DIY Red, Blue, & Purple Play Dough with Natural Homemade Colorings


Did you think that homemade colorings would be dull? Check out this play dough!


(kinda, sorta, not really) Blue

This gave us our most intense color by far! I was actually surprised at how deeply colored it was.

Yes, the blue is a bit disappointing. It was worth a try, though, and now I know the result (and you do too). 🙂

(Want to make the green, yellow, and orange play doughs too? ➜ Homemade Sensory Play Dough with Natural DIY Colorings)

Here’s how you can make your own red and purple play dough.

I wrote instruction on how to extract a clear, colored liquid from berries to use in food. I won’t repeat those instructions in this post, so go here to check them out.

Once you have your clear, colored liquid, pour it into a clear measuring cup, and top it off with water until you have the amount of liquid you need to make the following recipe.

(Because I wanted to make a rainbow of colors, I made 1/4-sized batches, which is why I only have 1/4 cup of liquid here. And remember, the more berries you use and the less water you have to add to get to the needed amount of liquid, the more intense the color will be.)

DIY Red, Blue, and Purple Play Dough with Natural Homemade Colorings
Recipe type: Kids
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Homemade colorings are anything but boring. These play dough turned out with incredible colors. And with a few drops of essential oil added, they provided a sensory-explosion experience.
  • 1 cups flour (white flour will be smoothest)
  • ½ cup salt (use a fine-grain salt and not chunky sea-salt)
  • 1 cups water (the strained liquid)
  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • 2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 cup (mounded) of raspberries or blackberries (more will give you more color, less will make the color paler)
  • A few drops of essential oil (optional)
  1. Pound, blend, or otherwise crush the berries. Strain through a fine-woven cloth (I use kitchen muslin) until you have a clear liquid. Pour the liquid into a clear measuring container, and top off with water until you have the amount of water you need to make the recipe.
  2. Purple play dough: follow the instructions for the red play dough, using blackberries instead of raspberries.
  3. Combine the strained liquid with the flour, salt, oil, and cream of tartar in a pan. Place over medium low heat and stir until a ball forms. Remove from the heat, scoop it out onto a piece of tin foil, and allow the dough to cool. Knead a little bit when cool and the play dough is ready for the kids.
  4. I added some essential oils at the end to give an even greater sensory experience.
  5. IMPORTANT NOTE: To make a green, orange, or yellow play dough, visit our website (

It only takes 5-6 minutes to make each play dough patty. Less than an hour will give you a rainbow of naturally-dyed homemade sensory play dough!

The kids get an extra look at a bit of science watching the colored liquid race up the mound of salt when we poured it in the pan. It’s amazing what can become absolutely enthralling to young, inquisitive minds! 🙂

Any questions or comments? Leave them below! (P.S. I LOVE comments.)


2 Responses to DIY Red, Blue, & Purple Play Dough with Natural Homemade Colorings

  1. Adele November 23, 2015 at 3:03 am #

    Love the post thank you so much for this! Is it edible with the essential oils in it or does it not burn the little ones skin?


    • Anni November 28, 2015 at 9:21 pm #

      Some little ones may be sensitive to different oils. So do be aware of that. Particular oils such as the citrus oils (orange, lemon, etc.) and the spice oils (cinnamon, clove, etc.) can burn or irritate sensitive skin. Lavender is one that is pretty much fine with any skin. But still, do be careful and aware. And don’t use too much. Not much is needed anyway for a fragrant play dough. 🙂


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