Thursday, June 28, 2012

Fun with Crafts - Sidewalk Chalk

A week or so ago, I tried my first Pinterest craft at the library.  Our craft day activity was called "Fun with Sidewalk Chalk" and the plan was to make our own sidewalk chalk and then go outside and make sidewalk art.

 I found the tutorial for the homemade sidewalk chalk on Pinterest, as pinned from Oh My Handmade.

The project was fairly simple and the ingredients were cheap and easy to acquire.  In fact, the hardest material for me to find was the palster of paris.  I looked at all the local craft stores, to no avail.  I ended up buying mine online at S & S Worldwide, but since then my fiancee has informed me that hardware stores such as Lowes should have it in stock.

I will note that the recipe says that it will make 3 tubes of chalk, but I found that it made closer to 1 1/2 tubes.  In order to gather the toilet paper tubes we needed, we just requested donations from our patrons a few weeks in advance of the activity.

Overall, I was very pleased in the success of our program.  The project is MESSY!  But so fun!  I also loved how many different colors we could make rather than the standard 4 or 5 colors in the store bought variety.

Due to the fact that the homemade chalk takes 3 days to dry, we had store bought chalk on hand for the art portion of our program.

 I will include the directions for creating the chalk at the end of this post for ease of access.

Sidewalk Chalk Art:

Making our own sidewalk chalk:

Here is how the Finished product turned out:

*The wax paper was hard to remove, and I couldn't get it all off, but the chalk still worked fine.

Directions for making your own sidewalk chalk:

What you will need:
•    Toilet paper or paper towel tubes
•    Scissors
•    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”

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.  Fold the excess wax paper over the sides of the tube to keep it from falling down into the tube while you are filling it.

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!

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