I really love the summer months. It’s time that we get to be outside almost everyday and it’s relaxing. Don’t get me wrong, there are days where I WISH we had school because I’m sick of the bickering and fighting between the kids, but most days are good. I’ve found that if I keep them busy that they don’t have as much time to nit pick and argue with each other! This summer we’ve done a variety of different things, from arts and crafts to baking, to play outside the house. It’s been a lot of fun. Because I’ve been so disconnected, I have forgotten to photo many of fun things we’ve done! Lately it’s been incredibly HOT outside (90*F +) so we’ve been doing more and more inside stuff with crafts. I may have to consider some cash loans soon with all the money I’ve given the craft stores lately! Today, we made Sidewalk Chalk. Now.. I know what your thinking (because I thought it too).. it’s SO cheap to just buy it and there is no mess to just buy it. Here’s the thing though, when you break it down, it IS cheaper to make! Here’s a break down:
Plaster of Paris (4 pound tub) – $5.99 with the 40% off weekly coupon – $3.79 (this will make 4-5 batches)
Tempera Paints (6 4oz bottles) – $5.99 with the 40% off weekly coupon – $3.79
Box of Plastic Cups – $1.49 (reusable)
The Tempera Paint will last awhile! We are using the stuff from last year still! We’ve used it for other projects too and we still have quite a bit left! So if we only made 5 batches (including with the paints and cups, which those will last far longer then 5 batches) we are at $1.80. This is about 20-24 pieces of chalk.
The kids really had a blast making it. We will do it again! It’s pretty simple; here’s a quick recipe for making your own homemade sidewalk chalk:
- Plaster of Paris (I bought a huge tub of it because we can use it several times.)
- Tempera Paints (Powdered or Liquid)
- Mixing Bowl (use & keep one just for your plaster of paris works)
- Mold or 3oz Paper Cups
- Measuring Cups (I have a separate set we use & save for crafts)
- Mix together 1 cup of Plaster of Paris with ¾ cup of water. I have supplies that I dedicate to just crafts, so we used a plastic dull knife to mix and swirl.
- Once your mixture is about pancake batter consitancy, mix in your color. The tempera paints come in pretty large containers as well (or small ones in multi-colored packs). There is no golden rule as far as how much.. the more color you add the bolder your chalk color will be, so color as you desire.
- Mix well.
- Pour your mixture into the molds you’ve chosen.
- Set aside and allow to dry completely. Depending on the mold you chose it can be anywhere from a couple hours to a day! Mine usually dries about 12 hours or overnight.
- Remove the chalk from the molds.
The possibilities for this are endless! I love to use the small plastic bathroom size cups (which can be reused!). They seem to be a good size for the sidewalk chalk and the chalk, once dried, comes out pretty easily! Now if you’d like bigger chalk pieces, you can use toilet paper rolls (or cut paper towel rolls smaller). Seal the ends with duct tape and poor your mixture in. You will need to rip them off when the chalk is dry, so save your rolls for a few weeks if you plan to make chalk! I don’t care to do them that big because this chalk is not as light and airy as the chalk you buy, so if there’s a chance it might get thrown or used as a weapon, you might want to start smaller and see how that goes! You can also use silicone molds that are shaped like the alphabet, shapes, animals and more. I’ve occasionally had a hard time finding powdered tempera paints, so I have used liquid and had just as good of results.
I didn’t grab a picture of the batch we made last week and we just made more. We have a variety of colors, including some white (you omit the color from the recipe to make white chalk). The kids ALWAYS love this project!
What do you think? Would you make your own sidewalk chalk?