Monday, July 22, 2013

DIY Sidewalk Chalk

I don't know about your kids, but mine LOVE sidewalk chalk.  There is just something really exciting about being able to draw a 10 ft building. For the first 2 weeks of summer our back patio was constantly covered with all sorts of fun drawings. 

Sidewalk chalk isn't that expensive, but when your going through a pack a day (yes, I'm exaggerating) then it can add up so I wanted to try and make my own

Homemade Sidewalk Chalk
You Will Need:
Plaster of Paris
Tempera Paint
Warm Water
Plastic Cup
Plastic knife
Empty toilet paper/ paper towel tubes
Wax Paper

 Prepare your tubes by cutting down the middle and line the inside with the wax paper.  Roll the tube back up to the size you want it to be and tape close.  Cover one end with wax paper so your mixture doesn't come out. Mix 1 cup of Plaster of Paris with 3/4 cup warm water, then added a couple squirts of tempera paint and stir. Pour mixture into your prepared rolls and let dry for several hours.
Note: don’t add too much paint, it will change the consistency of the chalk, and will crumble easy. A couple of squirts, or no more than 2 teaspoons will work fine.
I had no idea what Plaster of Paris was, but I found it in the craft section of Walmart.

Instead of wax paper, I used Saran Wrap Press N Seal.  It worked well and I didn't have to worry about it shifting around when it was time to pour the mixture in.

As I started to mix everything together I realized I was in trouble.  The mixture was hardening VERY quickly.  By the time everything was mixed I had a pretty thick putty that was hard to get into the tubes.
  It took about 5 hours for it to be completely dry and the tubes pealed away very easily

 The Verdict: Lets do a pro and con list for this one shall we?
It worked

That sums up the pro list

-It was very messy.  The Plaster of Paris got all over the place, especially when I was frantically trying to get the mixture into the tubes before it got to hard. 
-It took 30 minutes of work, then another 15 to scrub everything
-It was more expensive.  For 1 piece of homemade chalk it cost .37.  For walmart chalk it cost .12
-The color didn't last. By the end of the day all of the kids drawings were bleached to white.

Unless you want a huge mess, I would skip this one and stick to the store bought.

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