Tutorial: Scented Play-doh

01 Oct


During Chapter 15, Emilia insisted I should tell people how exactly this smelly play doh came about. Here it is. Lots of words and few pictures! (unless you click on the links)

Through too much browsing on the Internet, I have discovered that you can make play-doh smell like pretty much anything. You can take existing play-doh and add Kool-Aid, spices,essential oils or frosting powder to make it smell.

Like these guys did here:

Or, if you make your own play-doh, you can add smelly stuff when you are mixing. I have also discovered that recipes for play-doh vary greatly. I have seen recipes with 2-4 times more salt and/or 2-4 times more cream of tartar than the recipe I use. What I take from this is you don’t have to worry too much about measuring when it comes to play-doh.

Here is the recipe I use. I got from Tara several years ago.

1 cup flour, ¼ cup salt, 1 cup water + food coloring, 1 tsp cream of tartar, 1 tblsp oil (mix the food coloring into the water to get a consistent color, you can always add more as you mix it)
Mix flour, salt and cream of tartar in a saucepan.  Add the water, oil and food coloring and stir until smooth.  Stir over medium heat until play dough forms a ball.  Allow to cool.

I have also found that if you “overcook” and it is too hard and crunchy, you can just add some water to it and mix well with your hands. It will be incredibly slimy at first, but eventually gets to a normal consistency. You could also add lotion, or conditioner, or shampoo to make it softer and less hard and cooked. I tried it that with some overcooked playdoh in this week’s smelly playdohs. I think it helped them last longer. You be the judge!

Okay, so to make this basic play-doh smell… Basically, if it was a ‘wet’ addition, I added it into the water so that the smell + water = 1 cup.  If it was dry, like cocoa powder, I added it to the dry ingredients, so cocoa + flour = 1 cup.


I was inspired by this blog, about how to make chocolate play-doh:

And then I saw lots of other blogs, including these: and

So, I went to the Christmas Tree Shoppe and bought things that smell but don’t cost a lot.


With the orange lemonhead drink, I added 2 packets of powder to the flour.  The color came from food coloring. After it was done I found it was a bit overcooked and crumbly, so I added some orange mango shampoo to the playdoh and mixed it up. It came out soft and smelly!

Then I made some grape (?) which was some weird cheap dark purplish stuff that you are supposed to add to water. I added way to much, the play doh came out black (with no extra food coloring) and smelling horrid. It’s revolting.

The coconut was made with left over conditioner from the snow in Chapter 10.  To make coconut play-doh I added conditioner to the water and mixed them together. Maybe about 1-2 parts conditioner and 3 parts water. I think I added a bit more conditioner after it was all done. That one was nice and soft and smelled great. It was Ruby’s favorite.


Lemon and almond were just using the extract from Christmas Tree Shoppe and food coloring mixed into the water. The almond totally threw the kids. Since it was pink, they kept thinking it was some kind of fruit.

I made the chocolate last. I made so much of it since chocolate is such a huge part of the chapter, but the kids weren’t as interested in it. Cinnamon was more of a favorite.

The chocolate was about 1/3 cup cocoa, 2/3 cup flour, and otherwise pretty much the same as the basic recipe. I also added a couple drops of glycerin, because I had some and it was in that blog I referred to above.

Tara made the cinnamon and peppermint play-dohs.

And there you have it. Find stuff that smells, and add it to your play-doh or play-doh recipe and you will have smelly play-doh!

Add kids and see what happens!


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Posted by on October 1, 2013 in Uncategorized


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