Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Originally uploaded by Meroluni

I love making things myself, I love natural alternatives to store bought, chemical laden products, and I love being sentimental. This project was a trifecta, I got all in one.
When I was little I remember my mom making us playdough. Since she didn't allow us to buy any Play-Do this was wonderful. I watched her in amazement as she spent no money and very little time to make us what was a forbidden and expensive treat normally. She only had one food dye color, though, so our new toy came out a fleshy nude color, making everything we formed from it look lewd and suggestive. Which was great fun by itself.
Now that I am a grown up and a mom, I am in my mother's shoes, living the same life she lived and seeing from her perspective. It's fun as well as difficult. Tonight I was reading updates on Facebook and my friend Donna posted about the strength it takes as a mom to not jump in and prevent the children from making, as a friend of hers called it, grey-dough. She toyed with the idea of making a batch for herself so that the colors stay pristine.
This brought up a host of fond childhood memories and I HAD to make a batch. Thinking about my three boys, I decided on a double batch. Mike had thoughtfully remembered that I was in search off food dyes and bought me two sets he found on sale last week.
1 c Flour...check.
1 c Water...check.
1 tsp Cream of Tartar...check.
1/4 c Salt...check.
1 tsp oil...check
Dye... check.
Alrighty! Mix all ingredients in a pot over medium heat. Stir constantly til smooth and forms a ball that pulls away from the sides. Careful, this happens fast!
I dropped the ball of dough onto the counter to cool. It is still super soft and squishy, but I started kneading it as it cooled and it firmed up a little. I had to dust the counter with a little flour to keep it from sticking and to firm it up a little more because I didn't cook it quite long enough.
Then I cut it into quarters and put 6 drops of dye into a fingerprint depression I made in the top of each ball of dough. Knead carefully to avoid splashing dye on the counter or you could be smarter than me and knead it on a non-staining surface. I doubled it to getthe amount you see in the picture and each one of those is about 2/3 c.
I made the kids play with it on a giant lazy susan to keep things fair and equal as I could. Store in an airtight container. I plastic yogurt container would be perfect, but I don't have any at the moment and I am not risking my glass jars, so Ziplock baggies it is!
I love being Mom.


Becky said...

Wow,you really meant it when you said you loved the semi-obscene nude color! And I'm so touched that you remembered (in my defense) that your brother had used up all of the "good" colors the week before. I had no idea you thought I was so wonderful,lol. Fond memories....thanks for reminding me,luv

Melanie said...

Of course I loved it. How many moms make uncomfortably realistic yet creative toys? Besides, Mike and the kids all think I'm awesome since I knew how to make it. I had totally forgotten why the colors were gone, but I remembered the empty box. I should have guessed it was his fault, with his proclivity for "experiments".
I really did love making playdo, thanks mom. I love you.