Make Your Own Play-Doh

posted by Andrea | 12/27/2011

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A couple months ago, I got an email from Brenda, a loyal reader, with instructions on how to make homemade Play-Doh. I was honestly surprised by how simple an inexpensive it was — so I knew I had to try it out!

Now, even though Nora is still way to young for Play-Doh, I thought this might be a fun Christmas break activity to do with your children, grand children, nieces, nephews, etc.

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 c. water
  • food coloring of choice
  • 3 T. vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. salt {yes it’s a 1/2 CUP}
  • 1 T. powdered alum {found in the spice section}

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a medium pot, mix water, food coloring and oil together and bring to a boil
  • In a large bowl, mix flour, salt, and alum
  • Pour boiling water mixture over flour mixture and stir until combined
  • Let the mixture cool a bit until you can touch it with your hands
  • Kneed well — like you would kneed bread dough {Brenda suggests using a cutting board for this as the food coloring can slightly stain light counter tops}

Once you kneed the Play-Doh, simply put it in an air-tight container and bring it out any time you need to occupy your children for a while!

The great thing about this recipe is that you don’t have to feel bad about letting your kids mix colors or throwing it out when it gets hard — because it will only cost a few cents to make another batch. Plus you can mix and match your food coloring to create tons of different colors!

And honestly, who doesn’t love playing with Play-Doh! 

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15 comments

  1. Truffles Magazine

    12/27/2011

    Andrea,

    I am going to be sharing this with my readers, I just added a space on my blog about small spaces, city living, & I feel this is a great project for families with children who live in small spaces to do together, its inexpensive and doesn’t take much space.

    Thanks for sharing

    [Reply]

  2. Make Play-doh with your Kids « Truffles Magazine

    12/27/2011

    [...] own Play-Doh at home this is great for your own kids or if your baby-sitting, so head on over to Simple Organized Living. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. ▶ No Responses /* [...]

  3. Miranda

    12/28/2011

    I’m honestly quite surprised to see this recipe pop up on so many sites – I thought this was the oldest recipe in the books, ha ;)! My mom has been making this for ages and I just made my first batch for my daughter. We use cream of tartar instead of powdered alum although I’m not sure if that’s the same thing …? I added glitter to my playdoh for extra flair, I’m guessing Nora might like that too when she’s older ;).

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I know — I’m sure this recipe is really old, but it was just so simple and inexpensive that I had to post it… just incase someone out there hadn’t heard of it before!
    I love the glitter idea — but does the glitter get all over and make a mess when the kids are playing with the Play-Doh?

    [Reply]

  4. Miranda

    12/29/2011

    It stays perfectly together and the glitter causes no mess! I find maybe 1 or 2 sparkles on the table but that’s it. I use very tiny flakes that I got in a Scrapbooking kit.

    [Reply]

  5. Lisa

    12/31/2011

    I was looking for something fun to do with Lizzie today! I used to make this all the time when I was a preschool teacher. The best thing is that the playdough stays soft for over a month!

    :)
    Lisa

    [Reply]

  6. Do-It-Yourself: Homemade Play-Doh :: Money Saving Mom®

    01/17/2012

    [...] from Simple Organized Living shows you how to make homemade Play-Doh for pennies… with just a few pantry staples! Do you have a fun and frugal DIY idea to share? I’d [...]

  7. Sarah [ mamalotsoftots ]

    01/17/2012

    For our recipe, we use kool-aid packets instead of food coloring. Wonderful vibrant color, AND yummy scents. :) We also use cream of tartar instead of alum, in case anyone would like a substitute for it!

    [Reply]

  8. Emi

    01/17/2012

    I noticed that the commercial Play-Doh dries out my hands and the homemade one does not

    [Reply]

  9. Elizabeth

    01/28/2012

    I anyone else concerned about the possible negative health effects from the artificial food coloring? I was a bit concerned prior to making this recipe but went ahead and made some. My 3 year old twins seem fine but I feel a little dizzy and nauseated. I’ll try it with kool-aid next time (although there is artificial food coloring in there as well… but maybe it won’t affect me as much).

    [Reply]

  10. Karen Davis

    02/20/2012

    Does the food coloring come off on your hands?

    [Reply]

  11. Vickie

    06/30/2012

    Dear Andrea,
    I can not find alum…I am not in the states working at the moment. How important is this ingredient to the end product? :-)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I’m not sure… I think the alum is important though. You might try ordering it online.

    [Reply]

  12. Betty

    07/17/2012

    Does it matter what type of flour (self-rising or plain) you use in the playdoh recipe?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I would probably just use “all purpose” flour to be safe.

    [Reply]

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