DIY Rock Cairn Door Stop

DIY Rock Cairn door stop

Sometimes the very best souvenirs are the ones you snap in a photograph, scoop out of the sand, or pick up off a hiking trail. I’m not talking about trash; I’m talking about the sand your kids bring home in plastic bottles from the beach, the smooth piece of driftwood you found at the lake, or –as in my case–the five, rounded stones you pulled out of a dried up riverbed while hiking in the deserts of Utah. You and I promised ourselves we would do something with them, and we always want to take something home with us to remember our vacations. Why not combine the answers to these problems? Two birds with one (or five) stones? Let’s turn those rock souvenirs into a super usable and simple-to-make rock cairn door stop.

What is the one thing you and your family do most while vacationing? For me and Asa, it’s hiking. It keeps us moving, saves money, and gives us access to the sites we most want to see like this:

Park Avenue, Arches State Park, Utah | DIY Rock Cairn Door Stop

Doesn’t that make your heart skip a beat? I always want to remember that breathless feeling when I first beheld those big red rock columns, the way the desert made me thirsty, and the miles and miles of trails we traversed through sagebrush and sand.

Maybe it’s just me, but no t-shirt or keychain would have captured our trip to Utah in just the right way. Sure, there were carved arches of Navajo sandstone in the gift shops, and they were beautiful. However, even though their price tags rang in well over my budget for souvenirs, the arches–along with the t-shirts and keychains–just seemed so cheap compared to the richness of my experience there. Know what I mean?

Sometimes I think we can get caught up in buying and forget to ask ourselves what we need or what will remind us of a wonderful trip. If those answers don’t include anything on the shelves of souvenir shops, maybe we should make our own relic from free or cheap items found in unexpected places.

Chances are, we will hang on to it; after all, there truly is just something special about being involved in a souvenir’s story. Then, whether we’re making up new words after stubbing our toe on it or telling the grandkids where the rock cairn door stop came from, those memories will come flooding back in a wave of nostalgic bliss. Maybe… 😉


  • 5 smooth and rounded rocks
  • Gorilla wood glue
  • old paintbrush
  • paper towel
  • two heavy books (optional)

How to do it:

DIY Rock Cairn Door Stop| Instructions

  1. I’m not going to insult your intelligence by going into great detail with this…you pretty much just glue the rocks together and wipe off any excess glue.
  2. Find a door that needs stopping, and plop your rock cairn door stop into it’s new home.
  3. Don’t stub your toe on it. 😉

*Pro tips:

*Before gluing, practice stacking your rocks. If lying one a certain way causes the rocks around it to tilt, rotate it so that all your rocks balance without glue. Then, when you add glue, your rocks will be more likely to stay in place.

*Wait for the glue to dry a bit in between adding each stone. The combined stones’ weight can cause them to slide off each other when the glue is first applied.

*Put a book on either side of your rock cairn door stop to stabilize everything while it dries.


Think about souvenirs you’ve bought in the past. Has one ever fallen behind the dresser or gotten stuck between the couch cushions? Did you even miss it? Before buying souvenirs while on vacation, think about their quality, what they will mean to you in a year, if you want to pack them up every time you move, and if they serve as a wonderful reminder of the time you spent on vacation. If it’s truly something you will cherish, buy it. If not, save your money to spend on something more meaningful, and do a little happy dance over the long-term decluttering you are doing by simply making wise buying decisions.


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