In my last post, Kiss the Cook, I reference some of the random ingredients on hand in my pantry, including an unopened box of corn starch. When I came across an article in the Savannah Morning News for DIY chalk that only had 3 ingredients (okay, technically 2 since the third one was water), all of which we actually had in house (corn starch, food coloring, and water), I had visions of Jack and I frittering away the day, happily decorating any and all concrete within our immediate reach, while people all over the world re-pinned photos of the beautiful work we created using our hand crafted chalk. I quickly set out to make some. Here is a link to the article and recipe:
(as for the DIY play dough, I used a different, and I think easier, recipe which I will be posting about separately in a future post, same for the bubbles).
Jack and I mixed up the ingredients, which quickly felt like wet cement. We poured some of the mix into two other Pyrex measuring cups so we could dye one blue, one yellow, and one red, and then add coloring to make green, orange, and purple. You can see from the pic below that we ended up making two shades of blue, pink instead of orange, and the purple was really more akin to black:
What the article fails to mention is how long it takes the chalk to dry, in our case, several days, and how much of the water evaporates, leaving very little actual chalk. So after waiting and waiting and waiting for it to dry out, we finally popped the little nuggets of chalk out, ready to create some amazing sidewalk art, when…they all basically crumbled apart into colored dust when touched.
So we did what any 7 year old who had waited days for his mom’s dumb project to be completed would do, and smeared the chalk around on the ground with our shoes. And then went back to the drawing board, as I was determined I would successfully create chalk with my 3 ingredients (ok 4 if you include muffin cup liners, which the recipe didn’t actually specify, but I decided to use). So this time, we mixed up another batch (and by we, of course I mean me, as Jack was no longer even remotely interested in this project) and poured it into BIGGER muffin cups, convinced that this would solve everything and in a few days hence we would be happily (and smugly) drawing with our awesome homemade chalk.
Again, not particularly great with my color mixing skills, but I was going for quality and size vs. quantity this time around. I’m sure that gross poo brown will tone down a bit once dry and be great for drawing tree trunks, bears, and coconuts, among other brown things. And when they finally dried (taking even longer since they were bigger), they looked like this:
See? I was right about the brown! And then they promptly crumbled apart the minute they touched the concrete. So they remained in a sad little pile on the porch for another couple of days, quickly succumbing to the south’s ever-present black mold. Considering that the raw ingredients of corn starch, food coloring, and muffin cup liners far outweigh the cost of chalk (that doesn’t crumble, I might add) I could buy at the Dollar Store, I must conclude that imported, cheap-o chalk undoubtedly made by children in foreign lands wins hands down in this battle against DIY.