Last time, I showed you how I made a portable, foldable Chalkboard heart valentine.
With it, I made a homemade heart shaped felt eraser, and I thought it would be a great idea to give away some heart shaped chalk with it.
I have been meaning to try to make my own chalk, anyway, after seeing numerous tutorials online, but hadn’t gotten around to it until now.
It’s a very simple, quick project, and uses only plaster and water, and any colorant that you would like to use to make colored chalk. Most sources chose tempura paint powder for coloring their chalk, but I can’t find that very easily around here, and didn’t want to have to buy any specifically for this purpose.
Instead, I chose to use some food coloring that I had sitting around the house. The color isn’t as bright as I would imagine a powdered tempura paint would be, but it served it’s purpose well enough. I’m sure that using gel food colorings would also result in a stronger color. This was an old color that I had sitting around and I wanted to use up.
Basically you mix your plaster according to the package directions, or, if you are like me, until you get a consistency that you like. Then, you add in your colorings until you get the shade you want.
Once you have your plaster ready to pour, fill up some silicone molds in your desired shape. With Valentine’s Day coming up, of course, I used heart shaped molds. There was no need to prepare the trays in any way, and when the plaster is set, the heart shaped chalk will pop out easily.
I let mine sit overnight, just to be on the safe side, and the next morning I excitedly popped the chalk out, ready to try it out on my foldable heart chalkboard valentine.
I was a little bit discouraged, though, to see that it wasn’t leaving much of a mark. 🙁
So, I gave up on the idea of using the heart shaped chalk with my heart shaped chalkboard valentines. Sigh.
I wasn’t going to give up on my heart chalk completely, though!
It was time to take it outside and try it as most people had before… as sidewalk chalk.
On the sidewalk my heart shaped chalk worked much better. In fact it worked quite well. The problem with homemade chalk is that plaster, at least the type I used, is more dense and compact than regular store bought chalk. Just by comparison, it weighs more. (Of course, that is also due to the fact that it was still holding a lot of moisture.) The sidewalk is a rough enough surface that the sidewalk chalk can be used quite easily.
Because of the moisture it holds, on the first day after you make it, you will notice that it is still a bit tricky to use. If you draw on the sidewalk, the chalk will leave it’s mark, but it doesn’t show up completely until a minute or two later, when the plaster dries. As the chalk dries out more, over the days, though, it is easier to use. It still is too compact to use on a softer surface like that of the chalkboard fabric, but it does work quite well as sidewalk chalk.
My son had a lot of fun playing with it. (As did I, as you may be able to tell.)
So, while it didn’t turn out exactly as I expected, and I wasn’t able to use it for the purpose I had intended it for, homemade sidewalk chalk is still a fun project for kids, and I do recommend it. Kids will love being able to make the shapes and colors that they choose, and will be proud to say that they made it themselves!