Homemade Play Dough!

Guys. I just made homemade play dough and I seriously didn’t know what I was missing. Seriously. It’s awesome. Go make some. Now!!!


Do I seem a little eager? It’s just that I’ve been up since 4:30 am eating cookies and finishing Christmas gifts. And speaking of gifts, homemade play dough is the perfect gift for any sweet kid in your life. Heck, give it to the un-sweet kids in your life, too! They’ll benefit from it, I assure you!


Here’s how to get started:

First you must visit The Imagination Tree and subscribe. You’ll thank me later when you, too, are up at 4:30 am making play dough or salt dough or a thousand other incredibly frugal/educational/awesome things for the kids in your life (sweet or otherwise).


While you’re there, check out the post from which I got my play dough recipe. There are a ton of good ideas about ways to use play dough in imaginative and creative ways that can only come from making it yourself. Lavender play dough, anyone? How about cinnamon clove sparkle dough? Yes, yes, and yes, please!


The basic play dough recipe goes like this:

  • 3 cups of water
  • 3 cups of plain white flour
  • 1 1/5 cups of salt
  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil***
  • 2 tablespoons of  cream of tartar (apparently you can also use a big squeeze of lemon juice here)

***I need you all to know that it took me about seventy tries to correctly spell “vegetable.” Clearly 4:30 am is catching up with me…

Other optional ingredients are:

  • a few drops of glycerin for stretch and shine – I cheaped out/couldn’t find it too easily/didn’t want to go to anymore stores because it was snowing, so I didn’t use this. I can see how it would make the dough extra shiny, which would be nice, but we did without quite happily.
  • Glitter!!! Use lots. It’s good for your soul.
  • Food coloring – We went with black because I thought it looked so cool. And that’s just how I am: cool.


You just mix all of your ingredients over low heat, keep stirring, don’t acknowledge the moment of panic when you think it’s going to be a gloppy mess and persevere til the dough pulls away from the sides of your pan. Let it cool a bit and then turn it out on a board to knead til it’s done. Easy as pie! Only easier, ’cause I stink at pie. Mine was a bit too sticky towards the end, so I just kneaded in some more flour and it was perfect. This recipe made 6 half ounce jars of dough.


Here’s how it turned out!


Like I said, glycerin probably would’ve made this super-shiny, but I’m feeling good as is.



Please disregard the creepiness of my hand and focus on the dough. Thanks.
Please disregard the creepiness of my hand. It was only, like, 5 am at this point and my hands just really aren’t themselves until 5:30…


The possibilities with this are endless. I think this would make an awesome party favor for a birthday if you could find the right containers. Anyway, I’m pretty sure we’ll be making play dough a ton because Mags loves it. I can’t wait to see how she likes it with glitter!


Hope your last few days til Christmas are merry and bright! Love to all!

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