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How to make homemade ecofriendly sidewalk chalk

Making your own sidewalk art chalk is simple.
Making your own sidewalk art chalk is simple.
Newone/Wikimedia Commons

Who doesn't like drawing with chalk on a sidewalk? Why not learn to make ecofriendly homemade sidewalk chalk? Homemade sidewalk chalk can be used by children and adults alike. Children use it for hopscotch and other games. Adults make elaborate sidewalk chalk drawings at events or just scribble like kids.

It's economical

Sidewalk chalk drawings are far from permanent. The first rain washes them away. That makes it important to conserve money by making homemade sidewalk chalk. What better way to save money than to make it yourself?

The homemade factor

Fans of my writing know I'm a huge promoter of homemade things. There's just something about do it yourself that makes life more interesting. It's also nice to know what goes into the things we use on a daily basis.

Yes you can

It really is possible to make homemade sidewalk chalk using just a few simple ingredients available at craft stores. Isn't it surprising? I know the first time I heard about it, I was skeptical. After making sidewalk chalk for myself, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Color variety

One of the best things about making sidewalk chalk at home is the variety of color combinations. All you need are primary colors to come up with endless variations. I recommend starting with just a few until you get the hang of things.

Supplies

  • Cardboard toilet paper rolls (start saving these now)

  • Masking tape

  • Waxed paper or plastic wrap

  • Powdered tempera paint color

  • Plaster of Paris

  • Small plastic containers for mixing

  • Stir sticks will be needed for each color.

Preparing the molds

Start by preparing the toilet paper rolls to use as molds for the sidewalk chalk. Cover one end with masking tape. Stand the rolls open end up. Line them with waxed paper or plastic wrap. This is so the sidewalk chalk doesn't stick to the mold.

Mixing

Mix together 1 ½ cups of plaster of paris and ¾ cup of water. This is the base for the homemade chalk. Use a disposable container such as an old milk carton for this job. Pour the mixed sidewalk chalk base into separate disposable containers for coloring. This is a great way to use all those containers you've been saving.

Add color

Add up to 3 tablespoons tempera paint color to each container. Colors may be combined to make interesting combinations. For instance, if making orange chalk use 2 tablespoons yellow and 1 tablespoon red. Swirled chalk is made by only partially mixing in color.

Pour into molds

Now it's time to pour the homemade sidewalk chalk mix into the molds. Fill the molds up. Tap lightly on the edge to remove air bubbles. It takes a bit of time for the sidewalk chalk to dry. Average dry time is 2-3 days. Once the chalk is dry it should slide easily from the molds.

Just add kids

The last ingredient needed is some fun loving kids. Armed with a couple pieces of homemade chalk each, this will keep them busy for hours. What if there are no sidewalks where you live? That's OK, this sidewalk chalk can be used on blackboards too.

Other uses:

  • Package homemade sidewalk chalk as a gift.

  • Make and donate sidewalk chalk to children's charities.

This article was previously published on Yahoo! by this author.