Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Homemade Sidewalk Chalk

We decided to try a hand at homemade chalk, first of all I'm cheap..... No.... I mean seriously CHEAP! and secondly I like the satisfaction of making something myself. So I set out to make chalk for much less than you can buy from the store.

My daughter had a blast helping to make it and of course to use the chalk when it was done!

Homemade chalk recipe

What you will need:
Plaster of paris
Non-toxic tempura paint
Mixing bowls
Cardboard tube
Plastic wrap or aluminum foil

Mix 1/2 cup plaster of paris with water.... slowly! Keep it on the thick side. Let sit for a couple minutes. Add in tempura paint (he paint creates a chemical reaction that somehow thickens the mixture pretty quick) add a little water if its too dry.
The best consistency we found looked like Greek yogurt but only a tad thicker.
Spoon the mixture into a paper towel roll, toilet paper roll, Christmas wrap roll, or aluminum foil roll (this is what I used its perfect for little toddler hands. I cut the roll into about 4 inch sections). Cover the bottom end of the roll with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. After each spoonful tap the tube down to push out any bubbles. Fill to top and set it upright. (We did our chalk mixtures in small separate batches for each color my daughter chose.)
Let dry for 24 hours. Unwrap the cardboard from the chalk, let dry for another 24 hours.
Voila! Homemade chalk for super cheap with endless options!

It's a bit of a long process. You can get impatient and use it before it dries all the way but it will just crumble and not write very well but I have a 4lb box of plaster that I can make tons of chalk with.
-it's important to keep the mixture on the thicker side and let it set and to get rid of bubbles. We had a few that I rushed and they didn't turn out as well.

The plaster of paris can be found at a home improvement or craft store. My local craft store sold a 4.4 lb bag for 6.99 and the home improvement store sold a 4lb bag for $6.48 I also get a 5% discount there so I went with home improvement store. The tempura paints I already had on hand and we even given to us so no money into that! The cardboard was just a tube that would have been thrown away. Over all my total cost for 6 different colored chalks cost me $6.67 for the plaster of paris after taxes and the discount. I only used about 2 cups of plaster of paris out of the 4 lbs, so we can make chalk for years! Or use it for another craft!
I would say this craft was definitely a success, we made a mess, we had fun, we colored which made another mess, and I kept it cheap!


-------- Note that the orange and the pink chalks were not dry all the way-----------

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