DIY Play-dough

Posted on July 10, 2014

If your kids are anything like mine, they go through way too much play-dough to warrant buying the stuff in the shop.  And I’m not a big fan of all the plastic packaging and artificial colouring that comes with it.  Here is a fun and inexpensive play-dough recipe using ingredients you’ll probably already have in the kitchen.

To complete the DIY job, you might also like to make your own natural dye.  The concept is simple – load your selected fruit/veggies/herbs into a pot of water and bring to the boil.  Boil for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to low and simmer for a further 10-30 minutes depending on the intensity of colour desired.  Strain and presto – naturally coloured water!

You can experiment with all kinds of colourful fruit and veg, depending on what’s in season, but here are a couple of ideas to start…

Yellow Dye – 1 cup water and 1 cup shredded carrots

Pink Dye – 2 cups water and 1 cup shredded beetroot or purple cabbage

Green Dye – 1 cup water and 1 cup basil or spinach leaves

Play-Dough Recipe

1 cup flour

½ cup salt

2 tsp cream of tarter

1 tbs olive oil

1 cup of naturally coloured water OR 1 cup water and a few drops natural food colouring

You may also like to add a few drops of essential oil for fragrance – I use lemon essential oil, which is safe and calming for children (I live in hope!) and adds a lovely fresh, zesty note.   Take care to only use oils that are safe for children (and pregnant/lactating mummies if that applies to you).

Mix flour, salt and cream of tartar in a medium-sized pot.  Add olive oil and coloured water and stir until thoroughly combined.  Place pot on the stove over medium-low heat.  Cook the dough, stirring often, until it begins to pull away from the sides of the pot (about 2-3 minutes) – it will look just like play-dough when it’s done.  Allow the dough to cool slightly then knead for 1 minute.  That’s it!

Always store your play-dough in an airtight container – the tighter the seal, the longer it will last.


    You should definitely try it lyn lee, you’ll be amazed how easy it is! Even if you just start with using store bought dye – the play-doh is so soft and lovely. Good luck!

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