Friday, 25 April 2014

How to make your own play dough

Despite being an extreme girly girl as a child - I didn't wear a pair of trousers until I was twelve - I was infamous for making a mess. You'd find me, on a sunny day, at the bottom of our garden in a summer dress making mud pies with my brothers. I'm still as messy as anything, but I tell myself that's it all in the name of creativity. I'm fooling no one, of course, my bedroom is absolutely inexcusable at the moment but I put knitting before clearing away my washing on my hierarchy of priorities.

Play dough was my favourite as a child. It was the one time you were encouraged to make a mess, so long as you didn't tread it into the carpet. The smell of play dough is synonymous with childhood for me, bringing back distant memories of that one girl from recorder club that always ate it and nostalgia of playing highly competitive games of Rapidough at family get togethers.

Are you craving the games you played when you were younger too? Here, is a DIY for you then, my friend - how to make your own play dough.

We need to give a round of applause to the lady who created this video. It's such a great step by step to follow. 

You will need:
600g plain flour
240ml warm water
350g salt
Food colouring of your choice
Vegetable oil

I don't recommend that you eat this play dough. Or any play dough. Just thought I had to put that disclaimer in somewhere. 

The first thing that struck me when I researched how I might go about making my own play dough was that it wasn't as complicated as I thought it would be. Sure, some recipes call for strange ingredients that cause the sales advisors behind the deli counter in Tesco to give you a weird look if you asked them for it, but this recipe is straight forward enough.

Divide your warm water among your four small containers, I used old pie dishes and they worked a treat.

Add your food colouring to your water and then Instagram the cool swirling patterns it creates in the water. One day, this hippy will tie dye, that goes on to my ongoing 'to craft' list.

I chose to do blue, red, yellow and green. Add half a tablespoon of vegetable oil to each bowl.

In a separate mixing bowl, add all your dry ingredients - your flour and salt. Stir it all together, now is the best time to put on a bit of music and dance. I suggest Happy by Pharrell Williams

Add a quarter of your dry mixture to each bowl of your food colouring and stir it all in. I had to use slightly larger bowls for the mixing part. My inner child was enjoying the mess a lot. My adult was not so much.

Dust a surface and knead each of the mixtures until it feels like play dough, adding more flour, water or food colouring if necessary. Because the food colouring can stain your hands and surfaces slightly, I started with the lightest colour (yellow) and worked my way through each dough separately, washing my hands each time. This part was like making bread!

To store them, keep them in airtight sandwich bags in your fridge.

I was so proud of how they came out and my friends loved playing with them when they came round. Yes, even though we are aged 18 to 20. Playdough has no age restriction. I no longer know the girl from my class who ate play dough. There's part of me that wonders where she is. I think a Facebook stalking session is in order.


  1. You didn't wear trousers until you were 12?! I'm impressed! I bloody love play dough, one of the best things about having a little half sister is that I get to play with it again. And Rapidough is just too much fun!

    Alice xx | The Cup and Saucer

  2. Oh my goodness I remember making playdough with my mum once when I was little. It was dark pink with glitter in it and it is such a strong, vivid memory in my mind. The smell, for one, is such a particular one and nothing else smells like it!
    Naomi xo

  3. We do this at my nursery :) and we add smells to the playdough such as mint or strawberry! xx

  4. Beautiful pics but you will never tempt me to make playdough again. Spent ages kneading the damn stuff, food colouring stained my hands. Kids turned their noses up and asked why we didn't have the real stuff. Then it all went moldy in the fridge. All for the sake of a quid!

  5. Most definitely need to make this, my girls will love it :)) xx

  6. I LOVE this! My mom is a preschool teacher and was always making homemade play dough while I was growing up. Sometimes she'd make it with kool-aid drink mix so that it could smell fruity and be colorful at the same time. :)

  7. My 3 year old LOVES play dough. I made some awhile back with kool-aid and the fruity smell was so overwhelming I couldn't let her play with it. I might need to make a non-smelly batch for her to play with!

  8. My 3 year old brother loves play dough and we make this all the time for him. Making it is a lot more interesting than getting it from a packet.

    Love Jaimie xo