I love making homemade play dough with my kids. They really enjoy measuring all the ingredients and working with their hands to make the dough.
We had some leftover artificial food dye (we stopped using it for baking years ago and just use it for art projects now) so we used a bit of it for our play dough. But the colors were so strong they stained our hands. And wash after wash, I just couldn’t get the dyes out. It really bothered me. So the artificial dyes are gone for good now.
So I started to think about natural dyes. We’ve used spices and fruit juices to naturally dye Easter eggs, so I thought why not for homemade play dough too. I added essential oils to this recipe both for a pleasant scent and to preserve the play dough a bit longer.
DIY Natural Play Dough
Basic Play Dough Recipe
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 cup of salt
- 1 cup of water
Mix all ingredients together to make the dough. Set aside. There’s no need to cook it, and you can store it in an airtight container for about a week. Separate into six (6) sections so you can add different natural dyes to get the desired color for each section.
Natural Dyes + Scents
Orange – add 1/2 tsp or more of tumeric + 5 drops of orange essential oil
Blue – crush 1/4 to 1/3 cup of frozen blueberries + 5 drops of lavender essential oil
Red – crush 1/4 to 1/3 cup of frozen raspberries or 1/2 tsp of paprika + 5 drops of peppermint oil
Green – add a few drops of liquid chlorophyll + 5 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
Brown – add 1/2 tsp or more of instant coffee + 5 drops of cinnamon bark essential oil
Yellow – add 1/2 tsp of mustard or curry powder +5 drops of lemon essential oil
No time to make your own dyes? No problem. You can also buy natural food dyes, and then mix and match colors to get your favorite color combinations.
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