Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tuesday's Art Adventure: Sidewalk Chalk Paint

Are you able to get outdoors? We are finally having some beautiful weather, so I thought an outdoor project was in order.

Super simple. Make your own sidewalk chalk paint.
Sidewalk Chalk is fun, but there is just something awesome about painting on your driveway. :)

  • old bits of sidewalk chalk (or any chalk)
  • ziploc-type bags
  • hammer or mallet
  • bowls or storage containers
  • water
  • large paintbrush

We always wind up with bits of sidewalk chalk that are too stubby for anyone to want to use, but there is still enough left that I hate to throw them away. So gather those up and separate by color, one color in each bag. (It doesn't have to be perfect matches.)

Zip the top closed and mash it up as finely as you can with a hammer or mallet.

Pour the powdered chalk into your bowls or containers.
Add water, just a tablespoon or so at a time, stirring after each addition, until you reach the desired consistency.

Once you have mixed up all the colors you want, let your little one have some fun painting a masterpiece on your sidewalk or driveway.

It will wash away eventually like all other sidewalk chalk.

If you use a storage container, pop the lid on any leftovers. The next time you want to use it, just add a bit more water if it's dried out and paint again.

Option 2 ('cause I'm all about options!):
If you don't have any bit of sidewalk chalk to use, you can make some paint from scratch.
You need:
  • cornstarch
  • food coloring
  • water
  • bowls or storage containers
Put about 1/4 cup of cornstarch in a bowl or container, no real need to measure. 

Add water a couple tablespoons at a time, stirring after each addition, until you reach desired consistency.

Add a few drops of food coloring and stir.

You can paint with this on the sidewalk and it will wash away just like sidewalk chalk. 

I will tell you that this works, especially if you don't have chalk to use up. But a word of caution: it is very hard to get the consistency right and to stay right. This is because cornstarch suspensions are non-Newtonian fluids. Sometimes the mix will seem really runny and then it sits for a minute and gets harder or almost rubbery. (Thank you Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman for teaching me and my kids these things.) So, if you go the cornstarch route, you may find yourself needing to correct the mixture more than once as you use it.

The other reason I like using option one better is that it's just fun to smash things. :)

Linking to:
Great link parties (check out my Link Love page)
Stories of A to Z
The Blackberry Vine


  1. Oh, I love this idea. I wish my kids were young enough to like sidewalk painting. But it's a great idea for kids ministry, maybe! Thanks!

  2. Hi Jen~

    Found your wonderfully fun blog via Elements Interiors, happy to be your latest & greatest follower. :) I have been wanting to make some of this paint using the cornstarch, but I really like the simple idea of smashing the chalk knubs instead. Thanks for sharing such fun inspiration.

    Drop By The Tattered Tag

  3. Fantastic! I love both options for my boys...Time to get messy!

    If you have a moment today, please share this with my readers @Creative Juice Thursday Hope to see yours among all the amazing projects!

  4. It looks like your little guy was having a blast! Can I ask where you got this idea because I just did the exact same thing with my kiddos {and it was a guest post on someone else's blog too} and I thought I was being original:)

  5. This is awesome, I will definitely be trying this out this summer!


  6. Hey, Kelli
    I am sorry to say that I have never read your posts before. I'll have to check out your blog. :)

    I came up with it when I we got some Crayola Chalk Paint last year and I thought, "This is a silly waste of money, I could make this for cheaper." And I just thought others would like to use this easy cost saving idea.

    I guess great minds just think alike!

  7. Jen - this is such a fun idea for using up all the broken chalk we have! I like the idea of paint too! Thanks for sharing - Hope you had a wonderful weekend!
    ~Stephanie Lynn

  8. How fun is that? My boys would love this! Thanks for sharing! :) Great job, it looks great! I'd love for you to come link up at DIY Thrifty Thursday at http://thrifty101.blogspot.com/2011/05/diy-thrifty-thursday-16.html

  9. You'll be featured tonight at Creative Juice. So glad you linked this up...I am totally using this with my boys in the yard this summer.

  10. Thanks so much for sharing...and for stopping by my corner of blog land yesterday! My kids are going to love this...I am now following to keep up with all of your fun ideas and projects!


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