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Natural food coloring ideas for homemade play-do?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I don't want to use kool-aid or standard food coloring. I'm not sure I want to spend a fortune on the natural food coloring, although the last time I checked WF they didn't even have it.

I'm thinking food is the way to go? Ideas? :
post #2 of 17
I've seen people use coffee instead of water when making the dough. Not a bright color, there... but a nice scent at least!
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
oooh good idea.
post #4 of 17
What've you got in your kitchen and what colors do you want? I was serving cranberry sauce last night, and a small amount of that made my kids dough really beautiful. I would think any kind of berry would work well. I have no idea if spoilage would be an issue, though.

Btw, have your tried cooked play dough? I'm never buying Play Do again since trying it.
post #5 of 17
What is your recipe for cooked? It has been a while since I made it so I can't remember


I would assume you caould make the cooked dough with any color of juice instead of water to color.... My first thought was to boil beets. I wonder if it would stain hands.
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by zonapellucida View Post
What is your recipe for cooked?
I don't know if I can copy it here. It's from the letters section of the latest issue of Mothering magazine. (if any mods see this thread, can I copy the recipe?)
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
I did do a cooked one once and I think it lasted longer. Cream of tartar really keeps it lasting and pliable for us. I have some food powders from frontier that I got for soups or smoothies. I ended up making some green and pink with beet powder and spinach powder and brown with cocoa powder. That stuff is really expensive though and the color didn't spread as well as I thought it would. I worried about spoilage with fresh stuff too. Not sure how long it would last then?
post #8 of 17
I've been using this recipe for cooked playdough for years:

1 cup flour
1/4 cup salt
2 tbsp cream of tartar

Mix right in saucepan and add:

1 cup water
colouring
1 tbsp oil

Stir constantly over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, or until dough comes away from side of pan.
Turn onto floured surface and knead until no longer sticky.


This playdough has a wonderful consistency, and lasts weeks in a covered container at room temperature. The last batch I made was good for a couple of months, until the kids forgot to put the lid on and it dried out.

I usually double or triple the recipe to end up with a decent amount.

I hate the stuff made with Koolaid - the smell, the feel, blechhh! I've always used food colouring, but I don't see why something natural wouldn't work.
post #9 of 17
Juicing beets works nicely. You could juice carrots too I would guess.
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by lajn View Post
I've been using this recipe for cooked playdough for years:

1 cup flour
1/4 cup salt
2 tbsp cream of tartar

Mix right in saucepan and add:

1 cup water
colouring
1 tbsp oil

Stir constantly over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, or until dough comes away from side of pan.
Turn onto floured surface and knead until no longer sticky.


This playdough has a wonderful consistency, and lasts weeks in a covered container at room temperature. The last batch I made was good for a couple of months, until the kids forgot to put the lid on and it dried out.

I usually double or triple the recipe to end up with a decent amount.

I hate the stuff made with Koolaid - the smell, the feel, blechhh! I've always used food colouring, but I don't see why something natural wouldn't work.
Thanks this sounds VERY familiar!! i think we will make some today
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
i think i'll probably get that stuff. can red40 seep through your skin?

the last time i tried with food coloring, it got all over my hands, but it was one of my first batches and i was mixing it by hand- didn't try cooking it. i think i will do that next.
post #12 of 17
you can add things like glitter, too, or cocoa if you want chocolate scented. I've know folks who add a little essential oil, too.
post #13 of 17
Spirulina powder makes a nice aqua green. I've also used annato-infused oil to get a pale yellow. It tends to come off on hands a little tho so don't add too much. Also consider clays - you can get grey, ochre, earthy pinks and terra cotta colors.
post #14 of 17
I use liquid watercolors and add some lavendar oil. works quite nicely, but my kids are old enough not to put it in their mouths.
post #15 of 17
SOme of the top of my head,
beats
onion skin (orange shades)
grass
blueberries dried other berries as well

Spirilins sounds steller I will have to try that one
post #16 of 17
I think tumeric would work well to make a deep yellow color.
post #17 of 17

Food Colour Pigments

I've used the artificial food colors. The upside is you can get any color under the sun. I don't like the additives. The downside with natural food color is the hassle although i'd rather boil beets than use artificial. Some of the natural food colors can be bad for you.
I found some really good powders but they only come in a limited range of colours. The kids love playing with it and had fun for hours. Best thing is that these are anti-oxidants, so they are purified from fruits and vegatables, eg lycopene, beta-caretonoid and lutein.
Don't go near the lycopene though unless you can tolerate stains on your clothes and hands!! Its healthy and very potent. Lasts a long time but no greens, blues. I got them from www.coloursoflife.com.au. The packaging isn't special but at least it is full of nutrients.
I don't know. Everything is a compromise. I have tried spirulina in smoothies. It is okay but it just looks a little too dark green.
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