by Michelle Vackar, Modern Handmade Child
One of our favorite outside activities at our home is drawing with chalk on the driveway. You can play hopscotch, four-square, and of course draw and create silly stories. My daughters and I were talking one day as we played hopscotch about how to make chalk and I thought to myself, let’s try it! It ended up being quite a lot of fun.
What you will need:
• Toilet paper or paper towel tubes
• Duct tape
• Wax paper
• Small bucket or disposable container to make the recipe
• ¾ cup of warm water
• 1 ½ cups Plaster of Paris
• 2-3 tablespoons of tempera paint
• Paper bag or a “mess mat”
** we made six tubes of chalk – we simply doubled the above recipe.**
Step 1: If you are using paper towel tubes, cut each tube in half, so it is roughly the length of a toilet paper roll tube.
Step 2: Cover one end of each tube with duct table to hold the contents within.
Step 3: Cut as many pieces of wax paper as you have tubes. Roughly 6 inches X 6 inches. Roll the wax paper loosely and insert into the tubes so as to effectively line the tubes. The top of the wax paper will be higher than the tubes. The wax paper liner will keep the chalk mixture from sticking to the cardboard tubes and will eventually be peeled off.
Step 4: Pour the warm water into your bucket. Sprinkle the Plaster of Paris over the water and stir the mixture with a plastic spoon. The Plaster of Paris roughly starts hardening within 20-30 minutes, so you need to work fast so that it does not harden too quickly.
Step 5: Next you will want to pour the tempera paint into the Plaster of Paris mixture and stir so that it is mixed thoroughly. If you would like brighter colors add more tempera paint into the mixture. We wanted to make a variety of colors of chalk, so we spooned about 1/2-3/4 cup of Plaster of Paris in each separate container and mixed in the different tempera paint colors into each bowl. We ended up making six different colors and next time might mix more.
Step 6: Stand each tube with the tape side down on a cookie sheet/flat baking dish/box lid to make the project easier to transport to a drying location. Pour or spoon the colored Plaster of Paris mixture into the wax paper lined tubes. Lightly tap the sides of the tubes to release the air bubbles (so you do not have holes in your chalk). After you have poured the mixture into the tubes start another color. When done trim the excess wax paper so that it is closer to the cardboard tube.
Step 7: It took 3 days for our chalk to dry. On the last day, we peeled off the duct tape so that the underside could dry. When the chalk dries, peel off the paper tubes and wax paper. Your chalk is ready!
Modern Handmade Child is a seasonal online publication celebrating handmade living in a new way. Our mission is to provide a fun and valuable resource helping families to embrace the handmade way of life, by intertwining the skills and values of days gone by with the trends and technologies of today. Our editors and contributors come together from around the world, including Europe, Australia, Canada, and many parts of the United States. Modern Handmade Child is published quarterly, and available for free at modernhandmadechild.com.