Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Make Homemade Sidewalk Chalk

I'd been meaning to try my hand at making homemade sidewalk chalk out of plaster of paris for awhile now.  But I never got up the nerve to try it out until this past weekend.   As I stared at my craft cabinet filled with dozens of empty toilet paper rolls, I felt the crafting itch take over.

Armed with my Michaels coupons, I took the plunge and bought myself some plaster of paris.  Then, a day later, Chuck and I made these:

Like the two colors?  Me too.  Now we get both pink and blue all in one piece of chalk.  Whoa.  Mind blowing.

There are a ton of tutorials out there for sidewalk chalk, but I ended up following the one that Heather from Poppy Haus did for Playful Learning.  Heather's chalk came out really lovely.  You should definitely check out that post for beautiful photos and perfect chalk.

My chalk.... well, they ain't so perfect.  Two piece of chalk came out lovely and the other three came out... well... you'll have to keep reading the post to find out.

Not going to lie, this homemade chalk probably ends up being more expensive than the kind you get at the store.  But, the craft is still worth a try (especially if you have kids), because you'll feel like a rock star/mad scientist crafter when you're done.

Want to try making your own chalk?  Alrighty, craft pal.  Let's get started!

  • Tempera paint
  • Scissors
  • Sandwich bags
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Water
  • Toilet paper tubes
  • Plastic cup 
  • Spoon
  • Mixing containers
  • Masking tape
  • Wax paper

1. Cover the bottom of the tube with wax paper and masking tape.  Make sure that it's sealed tightly so that your plaster of paris won't leak out.

2.  Line the inside of the tube with a sheet of wax paper.  (Now your sidewalk chalk won't stick to the tube as it dries.)
3.  Make your chalk!  For each color, you'll need to combine 2-3 tablespoons of paint, 1/2 C of water, and 3/4 C of plaster of paris.

  • I used white to lighten the colors.  Next time, I won't do that because my colors came out pretty light... almost white.  The plaster of paris already is white, so you don't need to add the white paint.... unless you want super pale colors too.
  • Four colors made enough chalk to fill 5 toilet paper towel rolls.

Mix well!

5.  Spoon each mixture into a sandwich bag.  Then, snip off one of the corners so that it's easier to fill your toilet paper rolls.

Note:  To help out with filling the bags, I stood my sandwich bag up in a plastic cup.

6.  Fill up your toilet paper rolls and let them sit for at least 12 hours to harden. 

Here's how my chalk turned out.

As you can see, two of them came out beautifully.  The other three came out slightly deformed.  Why?  Well, I got distracted by Chuck while pouring the mix into the paper towel rolls.  My poor mix hardened into play dough consistency when I returned to the craft.  Instead of throwing everything away, I shoved the crumbly bits inside the tubes.  So, if you're going to do this craft, make sure you don't get distracted.  Or you'll end up with funny chalk too!

And to answer the question that you've probably had since the beginning of this post, "Do these really work?"

Oh yeah, baby.  Oh yeah.
Happy crafting!

Psst-  If you want to try another homemade sidewalk chalk recipe, check out this Eggshell sidewalk chalk recipe.  Yup, you guessed it.  The chalk is made from eggshells!