Jelly Smelly Playdough

Rose is such a playdough fanatic, it has rubbed off on me a little bit, and I get quite excited when I find a new recipe (there are a lot of recipes to try – I found one made with hair conditioner which I really want to try, but as Rose still eats the playdough, no matter how disgusting it tastes, I will continue with the food based ingredients for now)

We have had a lot of fun from our starry night glitter playdough, but it was time to say goodbye really (getting a bit sticky and soggy) and I decided that for spring we should have some bright and sweet playdough.

The starry night playdough had geletin in it, and in the supermarket I found some sugar free jelly sachets, which come as a powder a bit like the geletin – good colour and fruity smells. The quantity was quite dramatically more, but I thought it was worth a try, and found a recipe which seemed to allow for it:

the jelly for the jelly playdoughsome other ingredients for the playdough

h o w  t o  m a k e  j e l l y  p l a y d o u g h

1 cup (250ml) flour
1 cup (250ml) water
1 tbsp cream of tartar
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup (60ml) salt
Sugar free Jelly powder

Measure out your ingredients and add to a saucepan. Heat gently, stirring, until it comes away from the sides of the pan and forms a dough (it’s hard to explain it, but when it happens you will understand!)

Leave it to cool for a few minutes in the pan, then turn out and knead until lovely and smooth.

jelly playdough so bright and niceplaying with playdough

I made strawberry, orange and blackcurrant playdoughs and they smell so nice, and are lovely and spongy and soft. The orange and strawberry are the best smells I think. I did add a bit of yellow food colouring to the orange dough as it wasn’t looking very bright in the pan, but then my dough came out quite sticky so I might have upset the wet/dry balance. I kneaded it with some flour though in the same way you might if your bread dough was too sticky, and it was much better (although i did seem to have to add a lot of flour extra) Top tip!

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We played with blackcurrant first of all. So fruity and squishy. Rose still claims it’s delicious even though it is completely revolting – even more revolting than normal playdough – salty blackcurrant – oh no. I showed her how to roll out sausages and made little balls for her to squash together to make caterpillars. She liked talking to the caterpillars. Also her dinosaur liked the playdough (she likes this dinosaurs a lot at the moment – it’s a bit Peppa and George)

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I hope you’re having a lovely Easter break if you get one of those.

Air dried hearts

This weekend was a valentines weekend, and I marked the occasion making a little heart garland for our bedroom.

I have recently become aware of something called air dry clay. It seems like there are a lot of lovely things to make with it, like Tia’s super cute bowls, and Hannah’s little love hearts

In my quest to brighten up some of our bare walls, I decided a little bit of pottery would be grand, and decided a little garland might be just the ticket.

r e c i p e :

To make some air dry clay you will need:

1 cup bicarbonate of soda
1/2 a cup of cornflour
3/4 cup of warm water

m e t h o d :

Stir together the bicarbonate of soda, cornflour and water in a saucepan over a medium heat until it thickens into a dough (be careful to keep it moving so that you don’t get a layer stuck to your saucepan – although rest assured it soaks off in water no problem – voice of experience!) leave to cool before turning out and kneading until smooth.

homemade air dried clayair dried clay hearts

I coloured my clay using food colouring. I used liquid colouring so put some extra cornflour down on the worktop to help soak up the extra moisture and stop me getting into a sticky mess, added a couple of swigs of colour and kneaded again until the clay was an even colour. I had pink, yellow, blue and green colours to use, BUT something very strange happened. I am not sure why, but it might be a chemical reaction to the bicarbonate of soda… the blue was beautiful, but the yellow turned red (and dried a bit pink), the green turned brown (I didn’t use it after all. Too brown.) and the pink turned purple (but then dried beige) So weird! So I made up another small batch to keep white to add to my colour scheme.

The next step was to roll out and cut out my heart shapes. I used a freezer bag to roll out onto so that the shapes peeled off easily. I found it easiest to cut out all of my shapes, then peel away the excess from around them first before peeling them off and placing them onto grease-proof-paper on a cooling rack to dry. I put the clay I wasn’t using in bags as realised the surface dries quite quickly and this helped preserve it.

Once I had cut out all of my hearts I put holes through them using a knitting needle (I used a double pointed needle so I could thread it all the way through rather than pushing it in then pulling it back – this gave much neater holes) if you don’t have a knitting needle though something like a skewer would work, or even a pen might do it. I think my holes are slightly low as the hearts are not quite balanced when they hang (they want to flick out a bit) so it might be worth putting the holes slightly higher to help that.

air dried clay heart garland

My hearts took about 24 hours to dry well, turning half way, although I think probably another 24 hours to feel they were truely dried out. Once they were dry I used some thin ribbon to thread through and tied loops in the end to hang them. I was initially really disappointed with the colours, really it was just not at all what I had pictured in my mind, but now I have my finished garland and it is hanging in our room, I am really really pleased with it! Accidental colour magic. The colours are really sweet and compliment the colours in our room really nicely.

air dried clay heart bunting

I have recently read the Konmari book, and am feeling very inspired by her message to only surround yourself with items that ‘spark joy’ in you. We’ve started her tidying up method at home and I am getting into the habit of asking myself ‘does this spark joy in me’ – I asked myself when I looked at my little hearts and my answer was yes.

And I still have some of the clay left bagged up in the fridge – I am not sure how long it will last so I might have to think of another project quick!

Cloudy day, cloudy dough

Rose has not yet grown out of trying to eat e v e r y t h i n g she can get her hands on. She is particularly fond of playdough, despite it’s super super saltiness (and the last time that made interesting nappies. glittery.) I found some great recipes while pinteresting for playdough that is edible and during my research I discovered that there are all sorts of different sensory doughs to try with different textures and qualities – perfect for winter afternoons.

This week I made some’cloud dough’ (I have also heard it called moulding sand but that doesn’t sound so fun) I want to call it ‘snow dough’ or ‘sand dough’ as we mostly ended up making snowmen and sandcastles with it! It has a lovely quality where it compresses together when you squash it so you can build little mounds or just squash it really satisfyingly in your hands (I really enjoyed the cloud dough too!) and crumbles nicely too.

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h o w  t o  m a k e  c l o u d  d o u g h

It’s so simple – you need 8 parts flour to 1 part oil. The traditional recipe uses baby oil and, but because I was doing an edible version, I just used sunflower oil.  I used 4 mugs of flour to half a mug of oil which gave a really good quantity. I think the baby oil would definitey give a whiter and sweetly scented dough though – definitely a bit more cloudy!

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We had a lot of fun with this – although I warn you – it is messy! Definitely one for a day you are planning to get the hoover out. And when you are not feeling like you might get stressed. For us this was a similar stress level to painting. About a 7.

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To start with I let Rose play with her cloud dough on a mat on the floor, and this worked well except that her tights got really covered in it and I could see it getting trodden all over the house, so I quickly moved her to the kitchen worktop and this was a much better plan. Rose really had a lot of fun with it, and it passed a lot of time while I stood back drinking a cup of tea, (thinking about all the cleaning I was going to have to do (ha!)) she used some of the cups from her bath and a few little kitchen utensils and was busy for ages.

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Lovely stuff – I am looking forward to another doughy day soon.

Starry night for a rainy day

Rose and i are such play-dough fans, especially on days like these where the weather is really unfriendly. I always find it really worthwhile to make a little batch as Rose really likes to play. Normally my play-dough is a bit grey in colour though i have to admit. So when i saw this amazing starry night version i thought it would definitely be a good one to help me raise my game.

I liked the sound of this recipe also because of the addition of gelatin to give it extra stretch and bounce. it is a lovely and soft one.

starry night black glittery play dough

Here is the recipe for you to try:

1 cup (250ml) flour
1 cup (250ml) water and food colouring combined (i used a whole bottle of black food colouring!)
2tsps cream of tartar
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/3 cup (83ml) salt
1tsp gelatin powder
Lots and lots of glitter

Add the water and colouring to a saucepan over a medium heat and add the geletin powder. Stir until dispersed. Add the rest of the ingredients (except the glitter) and combine. Keep stirring as the mixture heats up. Take off the heat when the dough has come together and is coming away from the sides of the pan. Leave to cool for a couple of minutes before turning out and kneading. Add the glitter by rolling out a thick lump and pouring the glitter on. Knead again well  to spread it through the dough. Then it’s time to play.

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I love how dense the colour is and the contrast with the glitter. Rose really like prodding her play dough with a fork and using the rolling pin. She is quite good at sharing her play dough too. This was a really nice rainy afternoon for us.

Next time i think i might need to find a recipe for edible play-dough though…