Making your own play dough is an easy and inexpensive project, which coincidentally avoids all the packaging of the commercial product. For an investment of a few pennies and a little prep time, you can have enough dough to last for months, and walk more lightly upon the earth.
For each good-sized blob of one colour you will need:
- one (1) cup all-purpose white flour
- one-quarter (1/4) cup table salt
- one (1) teaspoon cream of tartar
- one (1) cup water
- one (1) tablespoon vegetable oil
- paste food colouring (cake decorator’s colours, often available at bulk food stores or cooking specialty shops)
Combine flour, salt, and cream of tartar in large saucepan. Whisk in water, oil, and a scant 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon paste food colouring, stirring with a spatula or wooden spoon slowly over medium-low heat, and cooking till the paste pulls away from the sides of the pan. Remove from heat and let cool till the mixture can be handled, then knead till smooth and pliable. Store in the refrigerator; the salt will slow down but not totally prevent spoilage.
You will need remarkably little of the paste food colouring to achieve a brilliant, saturated hue. My few jars of red, blue, and yellow colour lasted for years — well worth the small investment.