For my daughter’s Magical Unicorn 1st Birthday, I wanted a favor that would be fun, age appropriate, inexpensive and not candy for our little guests. So I decided to make playdough. AND, after doing a little bit of research online, I realized you could add glitter to playdough to make it sparkly and magical–GLITTER!?! Who knew?! That would have been a dream come true for me as a little girl. And it was simply perfect as a magical unicorn birthday party favor.
I had never made playdough before; I’m not exactly sure why. My kids LOVE to play with it. And it seriously is the cheapest and easiest thing to throw together. Since then, I’ve discovered it holds up much better than the stuff you buy at the store. And I have to admit, I like making playdough almost as much as my kids like playing with it. There’s just something therapeudic about kneading brightly colored, sparkly dough. It makes me happy (and I get a little arm workout in too). So I may have gone a little overboard and made upwards of about 10 batches of my happy dough. But really…can you have too much sparkly playdough?
I tried a few different recipes (including a non-cooked one which was a disaster) and ended up using this one. I loved how the playdough turned out and with the exception of the cream of tartar and food coloring, I bought everything at the Dollar Tree. Including the adorable little containers I put the finished product in. They came 10 to a pack for $1.
- 2.5 cups water
- 1 1/4 c. salt
- 1 1/2 tbsp. cream of tartar
- 5 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2.5 cups flour
- Food coloring
- Essential Oils (optional)
- Combine water, salt, cream of tartar, vegetable oil and flour in a large pot. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently until it begins to take on a sticky dough appearance. When the dough pulls away from the side and bottom of the pan and is no longer gooey, it is finished.
- Place the dough on a kneading surface and begin kneading until the dough smooths out. Add food coloring and knead to mix throughout and get your desired shade. Add essential oils and glitter as desired and continue kneading until distributed throughout the dough.
- Store the dough in a large Ziplock bag or sealed container. It should keep for months.
Tips & Ticks for making perfect playdough:
- Don’t leave out the cream of tartar. It may be pricey, but it acts as a stabilizer. It will make your dough stronger and stiffer and will help it keep its shape. I believe it will also help with elasticity. Your playdough will last longer and you’ll be happy you added.
- Don’t worry if your playdough feels slightly grainy from the salt when you remove it from the pot; once the dough cools, it will be nice and smooth.
- Use gel food coloring; it will make beautiful, vibrant colors!
- Be careful adding Kool Aid or other powdered drink mixes; some of them didn’t dissolve well and made my dough grainy.
- Instead of using powdered drinks, try using essential oils to add scents to your dough. I added a drop or two per batch and didn’t have any issues with the oil breaking down the containers the dough was stored in.
- Add glitter! Regular glitter, fine glitter, any glitter you can. Some of my batches even had regular AND fine glitter! Just start sprinkling it in and kneading; when the glitter stops bonding to the dough and stays on your kneading surface, you’ve added enough.
Have you tried making your own playdough? What your tips and tricks for making it perfect? Leave a comment below to let me know!