreading lots of joy as a full time RV'er and rock hider. To answer your question, yes the paint will cover the napkin piece (decoupaged design) but that's the point to that tip. Your rock will then look painted instead of decoupaged. Of course, you can just leave the design decoupaged like I did with the napkin.

  3. I saw a lady put inexpensive Saran wrap from the dollar store over her modge podge napkin on the Rock and then she was able to smooth out the bubbles without tearing the napkin. I thought that was pretty creative. Thank you for all the information you provide to all of us beginners!

    1. Thanks so much for the tip, MaryLou. It is a creative solution to the "bubble" issue. I'm happy to hear you appreciate the information I share. Happy rock painting!

    2. What medium do you use to write on the stones? I found that a Sharpie would bleed when sprayed with clear sealer. Thanks for all the info!

    3. Sailing by HIS GRACE - Sharpies are notorious for bleeding when they are sealed. I have found Uni Posca pens to be the best for writing on stones which will be sealed. I wrote this blog post about various pens I have used and their results: http://paintingrocks.blogspot.com/2013/06/rock-painting-tip-use-paint-pens.html

  4. Thanks so much for the tip about sponge painting around the edges. BIG question..do you have to let the Mod Podge cure before you seal you rock with spray?

    1. I generally use brush-on sealers so I can't speak to how a spray sealer reacts. However, I do not cure the Mod Podge before applying my brush-on sealer.