Monday, February 17, 2014

Homemade non-toxic art supplies


Lately we have been making our own play dough at home.   Its easy, cheap, fun for the kids and -most importantly- 100% non-toxic.  There are many recipes you can google but the one that works the best for me is the salt based playdough

  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup flour plus additional flour
  • Saucepan
  1. Mix salt, water, and flour  in pan and cook over medium heat.
  2. Remove from heat when mixture is thick and rubbery.
  3. As the mixture cools, knead in enough flour to make the dough workable.  
The playdough will be white.  If you want color you have various options:  you could use herbs (see below) or a drop or two of food coloring (which is not the most natural ingredient but in the name of balancing and perhaps making your life a bit easier I say its fine if you only use 1-2 drops.  )


Recently after reading about cadmium in some children's paint I found a recipe for homemade paint.   I still haven't made it at home (mostly because I need to buy the ingredients) but it looks like a fun activity for the many snow days we have had recently.   The recipe has been taken directly from DIY Natural , a website I recently discovered and like.


  • Powdered herbs in varying colors (find our recommended source below)
  • Clay (kaolin/white cosmetic clay used to thicken the paint)
  • Liquid: water, egg whites, glycerin
The powdered herbs recommended are:

Regarding the liquids:

  • WATER: if you use water you will create something similar to  water color paint.  The downside is that you can only store this paint for about a week in the refrigerator before bacteria starts growing
  • EGG WHITES: make slightly thicker paint (wont run down your paper if you are painting vertically.  The downside is that the paint will only last one day
  • “food-grade” glycerin:  can last up to  a month is an airtight container and makes very spreadable (although a bit runny) paint.

Happy art making!

Want to read more about some of the chemicals some mainstream art supplies have?  Read our post Cancer Causing Chemical in Paint For Kids?

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