So, as it turns out, working from home while pregnant and trying desperately to get your house ready for listing does not make one the Most Fun Mom in the World. How do I know this?

Oh, you know, maybe by the fact that my child has asked me TEN MILLION TIMES if I’m through working and WHEN are we going to play, already??!!?

*sigh*

What she doesn’t see – but I’m going to tell you in my own defense – are the days I ignore my inbox, finish work late into the night while she’s sleeping and push the boundaries on even my own high threshold for procrastination. On those days? We go to the park, meet friends for play dates, snuggle on the couch for movies and ice cream, run errands together and eat lunch at Chick-Fil-A.

And every once in a while, we pull out our Summer Fun List and try something new. Like sidewalk chalk paint (aka, the craft project I pinned about 18 months ago and am just now getting around to trying…).

I looked at several posts about this project that I found on Pinterest. One suggested using squirt bottles, one suggested using neon food coloring, and this one had the simplest recipe and the idea of using a muffin tin to hold the paint.

It really is a simple (and fun) project – although it can get a little messy. Especially when THIS happens…

And then you get THIS…

Yep.

It turns out the squirt bottle idea made more of a mess than I anticipated, mainly because Annalyn looked at the pretty pink paint and decided she needed it ALL ON THE SIDEWALK NOW. What are you going to do when that happens? Stick your hand in it, of course!

And what did this hates-getting-dirty mama do? I’m happy to say that for once in my life, I was a YES mom and didn’t yell. I let her play to her heart’s content in a gross, annoying, hands-on sort of way. And only cringed a little when it was time to go wash up. Inside. My house.

(Actually, the paint is very fast-drying, so it wasn’t long before it was a crusty, crumbly mess instead of a sopping, dripping one. Which made wash-up time a lot neater and less stressful!)

So, how did we make the paint? Easy peasy.

Step 1. Get one box of cornstarch, food coloring, a big bowl and muffin tin.
Step 2. Mix 2 cups of water with the cornstarch.
Step 3. Pour mixture into cups of a muffin tin.
Step 4. Add food coloring.
Step 5. Paint the porch or the sidewalk!

I found that when I mixed the water and cornstarch, it took a LOT of strong-arming to keep it from turning into paste. Once I scraped the goo off the bottom of the bowl, though, it stayed liquid.

Also, I used a large measuring cup instead of a bowl. Then I poured a little at a time into a bowl to add and mix in the food coloring (the neon gel kind worked great) before pouring it into the muffin tin. I dirtied an additional dish, but I’m pretty sure it worked better than trying to mix in a muffin tin cup.

Aside from the one squirt bottle Annalyn used to make a pink lake (or, as she described it, a rocket ship) on the front porch, we used sponge brushes to paint. The paint initially goes on almost clear, but as it dries, it brightens up a lot. And the paint lasted a lot longer on the sidewalk than regular chalk does. (That’s the good news and the bad news when you realize that oh yeah, we’re going to list this house in a couple of weeks and now we have to power wash the front porch and driveway…)

We really had a lot of fun with this summer project. And even though I was kind of dreading a long, drawn-out PROJECT for our summer afternoon, it turned out to be pretty simple and – aside from a certain little girl’s hands – pretty quick to clean up, too.

Have you tried any new craft projects this summer? Have you ever made sidewalk chalk paint?

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