Natural DIY Play Dough

Forget the store-bought play dough. Learn how to make your own Natural DIY play dough with ingredients you already have in your pantry. Plus, I’ll show you how to add essential oils for aromatherapy play dough the kids will love.

Stacked DIY Play Dough on a table with cookie cutters

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I love making DIY play dough with my kids. They really enjoy measuring all the ingredients and working with their hands to make the dough.

Natural Dyes vs. Artificial Dye

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.

Why Make Homemade Play Dough?

Store bought playdough can get expensive especially if you have multiple kids! Those containers are small and if your kids leave the lids off those tricky to snap on lids, it dries out.

Homemade play dough is so easy make and super easy to store. Just drop it in a ziploc bag or air tight container and it will last a good week.

DIY Play Dough on a table with cookie cutters

How to Make DIY Natural Play Dough – Step by Step

1. Gather your ingredients together.

Flour, water, salt and natural dyes on a table to make play dough

2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add 2 cups of flour.

Flour in a mixing bowl

3. Add 1 cup of salt to the mixing bowl.

Adding salt to a mixing bowl with flour.

4. Add 1 cup of water to the mixing bowl.

Adding water to a mixing bowl with flour and salt

5. Mix dough together well.

Dough in a mixing bowl

6. Separate dough into six (6) sections so you can add different natural dyes and essential oils to get the desired color for each section.

6 playdough balls in a mixing bowl

7. Add natural dyes and essential oils to the dough and mix well. Set aside.

Adding natural blue dye to playdough

8. Add dyes and essential oils to remaining dough balls. You will have up to 6 colors of play dough total.

Playdough balls in different colors on a table

Natural Dyes + Scents

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.

How to Use This Play Dough

Enjoy and play with this natural play dough as you would store-bought clay and Play-Doh. You can make shapes with cookie butters, roll the dough out with a rolling pin, and play around with the dough.

Store it in an airtight container for up to a week.

DIY Play Dough with cookie cutter shapes

Top Tips to Make DIY Play Dough

  • If your play dough gets too stiff. Work a little more essential oil into the play dough. The best way is to pour about a teaspoon of oil onto your hands, then work it in. Add a little more gradually as needed until the play dough is soft again. Your play dough may not be quite as smooth and pliable as before, but this softening trick really does help.
  • If you get play dough in the carpet. Allow the play dough to dry completely first. Do not try to clean it before it’s dry. Pick out any big, loose pieces, then use a firm brush to break up the remaining dough. After that, use a vacuum.
  • If you get this on your clothes, use a firm brush to remove the dough, then soak the clothing in cold water with a small amount of dish soap for 20-30 minute. Put a little more dish soap on the area, then wash as you would normally.
  • In order for your play dough to last the longest, store it in a sealed ziploc bag or air tight container.
Stacked DIY Play Dough on a table with cookie cutters

How to Get Started with Essential Oils

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stack of colored homemade playdough

DIY Aromatherapy Play Dough

Don’t Mess With Mama
Forget the store-bought play dough. Learn how to make your own DIY natural play dough with ingredients you already have in your pantry. Plus, I'll show you how to add essential oils for aromatherapy play dough the kids will love.
4.60 from 5 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Mix all ingredients together to make the dough. Set aside.  
  • Separate into six (6) sections so you can add different natural dyes and essential oils to get the desired color for each section.
  • Enjoy and play with this natural play dough. Store it in an airtight container for up to a week.
Keyword play dough, playdough
Tried this recipe?Mention @dontmesswithmama on Instagram

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11 Comments

  1. Do you store it for a week before using it? I just mixed the recipe together but it has the thickness of a milkshake, not play dough.