Homemade Sidewalk Chalk

Today I’m participating in the Ultimate Blog Swap. You’ll find me posting over at The Holistic Mama about Saving Money on Organic Food, and I’m excited to welcome Camille from Growing Up Gabel to Family Balance Sheet:

One of the many ways that I save money is by making things I would otherwise buy at the store. It’s amazing the items we purchase that can actually be made quite easily at home! So when I saw a tutorial for homemade sidewalk chalk, I knew I had to try it.

When I went to the craft store to buy the supplies, I started doubting that it was less expensive to make the chalk rather than just buying it. I wasn’t able to find small containers of any of the items I needed, but I was able to use coupons for 40% and 50% off to cut the cost of this project in half. I spent around $9 total for the supplies, but I’m also pretty sure we have enough materials to make chalk for years! And now I’m on the lookout for art projects that involve Plaster of Paris.

Almost every single tutorial I’ve seen for sidewalk chalk uses toilet paper rolls for the mold. I would suggest using wax lined paper cups instead. I had a really hard time with the toilet paper rolls. We also tried out a silicone ice cube tray and it worked so much better! So just ignore the TP rolls and go for cups or any kind of ice cube tray.

If you want to try the TP rolls, duct tape the bottoms securely and then line with wax paper.

To make the chalk you will need Plaster of Paris and powder tempera paint and water.

For each color of chalk you will need 1 container to mix in. I used old cottage cheese and yogurt containers and just tossed them when we were done. I also used plastic utensils to mix so I could toss those, too! I put a large vinyl tablecloth that we use for art projects down on the table. You have to work fairly quickly with this since the plaster starts to set up in about 20-30 minutes. So get everything ready to go and then start. From start to finish, these only took us maybe 10 minutes to make.

When you are all set up and ready to go, pour 1/2 cup warm water into each mixing container. Add in 1 cup Plaster of Paris and mix well. Add 1/4 cup of powder paint, or more if you want darker colors and stir to combine. We made red/pink, blue and purple. In the process we learned that red and blue make purple.

Pour the colored plaster mixture in to your desired molds. You can see that we used an ice cube tray that makes long ice for water bottles. I ended up putting foil over the TP rolls because our mixture was leaking out! Thus the reason I suggest cups instead.

Let dry. We live in the desert with single digit humidity so these dried within a day for us. If you live in a more humid climate these can take a few days to dry. Once they are dry, peel away the paper cup or pop out of the ice cube tray. I only made half the recipe I’ve posted here and it was not nearly enough as you can see. As long as you’re make a mess, you might as well make a nice big batch of chalk.

My 3 and 5 year old had a ball making these and they keep asking to make more. Thankfully, I have enough supplies to keep us stocked up with chalk all summer long!

Homemade Sidewalk Chalk

Supplies:

  • Plaster of Paris
  • Powder Tempera Paint
  • Water
  • Plastic containers and utensils
  • Molds for the chalk (paper cups, ice cube trays, etc)

Instructions

  1. Pour 1/2 cup warm water into each container.
  2. Mix in 1 cup Plaster of Paris and mix well.
  3. Add 1/4 cup of powder paint, or more if you want darker colors.
  4. Pour the paint mixture in to molds and allow to dry. The drying process can take a few days depending on your weather and the mold used.

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This post is linked to Frugal Friday at Life as MOM.

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