Sidewalk chalking has gained popularity during the coronavirus pandemic as a way to spread positivity and create a sense of community amidst social isolation. Drawing with sidewalk chalk is a fun outdoor activity for summer, but it can only keep kids occupied for long. Making gemstone sidewalk chalk, however, can keep little ones busy for the whole afternoon.
If you try this DIY at home, tag us on social media with the #washingtonfamilymag hashtag. We want to see your glitter gemstone sidewalk chalk and your colorful works of art!
- 5-pound box of plaster of Paris
- Liquid tempera paint
- Biodegradable glitter
- Silicone gemstone mold
- Silicone rectangle mold
- Mixing bowls and spoons
- Cookie sheet
Step 1: Start by making a batch of sidewalk chalk for the gemstones. Pour some powdered plaster of Paris into a mixing bowl and slowly add water, stirring constantly, until it resembles pancake batter in texture and thickness.
Step 2: Squeeze tempera paint into your bowl of “batter,” mixing colors until you have a shade you like. I recommend matching the color of your sidewalk chalk to your glitter, which you will add next. If the paint thins out the chalk mixture, add a bit more plaster of Paris to thicken it back up.
Step 3: Sprinkle a generous amount of glitter into the gemstone mold, tapping and shaking the mold to distribute the glitter. Place mold onto a cookie sheet.
Note: While beautiful, glitter is just tiny bits of plastic that end up polluting waterways. Use biodegradable glitter that breaks down in water to ensure your afternoon of fun doesn’t leave a lasting impression on the environment.
Step 4: Spoon the colored chalk mixture into the gemstone mold. Tap the cookie sheet a few times to let the mixture settle into the corners of the mold and to remove any bubbles.
Step 5: Let the mold dry for an hour or two. If it’s warm and sunny, set it outside in the sun. You should be able to pop the gemstones out as soon as they feel dry on top. Once removed, leave them uncovered in a warm spot to dry for a while longer.
Step 6: Repeat steps 1-5 with two additional colors of your choice. If you have three gemstone molds, you can mix up all three colors at once to save time.
Step 7: Mix a bigger batch of sidewalk chalk without tempera paint for the white rectangular bases.
Step 8: Pour mixture into one cavity of the rectangle mold at a time, quickly pressing three gemstones into the top before it solidifies. Repeat for remaining cavities.
Step 9: Set the rectangle mold aside to dry for at least an hour or two. Peel back the silicone mold on one rectangle to see if it’s dry. Once they’re ready, pop them all out and place somewhere warm and dry to air out for a couple days.
Note: They might look dry on the outside, but they could still be holding onto a lot of moisture. If you seal them up too soon, the moisture will turn the chalk into a blob of mush inside your container.
Step 10: Once your gemstone sidewalk chalk has had plenty of time to dry, you can store it in any container to keep it dry.
Want to have more DIY fun? Learn how to make a colorful yarn wreath to decorate your door for summer.
A version of this story originally appeared in the June 2020 issue of Washington FAMILY.