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How to Make Sidewalk Chalk


By Prev Info - October 08, 2022

 How to Make Sidewalk Chalk

Whether you're up for a friendly game of hopscotch or inspired to draw a masterpiece, sidewalk chalk is as indispensable as, well, sidewalks. And you won't believe how easy and fun it is to make.

Supplies

  •     Plaster of Paris
  •     Ice cube tray or silicone baking mold
  •     Cold water
  •     Plastic cups for mixing
  •     Wooden stir sticks
  •     Tempera paint
How to Make Sidewalk Chalk

There's just something about a brand new pack of sidewalk chalk. It just screams creative possibilities. But now that it's so easy to make your own, the creativity can start even before you begin drawing on the sidewalk.

How to Make Sidewalk Chalk

1 - I like to have all the ingredients and supplies necessary out on the table, because when you're mixing the chalk, you have to work fast. You'll need some plaster of Paris, an ice cube tray or a silicone baking mold, tempera paint, plastic cups, cold water, wooden stir sticks or plastic spoons.

How to Make Sidewalk Chalk

2 - Mix approximately one part plaster of Paris with one part water. The package actually says to use twice as much plaster of Paris, but it's much easier to fill the ice cube tray or silicone molds when the plaster is thinner.

How to Make Sidewalk Chalk

3 - Use a wooden stir stick to mix the material, making sure you get all plaster that is stuck at the bottom. Keep stirring until you get the consistency of runny yogurt.

How to Make Sidewalk Chalk

4 - Add a few drops of tempera paint to the mixture and stir well. I use about 8 to 10 drops of paint. Again, you want the consistency of runny yogurt. If it is too thick, add a little water. If it's too thin, you can add a little plaster. However, if you just let it sit for a while, it will thicken naturally anyway.

How to Make Sidewalk Chalk

5 - Pour the mixture into an ice cube tray. Here I've used the ice cube trays that make long, skinny ice cubes for water bottles. If the mixture is like runny yogurt, it will pour nicely. If it's too thick, you can use a spoon to scoop into the tray. Repeat this process with a few other colors.

How to Make Sidewalk Chalk

6 - Now let's see how it works with silicone baking molds. For these star-shaped molds, I am going to layer three colors on top of each other, like a fun gelatin parfait dessert. To do that, I pour the first layer and then let it set a little. Then I pour the next layer and let that set before topping it off with the third layer. This layering effect can only be achieved when the plaster mixture is runny. If it's too thick, it's impossible to layer evenly. In the photo above, the stars on the left are being made with a runny mixture. That's the first layer, which is pink. After it sets, I will pour blue and green layers on top of it. The ones on the right were made with plaster that was too thick. You'll see the results of the two later.

How to Make Sidewalk Chalk

7 - First, let's look at the chalk made with the ice cube tray. After waiting 24 hours, twist the tray to loosen the chalk.

How to Make Sidewalk Chalk

8 - The chalk has solidified nicely, even though the plaster mixture was so runny at the beginning. But you'll notice that some of the chalk pieces are slightly chipped at the ends. That is the problem with using rigid ice cube trays. There is not enough flexibility to allow a clean release. Still, these are perfectly fine pieces of chalk. In the next step, you'll see that the chalk made with the silicone molds turned out quite differently.

How to Make Sidewalk Chalk

9 - As you can see, the silicone mold peels easily from the chalk. There is no fumbling or twisting, so the chalk releases cleanly without chips or imperfections. And look at those colored layers!

How to Make Sidewalk Chalk

10 - Now I want to show you the different results depending on the thickness or thinness of the plaster of Paris mixture. The chalk on the left was made with the runny mixture. Because the mixture was more liquid, it was able to fill in the space evenly, and each layer added on created a straight line. The chalk on the right, however, was made with thickened plaster of Paris, mixed according to the package directions. The thickened mixture could not fill the mold evenly, and layers were very uneven. The lesson here is that runny is good, and even though it looks runny, it will solidify, and solidify evenly and beautifully. How did I know this? You can "chalk" it up to experience.

How to Make Sidewalk Chalk

11 - These rainbow colored chalk pieces are so gorgeous, it's almost a shame to use them. They would make great gifts, too, packaged in a decorative box.

How to Make Sidewalk Chalk

12 - I don't know what's more fun. Drawing with chalk – or making it.






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