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Saturday, January 18, 2020

How to of the Day

How to of the Day


How to Paint Pebbles

Posted: 18 Jan 2020 08:00 AM PST

Whether you're in the classroom or staying at home, painting pebbles is a fun, engaging craft that you can do just about anywhere! First, use soap and water to clean off any dirt and grime from the rocks. Once you've used sandpaper to buff away any rough edges, use a pencil and some scrap paper to plan out the design for your beautiful pebble. With some paint and varnish, you can create a masterpiece on any size pebble!

[Edit]Steps

[Edit]Drawing Your Design

  1. Wash and dry the pebbles to remove any dirt. Find a variety of smooth stones outside and bring them to your sink. Squeeze a pea-sized amount of dish soap onto a soaked sponge, and lightly scrub all of the pebbles. As you clean, focus on getting rid of any dirt and filth on the stones. Once you've washed the pebbles, lay them on a towel or other clean surface to let them dry.[1]

    • If you're in a rush, feel free to dry off the stones individually.
    • Any kind of soap will work to clean the pebbles.
    • If you'd prefer to save time, consider buying smooth stones at a craft store.
  2. Sand down any rough pebbles with 100-, 150-, and 220-grit sandpaper. Take a piece of 100-grit sandpaper and rub over any harsh, jagged edges on the pebble. Start with a coarse sheet of sandpaper, then work your way down to 220-grit. Continue rubbing down the pebbles until the entire surface is smooth.[2]

    • It can be difficult to paint over a rough, uneven surface. Try to get the pebbles as smooth as possible to save yourself some trouble later on.
  3. Pick a design for your pebble. Think about what the pebbles will be used for after they're painted. Are you looking to make creative labels for your garden, or fun home decorations? Depending on your intended purpose, you might want to pick a design concept that's on the simpler side.[3]
    Paint Pebbles Step 3.jpg
    • For instance, if you're creating labels for your garden, you might want to paint the stone a solid color, then paint a specific word over that backdrop.
    • Create fun number and letter counters by painting the surface of the rock with black paint, then labeling it in white.
    • You might paint a decorative pebble with a ladybug design, or some other natural motif.
  4. Draw out your design idea on a piece of scrap paper. Use pencil to sketch your basic concept. Don't worry about the drawing being perfect—instead, focus on fleshing out different ideas until you have the perfect design for your pebble. [4]
    Paint Pebbles Step 4.jpg
    • Don't feel like you have to commit to a single idea! Draw as many different designs as you want.
  5. Use pencil to sketch this design on the pebble. Trace or freely draw your chosen artwork onto the pebble. Try to keep your lines as smooth as possible, so you'll have an easier time tracing over and filling in the design with paint. If you mess up the pencil sketch at any point, simply draw over it—the old pencil etchings won't be visible beneath the dried paint.[5]

    • If you're confident in your art skills, don't worry about tracing on the design ahead of time.

[Edit]Applying the Paint

  1. Fill in the large, solid-colored portions of the design with acrylic paint. Take a thin paintbrush and dip it into a small well of acrylic paint. Use swift, smooth motions to spread the paint over the pebble's surface. Focus on the background elements of the design first, like the backdrop color.[6]

    • If you're working with a more complex design, paint from back to front. For instance, if you're painting a tree in front of a sunset, make sure to fill in the colors of the sky before painting in the tree.
    • Acrylic paint is an easy and inexpensive paint to use. If you accidentally spill some paint on your clothes or carpet, you can easily blot it away with dish soap![7]
  2. Dry off the paint with a blow dryer. Plug in a hair dryer and turn it on low heat. Move the dryer back and forth over the painted surface of the stone, applying even amounts of heat to the paint. Continue moving the hair dryer over the painted pebble until the surface looks and feels dry.[8]
    Paint Pebbles Step 7.jpg
    • If you aren't in a rush, feel free to set the pebbles aside and let them air-dry. Check on the stones once every hour or so to see if they're dry.
  3. Use thin, tapered paint brushes to add intricate details. Take a thin, tapered brush and dip it into the acrylic paint color of your choice. With short, careful movements, outline the finer details of the design on your painted pebble. Clean off the brush in between uses whenever you dip into a new color.[9]

    • If your pebble's artwork has multiple layers, be sure to use a blow dryer to dry off the surface.
  4. Add artistic flair to your pebbles with chalk crayons and markers. Use a chalk crayon or marker to sketch or color in other elements of your design. Check that the base layer of paint is completely dry before you use any chalk markers or crayons.[10]

    • Chalk markers and crayons are great ways to add lighter, pastel tones to your painted pebble. As the name suggests, they also look like chalk when applied to a surface.
  5. Outline sections of dried paint with a thin black pen. Add extra detail to your painted pebble by highlighting important parts of the design. If you'd like to give your painted pebble a crisp, professional look, try outlining important elements of your art in pen. Make sure that all layers of paint are dry before you add any line work to the design.[11]

    • These pens are especially useful for complex art designs.
    • For example, if you're painting a heart onto your pebble, you might want to outline the heart in pen.

[Edit]Sealing the Finished Art

  1. Dip a clean paintbrush into some clear glue or varnish. Take a thin brush and coat it completely with clear varnish, sealant, or PVA glue. Choose a clear product to use for the sealing process, so your beautiful pebble artwork will be protected! [12]

    • You can find clear sealants and glue at any hardware or home improvement store.
  2. Apply a thin layer of varnish over the dried pebble. Brush on the clear product in smooth, even strokes. Focus on covering the entire painted surface of the pebble. Don't worry about painting the back surface of the stone—you only need to protect the painted areas.[13]

    • One layer of varnish or sealant should do the trick. If you'd like your painted pebble to be extra protected, consider applying a second coat.
  3. Use a spray sealant if you'd prefer more coverage. Save yourself some preparation time by spraying the sealant onto your painted pebble. Look for products at your local hardware or home improvement store that come in a spray canister. You can make your clear top coat look a lot smoother and more even with this kind of product.[14]

    • Whenever you use spray-on paint products, be sure to work in a well-ventilated area.
  4. Wait for the sealant layer to dry completely. Leave your painted, sealed pebbles on a flat, open surface. Let the stones dry for several hours, checking on them periodically to see if the pebbles' surface looks dry. If the varnish feels dry after you lightly tap it, then the pebbles are ready to be displayed![15]
    Paint Pebbles Step 14.jpg

[Edit]Things You'll Need

  • Pebbles
  • Scrap paper
  • Pencil
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Blow dryer (optional)
  • Chalk crayons (optional)
  • Chalk markers (optional)
  • Thin black pen
  • Clear glue or sealant
  • Spray sealant (optional)


[Edit]References

How to Start a Conversation When You Have Nothing to Talk About

Posted: 18 Jan 2020 12:00 AM PST

Starting a conversation can be a challenge if you aren't sure where to begin, and awkward silences can be uncomfortable. Even if you don't think you have anything to talk about, there are many ways you can get involved in deep conversation. Look for common topics that you can talk about and be an active listener so the conversation stays engaging. As you get more comfortable talking to others, you'll be able to have a conversation no matter the situation!

[Edit]Steps

[Edit]Starting the Conversation

  1. Introduce yourself if you've never met the person before. If you want to talk to a stranger, approach them, make eye contact, and smile. Say hello and tell them your name so they feel comfortable around you. Offer a handshake so the other person feels connected to you and more willing to talk. Ask them for their name so you have a natural lead-in to a longer conversation.[1]
    Start a Conversation When You Have Nothing to Talk About Step 10.jpg
    • For example, you may say, "Hi, my name is John. It's nice to meet you."
    • You don't need to introduce yourself if you just want to have a casual conversation, but it will help make people more receptive to you.
  2. Say something positive to invite others to join the conversation. Mentioning something negative at the start of your conversation may make others unwilling to open up and talk with you. Bring up something around you that you really enjoy and smile while you're talking to the other person is more likely to open up and talk with you. After you mention what you enjoy, you ask them how they feel about it to get them involved.[2]
    Start a Conversation When You Have Nothing to Talk About Step 2 Version 2.jpg
    • For example, if you're at a party, you may say, "This music is really cool! Do you like it?" or, "Have you tried the food yet? It's really delicious." Ending with a question encourages the other person to respond and start a conversation.
  3. Give a compliment to the person to ease into talking with each other. Talk about the person's personality or something they're wearing when you give a compliment. Be genuine with your compliment or else the person may feel like you aren't being truthful and deter them from talking to you. Follow up with a question to keep the conversation going, or else they may not respond.[3]
    Start a Conversation When You Have Nothing to Talk About Step 18.jpg
    • You may say something like, "That dress looks really nice. Where did you get it?" or, "You have a good sense of style. How do you find outfits to wear?"
    • Use open-ended questions as much as you can so the conversation doesn't end with "yes" or "no."
    • Avoid bringing up someone's appearance since it could make them uncomfortable and they may not respond well to it.
  4. Mention your surroundings to start a conversation if you can't think of anything else. If you're unable to think of a way to transition into a conversation, look around where you and make an observation about something you see. It can be about the weather, a venue, other people, or an event taking place. Stay positive in your conversation so you seem inviting to the other person and you make them more interested in talking to you.[4]
    Start a Conversation When You Have Nothing to Talk About Step 1 Version 2.jpg
    • For example, you may say, "This is my first time at this cafe. Have you tried anything here?" or, "I wish the sun would come out today. When's the last time it wasn't cloudy."
    • Have a sense of humor when you're having your conversation. It will make others feel engaged and make your chat more enjoyable.

[Edit]Finding Topics to Talk About

  1. Ask the person what they do for work or school so you can relate to them. Reach out to the person you want to talk to and mention work or school. Ask them what their job involves, how long they've been there, and ask if they've done anything interesting lately. If they're still in school, ask them what they're studying and what they hope to do when they graduate.[5]
    Talk to People Step 13.jpg
    • Be sure to answer any questions if they ask about your job or education as well.
    • Show genuine interest in their job, even if it doesn't sound the most exciting to you. Use it as an opportunity to learn more about the person and the subject.
  2. Talk about hobbies that you both enjoy to learn more about the person. People enjoy talking about things they're passionate about, so ask the person what they like to do outside of work or school, and note any areas that sound interesting to you. See what their favorite thing about the hobby is and what they like about it. When they ask you about your hobbies, mention any that are similar to theirs first so you can hold a conversation about it. If you're interested in one of their hobbies, ask them how to get involved so you can try it too.[6]
    Start a Conversation When You Have Nothing to Talk About Step 11.jpg
    • For example, you may say something like, "Oh I've never tried woodworking. What's the best thing to do for a beginner."
    • Make sure you don't talk over the other person or talk only about your hobbies. Ask questions about what the other person enjoys so you can have a good back-and-forth dialogue.
  3. Discuss movies, TV shows, or books if you want to talk about pop culture. Many people share similar tastes in media, so talk about recent films or music that you've seen or listened to and gauge the other person's interest. Ask them what content they've been enjoying lately and let them explain why they like it. If you both have seen or heard the same thing, have a discussion about it and talk about your opinions to keep the conversation going.[7]
    Talk to People Step 11.jpg
    • For example, you could say, "Have you seen the newest Star Wars movie? What did you think of the ending?" or, "What music do you like to listen to? Do you have a favorite artist I should check out?"
    • Even if you disagree with their opinions, stay positive and say something like, "Oh, I never thought of it that way, but I understand your point." That way, the other person will still feel engaged with the subject rather than being shot down.
    • If you don't know what the other person is talking about, ask them to clarify or explain what happens so you can get a better understanding of it. It's okay to say "I don't know," if you're unfamiliar with media they're discussing.
  4. Chat about your past experiences if you want to open up to the other person. If you feel comfortable with the other person, you may ask about their past or what they want to do in the future. Ask them about funny things that happened to them, what their family is like, or goals they have. Open up about your own experiences so you can share them and connect with the other person.[8]
    Start a Conversation When You Have Nothing to Talk About Step 6 Version 2.jpg
    • For example, you may say something like, "Where are you originally from? Did you like it there?" or, "What did you want to be when you grew up?"
    • Strangers may find it odd if you ask too much about their personal life right when you meet them. Only ask deeper questions if you both feel comfortable responding to them.
    • Never try to "one-up" the person or try to impress them, since it may make them uncomfortable and want to leave the conversation.
  5. Ask for the person's opinion on current events to engage them. Look up current events in the news or on social media and mention them to the other person. Have at least 1-2 events that happened in the past week ready so you can pull them out in your conversation. See what they think of the news and ask them how they feel on the subject. Be ready to talk about your opinions as well since they may ask you the same thing.[9]
    Start a Conversation When You Have Nothing to Talk About Step 5.jpg
    • For example, you may say something like, "Did you hear about the new music app that just came out? I saw it on the news."

[Edit]Staying Engaged in the Conversation

  1. Listen to the other person actively so you can respond to the other person. Put away your phone and focus your attention on the other person while they're talking. Maintain eye contact with them so they know that you're paying attention to them and actively listen to what they're saying. Ask them questions based on what they say so to stay involved in the conversation.[10]
    Start a Conversation When You Have Nothing to Talk About Step 14.jpg
    • When they end their thought, briefly restate something they said so they know you were paying attention to them. For example, if they mentioned getting a new vehicle, you can ask, "What kind of car did you end up getting? Does it drive well?"
    • Try to avoid thinking of other things while the other person is talking since you may not respond naturally to them when they finish.
  2. Use the phrase, "That reminds me of," to transition to a new topic. If the other person mentions something that you can relate to while they're talking, use the phrase, "That reminds of…" before talking about your topic. This way, you can easily go between multiple topics in a natural way without any awkward breaks in the conversation. Make sure the topics are related in some way to make it a smooth transition so it's easier for the other person to follow along.[11]
    Start a Conversation When You Have Nothing to Talk About Step 24.jpg
    • For example, if they mention the nice weather, you may say something like, "That reminds me of the gorgeous weather in Hawaii when I visited. Have you been there?"
  3. Say things when they come to your mind to keep the conversation exciting. If you have something come into your head during a random break in the conversation, bring it up and ask the other person about it. Don't interrupt the other person if you think of something while they're talking since it's rude. Make sure the topic isn't something that would make the other person uncomfortable, or else they may not want to continue talking. [12]
    Start a Conversation When You Have Nothing to Talk About Step 4 Version 2.jpg
    • For example, you may say, "I just remembered a funny news story I found online. Do you want to hear it?"
    • The person may not be as receptive of a random topic if you haven't already talked to them yet.

[Edit]Tips

  • If you start a conversation and the other person doesn't respond or seems uncomfortable, it's okay to leave the conversation if you want.

[Edit]Warnings

  • Avoid talking about topics where the conversation could get heated, such as politics or religion.

[Edit]Related wikiHows

[Edit]References

[Edit]Quick Summary

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