Homemade Rainbow Sparkle Playdoh

homemade rainbow sparkle playdoh

 I wanted to come up with a small gift for the kids in my Sunday School class as well as a few other kiddos on my list, and I thought little rainbow packs of homemade playdoh would be really fun.   The girls and I always enjoy making it but we usually just stick to one color (or white!)

It is really easy to make and a great way to introduce your kids to “cooking” in the kitchen, since the measurements don’t have to be that accurate, it doesn’t matter if the kids get their grubby hands all over everything, it is fairly quick, and they get to play with the results!  Homemade play dough smells and feels SO much better than the store-bought stuff, and it lasts much longer without drying out.  It is also completely non-toxic (except for the glitter, which you can easily skip.)

My recipe calls for coconut oil, which I think results in a slightly better texture.  It also gives the unscented playdoh a pleasant mild coconut scent.  The cheapest place to get it is on Amazon or at Trader Joe’s.  In a pinch you can substitute vegetable or olive oil.  The essential oils are fun but optional.  I have found the best price is at Vitacost.  (Use this link to get $10 off your first $30 purchase.)

Here is what you will need:

cream of tartar (do NOT skip this–find it in the spice section)
coconut oil
assorted glitter (optional)
assorted essential oils (cinnamon, sweet orange, lemon, lemongrass, peppermint, lavender)
bags, ribbon, mini cookie cutters & gift tag for packaging  

Start by measuring your flour, salt, cream of tartar, water, &  oil into a saucepan.  (Printable recipe with exact measurements is below–I quadrupled the recipe for each batch and made 6 batches total.  I used about 2 1/2 jars of the cream of tartar.)

 Once all 5 ingredients have been added, place on stove with burner set to low and begin stirring.  The time it takes to turn into playdoh varies, but expect it to take between 10 and 20 minutes to become solid.  A bigger batch will take longer.

Once the mixture begins to thicken and look less lumpy, add the food coloring and essential oil.  I tried both the liquid and the gel food coloring but found that the liquid was easier to blend into the mixture.  I didn’t measure either, just kept adding color and scent until it looked and smelled good.

Keep stirring.  If your kids are old/careful enough you can help them stir until it gets too thick.

Once larger lumps begin to form, you’ll know you are getting close.  Keep stirring!

Towards the end it will begin to get really thick and difficult to stir.  Don’t worry if there are small lumps in the dough.  It will be sticky but keep stirring.

The play dough is done when it pulls away from the sides and all sticks together in one big lump.  This particular batch took about 18 minutes on the stove, but again was a quadruple batch of the recipe below.  A smaller batch will take slightly less time.

Set on silicone mat or other heat-proof surface to cool.  If dough seems too sticky you can knead it with a little flour.

To add sparkles, sprinkle dough generously with glitter, then knead dough until sparkles are evenly dispersed, adding more glitter if necessary.  I bought this Martha Stewart glitter pack about 2 years ago.  I use it all the time, for all sorts of projects (including these glitter lollipops ) and it is still going strong!

Repeat process for remaining colors until you have a full rainbow of sparkly play dough goodness!  To make my gifts, I made small play doh balls of each color, packaged them in small plastic treat bags tied with jute cord, then placed them in a brown lunch bag.

I finished them off with a cute label, ribbon, and mini cookie cutter.   If  you’d like to make some of your own, you can download the PDF file for the labels here. (Because I’m just nice like that! ) :-)

Awesome homemade play dough recipe!  Uses essential oils for scent & sparkle for an extra fun touch!  GREAT homemade gift idea for kids!

So cute!

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Have you ever made homemade play doh?  Do you have any tips or tricks to share?

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{ 12 comments… add one }

  • Denise December 8,

    This looks so cool! I can’t wait to make some for my nieces and nephews!

  • Ann December 8,

    I’ll add this to my post on play dough – thanks.

  • Rachel December 8,

    I’ve dyed it with koolaid mix before which also gave it a nice scent.

  • Laura Mock December 8,

    Ruth- This is great! I am a Kindergarten teacher in Kansas City and I think I am going to make this for my kiddos for Christmas. They will LOVE this! By the way…your girls are SO darling! I love staying connected with you on your website.
    Thanks for sharing this great idea!
    Love, Laura (your old neighbor on Double Ditch)

  • laura simmons December 9,

    love this!
    I have a 3 year old (she was 2 when we started this recipe) and every time she gets a chance she asks to make PlayDough! For her, it is a real treat to play with it but even more fun to make it!
    For me, I enjoy the enthusiasm of learning and sharpening active listening skills with out having to make her think shes in school.

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  • joan May 2,

    Hey; Thanks for sharing this one i am looking forward to do this one with my 2 year old daughter what is the alternative for cream of tartar is there an alternative let me know.

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  • angel September 30,

    This is the best recipe I’ve found. It’s awesome! Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Jamie December 2,

    I wonder if the ingredients are listed correctly in the recipe. I cooked and cooked this–over 2 hours, and it was still not coming together. Took it out and tried kneading with lots of flour. Still so so sticky. I have no clue what I did wrong. I’ve made playdoh before, and it was so easy. :(


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