Sugar Aunts: How to Make Crayon Play Dough Recipe

How to Make Crayon Play Dough Recipe

Did you know that September 16th is National Play Dough day?  Me either, until a blogging buddy brought it up.  What a better day than to share our DIY Rainbow Crayon Play Dough recipe?  We first made our crayon play dough recipe to go along with a book activity that called for purple play dough.  But when the kids started playing with this dough every single day?  I loved it for the fine motor benefits.  My kids just thought it was cool to make play dough from old crayons.  I knew we had to make a few other colors.  

And that turned into every color of the rainbow. 

This Crayon play dough recipe is so easy, that you'll want to make it in every shade, too.  Here is everything you need to know about How to Make Crayon Play Dough:
Use broken crayons to make your own crayon play dough recipe

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How to make Crayon Play Dough:

crayons, chopped into pieces.  We used 2 and a half of each crayon color.
vegetable oil 
cream of tartar

Make a rainbow of play dough using crayons in every shade.

RELATED READ: How to Make Crayon Floam

Now, when we made play dough in a rainbow of colors, things were moving very quickly over the stove.  I didn't get a chance to take many action shots.  With the heat of the stove, hot oil, and chopping up the crayon bits, this is a job for the mamas or papas rather than helpful kids.  Older children certainly could do this recipe.  I wasn't able to take pictures while making our dough. :(

You can see how the crayons were chopped in our Harold and the Purple Crayon post that inspired more colors of play dough.  Start by chopping up your crayons into pieces.  This is where your broken crayons will come in handy.  We used a variety of brands of crayons mixed together and it didn't seem to alter the texture of the dough.

DIY crayon play dough recipe

The kids had fun picking out the shades of the colors for our dough.  Baby Girl insisted on having pink.

How to make crayon play dough

Use Broken Crayons to Make Crayon Dyed Play Dough:

You'll need the following ingredients:

2 Tbsp oil
2 and half broken crayons (each color)
2 cups water
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cup salt
2 Tbsp. cream of tartar

I halved these ingredients to make each shade.  If you read our Harold and the Purple Crayon post, you saw that we used 2 and a half chopped up crayons for the full recipe as well.  When I halved the ingredents, I kept the amount of crayons and we got bright, bold colors for our dough.  Perfect for playing!  

First, chop up 2 and a half crayons.  

In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, salt, cream of tartar)

Next, heat the oil in a pan.  Add the chopped crayons.  Stir until the crayons are completely melted.  Slowly stir in 2 cups of water while stirring.  Certain types of crayons will either make a clumpy purply goopy looking liquid.  Other types will make a smooth liquid once the water is added.  Either way is fine.  Just keep stirring. 

Slowly, stir in the dry ingredients.  The dough will pull together in a ball over the heat.  Once the dough pulls together, dump it out onto a cutting board or counter.  Let the dough cool until you can tolerate kneading.  Knead the dough for a few minutes until smooth.  

By the time we got to our last color, we ran out of cream of tarter.  I know that in certain areas of our readership, cream of tartar is unavailable.  Without the cream of tarter, the dough recipe still worked fine, just a little less smooth.  

To make all of the colors of dough, I had to hustle a little; I made one color, plopped it onto a cutting board, let it cool while starting the next batch.  When the first color was cool enough to touch for kneading, I took a little break from the stove mixing and crayon chopping.  It got a little hectic in the kitchen, and you may want to completely mix up one color at a time.  For your own sanity ;)

Note: If you have an old pan, use that to melt the crayons down.  I was able to get any waxy residue out of my pan with soaking and boiling dish detergent on the stove, though. 

How to make crayon playdough. Melt down broken pieces of crayons for a bright play dough color.

Use broken crayon pieces to make crayon play dough.

This dough is such a soft dough but is it is still a great way to incorporate fine motor skills and strengthening in a vividly colorful way.  In fact, playing with crayon play dough would be a great way to work on pencil grasp and an awesome addition to one of the top 5 blog posts that we've shared, on improving pencil grasp with fine motor activities

Use broken crayons to make your own crayon play dough recipe

Let us know if you make this recipe.  We would love to hear about it and see pictures.  Stop by and share on our Facebook page.  

A few more play dough recipes that look like a fun way to celebrate National Play Dough Day:

  • Edible Pumpkin Pie Play Dough from Coffee Cups and Crayons
  • Fall Play Dough Fun from Craftulate
  • Fine Motor Play Dough Activities from What Do We Do All Day?
  • Beach Themed Microwave Play Dough from Teach Me Mommy
  • Gingerbread Play Dough from FSPDT
  • Fall Play Dough Mats from This Reading Mama
  • No Cook Natural Cinnamon Play Dough from Natural Beach Living
  • Play Dough Activities All Year Long from Little Bins for Little Hands
  • Gingerbread Play Dough from The Pleasantest Thing

  • If you like the idea of using your broken crayon pieces in something as fun and creative as play dough, then you will love to try a few different ideas, too.  We've given crayon play dough a run for it's fun and tried a few different versions.  Check them out and if you make a batch, let us know how you get creative with crayon play dough!

    Favorite Play Dough recipes and activities for kids:

    Click on the images or the links below each image:
     Crayon Floam Dough recipe 3 Ingredient Kinetic Sand Play Dough

     Fizzy Baking Soda Play Dough Recipe Crayon Play Dough Recipe Crayon Salt Dough Recipe

     Metallic Gold, SIlver, Bronze Crayon Play Dough Recipe Body Wash Play Dough Recipe Frozen Pixy Sitx Candy Play Dough Pencil Grasp Play Dough Exercise

    Do you LOVE using play dough as a sensory and fine motor tool in therapy and in play? I have a subscriber-only play dough mat that is designed to work on the intrinsic hand muscles which are needed for pencil grasp and fine motor skills.  Read more about the play dough mat and the areas it will help with HERE.  

    This play dough mat is available for FREE only for our Play Dough is Awesome newsletter group.  (This is a different email list than our regular subscribers.  If you're on our subscriber list, you'll still need to sign up for this one to receive the play dough freebies coming your way!)

    Join me!  And get ready for Awesome Play Dough Play!

    Use broken crayons to make soft crayon dyed play dough

    More ideas you will LOVE:

    Moms Sneak Chocolate Country style ribs crock pot recipe How to make play dough with old broken crayons Carrot Veggie Puffs Recipe


    1. I love this idea. What a great way to re-cycle broken crayons. This is a perfect winter activity with my granddaughter. She loves play dough. Pinned it and posted it to Twitter. Thanks for sharing.

      1. Thanks so much for sharing! Those broken crayons seem to multiply, right?? Have fun!

    2. I know black is a difficult color to make. I wonder if it would work since your colors look so true to the crayons.

    3. Love this! I have seen and tried recipes that use equal amounts of either vinegar or lemon juice instead of the cream of tartar and they work well! I lucked into cream of tartar cheap at an Aldi's so now I am back to using it.

    4. So, for this recipe it should be 1 Tablespoon of Oil and so on, s that correct?

    5. Sounds really cool and looks like it makes beautiful dough. However I have a concern--use only crayons that definitely have no lead in them! This is especially true if you have a child who likes to nibble on the dough or who would chew on the accompanying toys so that they might ingest lead.

      1. since when do crayons have lead in them?? Since they're made for children's use, I hope none do.

    6. Thank you for the recipe! I made a bunch of colors for my kids. Even though I halved the dry ingredients, I needed the 2 cups of water. Worked very well and my twins are loving it. Even halved, this makes a lot of playdoh (mine was about 2lbs each time!).

    7. I just found and used your recipe today. I was going to use my mom's old recipe in the kitchen aid and see if it worked... I'm so glad you tested and shared this recipe. It turned out just perfect. And I can't believe it's so soft.

    8. ما تهتم به شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالرياض هو البحث عن كيفة علاج مشاكل تسريبات المياه التي تطرأ علي المكان فجأة بواسطة اجهزة الكشف الحدية التي تستخدمها شركة كشف تسربات بالرياض والتي تسعي للوصول الي افضل النتائج المثالية القادرة علي حل هذه المشكلة بدون تدمير فالاعتماد علي الاساليب الحديثة يساعدكم في الحصول علي نتيجة مثالية في مصلحة العميل فنحن لا نكتفي بتقديم هذه الاعمال في مدينة الرياض فقط بلا لدينا الفنين المتميزة الذي يقدمون شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام التي تعمل علي حل مشكلة البيت بدون الاعتماد علي ا اساليب تقليدية التي تستخدما بعض مقدمي خدمة شركة كشف تسربات بالدمام فلا تتكايل بشأن هذا العمل بالذات لانه يحل لك الكثير من المشاكل

    9. This recipe is pretty awesome. it works well I adapted part of your recipe (with credit of course) in my glittery play dough recipe, it was taking me so long to figure out how to make the colors pop and the crayons were just what I needed.

    10. Thanks so much! I tried and worked pretty good! I included a little of the Kool Aid to give a good smell! Great!

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    11. Do you think you could melt the crayons in the microwave?


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