Making Sidewalk Chalk

I’ve been wanting to do this for awhile…and now FINALLY. Sidewalk chalk. Homemade. And from legal materials.

What are the key ingredients? Two. “Plaster of Paris” (aka “plaster”) and tempera paint. That’s it. Oh, and you’ll need molds. Paper towel tubes work great. But first, you’d need to line them with wax paper. Kinda like this…


…only you don’t have to get all particular. Really. I happen to cut the tube length-wise and use spray mount to attach the wax paper to the tube’s interior. That way I could control the diameter of the mold, by overlapping the edge, as opposed to being stuck with a set size. See?…


…overlapping edge. Smaller diameter. Next, simply following the directions on whatever stock of plaster you purchase ($3). Note that if the directions say “1 lb. of plaster …” that 1lb. amounts to 16 ounces or 2 cups. I mixed half the recommended amount -and that yielded 2 pieces of chalk. Anyhow, once the plaster was mixed I simply added tempera paint.


To create a strong pink I had to add lotz of red to the pink paint to richen the value.


After a thoroughly mixing I poured it into the tubes. For orange I had to mix and add a stronger pigment as the orange straight from the bottle was weak. Red + yellow, baby. Only more red than usual.


Typically you’ll find 1-part red to 3-parts yellow works. For this I did 1-part red to 2-part yellow. But, seriously, moving on…


…same process as above. Mix ‘n pour.


In just under an hour I was able to release the mold…

ud_110514b_05…and see the results. Overall this method makes a noticeable softer chalk with, due to pigment control, deeper colors.

ud_110514b_06This was the test. Next, I’m planning to make the usual batch of colors…plus a version of white that contains glitter.

-I mentioned these weren’t for me, right? You knew that I hope. Cause what would I do with sidewalk chalk?? Like, draw?! -Psssh! Yeahright.

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