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How to Make Sidewalk Chalk

Updated on March 5, 2014
It's so easy to make...Sidewalk Chalk!!!
It's so easy to make...Sidewalk Chalk!!!

Coloring on the sidewalk is a childhood favorite. We’ve had more rainbows and smiley faces on our driveway than I could ever count. Although sidewalk chalk can be purchased at a reasonable price at any discount store sometimes making your own is just so much more fun. You not only get to customize the colors to your liking, but you also have a way to spend a rainy afternoon with your kids. This recipe for sidewalk chalk also gives you the opportunity to make chalk in much more vibrant colors than you can purchase in the store.

Ingredients for Sidewalk Chalk

  • Tempera Paint
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Dishwashing Soap
  • Wax Paper
  • Duct Tape
  • Toilet Paper Tubes
  • Small plastic bags
  • Water

Empty toilet paper rolls make the perfect mold for making sidewalk chalk.
Empty toilet paper rolls make the perfect mold for making sidewalk chalk.

Instructions for Making Sidewalk Chalk

The empty toilet paper rolls will be the mold for your sidewalk chalk. Start off by preparing them to hold your chalk mixture. Cover one end of the roll with a 2 - 3 inch piece of duct tape. Then line the inside of the toilet paper roll with wax paper. All you need to do is roll up a 4 inch by 4 inch piece of wax paper and slide it inside your tube. Unroll the wax paper until it touches the edge of the tube; effectively lining the tube.

Mix plaster of paris, water and paint to make sidewalk chalk.
Mix plaster of paris, water and paint to make sidewalk chalk.

Now you are ready to mix up your sidewalk chalk. In a bowl, add about 2 tablespoons of tempera paint. Then add ¾ cup of Plaster of Paris, ½ cup of water, and one drop of dishwashing soap. This will make enough chalk mixture for one toilet paper tube or one piece of chalk.

Mix the contents of the bowl thoroughly. You can play around with the color at this point by adding more of the tempera paint to attain your desired color. You can really get some bright colors with this sidewalk chalk, even black if you wish.

Once it is completely mixed in your bowl the consistency of the sidewalk chalk mixture should be thick. It reminds me almost of a grainy frosting or concrete. If it seems too thin, you can add a little more Plaster of Paris a teaspoon at a time. If it seems too thick, you can add more water.

Bags make piping the sidewalk chalk mixture into the toilet paper rolls easy.
Bags make piping the sidewalk chalk mixture into the toilet paper rolls easy.

Spoon the mixture into a plastic bag. We used a gallon size Ziploc bag. You could use a sandwich size bag, but it will get a messy trying to get the sidewalk chalk mixture into such a small opening. Cut the corner of the bag off and squeeze the mixture into the toilet paper tubes. You will get some of the mixture seeping out of the bottom of the toilet paper roll, so I suggest doing this step on a plate that is lined with a paper towel. Also, the tube will get wet from the moisture in the mixture. Don’t worry about it, it won’t get wet enough to fall apart.

As you are squeezing the sidewalk chalk mixture into the tubes you need to tamp it down into the tube by pounding the roll onto a hard surface like the plate you are using for the seepage. Once your tubes are filled with the sidewalk chalk mixture all that is left is for you to wait for it to dry. This can take a day or two.

After your sidewalk chalk is dry you can remove the duct tape from the bottom of the tube and rip off the toilet paper tube. If you remove the mold from the chalk and find it is not dry, just let it sit in the air for another day before using.

Easy to make Sidewalk Chalk
Easy to make Sidewalk Chalk

Looking for more creative crafts to do with your kids? Try the following:

Sidewalk Chalk Paint

Cookie Cutter Birdfeeders

Tile Coasters

Borax Crystal Ornaments

Tips and Tricks for Making Sidewalk Chalk

  • You only need red, blue and yellow paint. Then you can teach your kids about making colors by mixing different colors.
  • Supposedly the drop of dishwashing soap will help the chalk drawing wash off your driveway when it rains. I cannot confirm or deny that tidbit of information, but I’m also not willing to leave out the soap when I make sidewalk chalk.
  • Make a rainbow piece of chalk by filling one of the toilet paper rolls with all of the left over mixture.
  • Toilet paper rolls are only one option for molds for your sidewalk chalk. Anything you can line with wax paper will work.
  • Plaster of Paris will start to harden up after about 20 - 30 minutes, so you want to have your sidewalk chalk mixture into the tubes by then. That’s why I’ve given you the recipe for one piece of chalk rather than in bulk, but if you want to make several multiply the recipe and make it in a bucket. Just be mindful that you have less than 30 minutes to get it colored and piped into your tubes.

Let me know what you think of this project

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    • ComfortB profile image

      Comfort Babatola 4 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

      Great craft that's fun for kids to make. Voted up and useful.

    • Krysanthe profile image

      Krysanthe 4 years ago from Bloomington, Illinois

      Thanks Comfort! It was both fun to make and fun to use!

    • Sharkye11 profile image

      Jayme Kinsey 4 years ago from Oklahoma

      Very nice craft idea. I like projects that can be made indoors then used outdoors. It is like two projects in one! Great instructions, and I love the idea of the brighter colors!

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      wonderful craft for the kids. Making own sidewalk chalk saves money and allow the kids to participate in the craft would be enjoyable task. Voted up

    • Krysanthe profile image

      Krysanthe 4 years ago from Bloomington, Illinois

      Thanks Sharkye & Peach. It really is a great project, and its simple enough that even the youngest child can help in some way.

    • idigwebsites profile image

      idigwebsites 4 years ago from United States

      Great for the kids! I'll introduce this craft to my nieces. Thanks for posting. :D

    • alexmk profile image

      alexmk 3 years ago from Canada

      Interesting project but would be far cheaper to buy.

    • Krysanthe profile image

      Krysanthe 3 years ago from Bloomington, Illinois

      It is actually comparable to buying it; plaster of Paris and tempera paint are inexpensive. Many families may already have both of them from other crafting projects. Plus if you bought it, you'd miss out on all the fun of making it. Kids love making stuff that they get to use.

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