Since December is a month focused on GIVING, we wanted to do our part, too. From now through the end of the year we’re going to give you DIY ideas for holiday gift giving and creating. And we’re starting out with homemade playdough…with a bit of a twist. Our homemade playdough uses essential oils to sweeten the scent (and banish the germs).
Once we decided to add essential oils to our homemade playdough, then we thought about what we wanted to DO with all this playdough when it came to gift giving. Our conclusion: Build Your Own Indoor Snowman Kit. This project is super simple, very inexpensive and comes in its own recycled packaging. You’ve probably got most (or all) of the ingredients you need already laying around the house.
Here’s what you need:
2 batches of homemade playdough (see below)
Essential oils (we used peppermint and wild orange and white fir)
Glitter (white or clear)
Twigs, buttons, tiny rocks, etc.
Scraps of fleece or other kinds of material for scarves.
Two jars with a lids (or other air tight containers)
Labels (you can use the ones we created if you’d like to download them here).
Black acrylic paint
Less than one hour of your time
To get started, collect all your pieces and parts, wash jars, etc.
Once you’ve assembled all your parts, make your playdough. To make the ‘snow’ for the snowman, make a batch of playdough (recipe below) and omit food coloring to leave it a natural ‘white’. Add 2-3 drops of peppermint essential oil (or flavor of your choice) to this white dough. Once you pull it from the stove, add clear/white glitter to the playdough and knead it in evenly. One batch will make enough playdough for two snowmen.
Next, make a half batch of playdough, omitting the glitter, but adding orange food coloring and 1-2 drops of wild orange essential oil (or flavor of your choice). This is the nose for the snowman. (A half a batch of orange is good for several batches of snowmen noses.)
If you’re giving to younger children, make second half batch of playdough, this time coloring it black (you can find black food coloring in the cake decorating section of a store like Michaels, or order it online here). These will be the SAFE eyes, mouth, buttons, etc. for the snowman. Add 1-2 drops of white fir essential oil (or flavor of your choice).
Because I was giving my snowmen to older children, I omitted the black playdough and painted a handful of tiny stones black and added buttons and bobbles to the mix. Use caution when giving to young children as these things could be choking hazards. If you’re unsure, play it safe and use black playdough.
Jars are assembled in layers: stuff half a batch of white playdough in the bottom of a clean jar or other type of container. Add a layer of plastic wrap or wax or parchment paper, add a bit of orange nose playdough, another layer of plastic wrap, add some black playdough, more plastic wrap, and sticks and scarf to the top (add buttons and pebbles to top as well if you’re including them) and screw on the lid.
We’ve enclosed the labels we made for this project and you’re welcome to download and print them for your own use as well.
1 cup (white) flour
1/2 cup salt
1 Tablespoon Cream of Tartar
1 tablespoon cooking oil of your choice
1 cup water
1-3 drops of essential oil (we used peppermint, wild orange and white fir–one scent per batch)
Clear or white glitter (for the ‘white’ snow playdough)
Heat up oil in saucepan on medium heat. Once oil is warm, add flour, salt and water. Add food coloring, if using. Stir until mixture forms soft ball, generally 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat. Place on counter or cookie sheet and knead playdough several minutes. If you’re adding essential oils and/or glitter, do it in the kneading process. Store in air tight containers.