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10 Creative Uses for Pebbles

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10 Creative Uses for Pebbles

Sayward Rebhal writes about Portland painting and DIY projects for Networx and Painting Networx.

Pea gravel, landscaping pebbles, decorative rock, and shell gravel – these all refer to various forms of very small stones used to spruce up outdoor spaces. You’ll find them in public parks and around commercial structures, and most commonly of all, in your residential yard or garden.

So that’s not what this article is about. I won’t be suggesting that you use them in your driveway or that you set up a winding path across your lawn. Because it’s obvious you can do that!

No, these are the alternative applications for those pretty little pebbles. These are ideas for what to do with the leftovers, once the driveway has been dealt with and the lawn is fully landscaped, and you’re staring at a little stack of stones with nowhere to call home…

1. Homemade home improvement.

Pretty pebbles in a variety of earth tones can create a lovely backsplash (that’s the panel behind a sink or counter) in a kitchen, bathroom or mud room. Depending on how many you have, you can do an entire area or just an accent.

2. Make mosaic.

Mosaic is as easy as tiling a backsplash, and even a novice can produce something beautiful. Try covering a ceramic square to create a coaster for your tea kettle (or hot pots and pans). Or, mosaic a small picture frame, large mirror frame, lamp, etc. Stone mosaic is a lovely way to bring some natural texture into a room.

3. Zen garden.

Most miniature Zen gardens – also called Japanese rock gardens – are made on a bed of sand, but you can just as easily use pebbles instead. Fill a small tray with a layer of fine pebbles, and then add a few objects like larger rocks, small statues, or glass orbs. Make sure to include a mini rake (a fork will work if you’re really desperate). Zen gardens make a great desktop or coffee table topper. Rake, arrange, and relax.

4. Potted plants.

Use pea gravel to top off your potted indoor plants. Instead of seeing the dirt, you’ll see a nice light stone – a much cleaner look.

5. Displayed as a collection.

Sort the stones by color and shade, and then stack them in a glass vase. You can create a pretty pattern of contrasting colors, or a simple elegant ombre gradient.

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4:31PM PDT on Jun 10, 2013

thank you

9:30AM PDT on Oct 18, 2012

awesome ideas. thanks!

11:28AM PDT on Sep 26, 2012

nice ideas, I keep mine in a small zen garden and the bigger ones just as a display by themselves

9:02PM PDT on Sep 24, 2012

Cool ideas.

5:33PM PDT on Sep 24, 2012


5:27PM PDT on Sep 24, 2012

Thanks. Our 3 acres is basically sand and gravel, so we have a lot of pebbles and much larger river rocks. The smaller, nicer pebbles we have tumbled and used them on a small fountain and zen garden.

10:55AM PDT on Sep 24, 2012


10:26AM PDT on Sep 24, 2012


8:41AM PDT on Sep 24, 2012

I throw a few in my water-potted plants..

2:08PM PDT on Sep 23, 2012

Thanks Chaya for these great ideas.

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