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river rock backdrop

We love creative backdrops, and today on the blog we shared Fresh & Relaxing Spa Party Ideas from Marigold Mom, where she created a super easy River Rock Backdrop! Read on for an easy DIY Tutorial by Angie and her (awesome) accidental tip!



Everything was coming together beautifully for my Spa Party, but I just could not figure out what to do as a backdrop for my spa products table. After wracking my brain for days, I mentioned my dilemma to my husband who, without a moment’s hesitation said, “What about river rocks?” What a genius! Gosh, I’m a lucky lady. :-) He was thinking about something from a home improvement store, but a quick look online told us that was out of the question unless we wanted to spend about $30/sq. ft. No thank you. Then I remembered that I had seen river rocks at the dollar store. I’d also seen foam board.  So I decided to take on a little project: a river rock backdrop.

I initially started with just one board because I didn’t want to make a whole bunch only to have them crumble when propped up. But I was in luck! Foam board is surprisingly sturdy and worked perfectly. And the great thing is, I got all my supplies from the dollar store! I made a total of three boards, which cost $5 each: total cost for the project was only $15 (plus another $2 for extra glue for the glue gun–you’re gonna need a LOT)!


river rock backdrop

– 1 Piece of Foam Board
– 4 (2 lb) bags of large river rocks (8 lbs total)
– Glue Gun
– Extra glue for your glue gun
– Tape Measure
– Box Cutter
– Duct Tape


river rock backdrop

1. To begin, use a box cutter to cut 5 inches off the top of the foam board to bring it down to 20 x 25 inches.

2. Using your box cutter, cut the 5 inch piece into two 2.5 inches pieces (or as close as you can get it). Using duct tape, adhere the two pieces lengthwise to the back of your 20 x 25 for additional support.

river rock backdrop

3. Empty river rocks onto the front of your foam board. Leaving approximately 2-4 inches of free space on the bottom of the board, randomly disburse and position the rocks over the surface of the board. I suggest leaving the empty space at the bottom for two reasons: a) since this is a backdrop, more than likely the bottom of the board will be hidden by items on your table, and no one will see the empty space; b) leaving empty space allows you to position your rocks closer together; if you wanted, you could try a fifth pack of rocks on your board to fill the space, but I’m not sure the foam board will hold 10 lbs of rocks. If you really don’t want any empty space, another option would be to cut your board down to 20 x 20.

4. Once the rocks are in position, begin gluing down.  Apply hot glue to the flattest side of each rock and press into position, holding for a moment to make sure it is secure.

river rock backdrop

TIP: The great thing about this project is that the rocks are reusable.  I discovered this by accident.  My 16-month old thought it would be fun to try to carry the board (that I had foolishly left out and accessible) around to test his muscle strength.  He didn’t get very far before dropping my beautiful river rock board hard on the ground.  About half the rocks fell off… but they fell off nice and clean. The glue stuck to the board and not the rocks! So if you decide you don’t want to permanently keep your river rock board to host multiple spa events, just have your small child drop your board. Then you can reuse all your dollar store rocks for another thrifty project!

Display your beautiful (and inexpensive) river rock board as a backdrop for your awesome event, and wow your guests!

river rock backdrop