Galaxy Playdough

What you will need:

2 cups of plain flour
2 cups of water with black and blue food coloring
1 Tbsp. of cooking oil
1 Tbsp. cream of tartar
1 cup of salt
Mix liquid ingredients in a large pan. (FYI: I found black food coloring in a large size at Big Lots – so I added the entire bottle!  I added a small bottle of blue food coloring.  It made the dough so deep and rich!)  Begin to heat liquids.
In a separate bowl mix dry ingredients.  Add to the heating liquids.   Stir until the dough gathers and thickens.  Cook until it gets that sheen to it.  Let it cool slightly and then knead to bring proper consistency.  Store in plastic container.
I put glitter on the table for the children to push into the playdough – creating the galaxy!
I put out an assortment of items for the children to create little space scenes.

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  1. oooohhhh! I love it. My class is going to LOVE this 🙂

  2. Malarie says:

    I really love this idea! Thanks for sharing. I will do this next year when I teach my moon unit.

    • Tayter says:

      Can you ise black paint instead?

      • Carrie says:

        And on the subject of substitutions, can I use baking soda instead of cream of tartar?

        • Sally says:

          Great question! I have only used cream of tartar! Anyone? Let me know what you find out!

  3. Mrs. Magee says:

    That is the most beautiful playdoh I have ever seen!

  4. Kat says:

    love it!

  5. Just want to make sure you know that in order to get the amazing depth that this playdough has – I used a generous amount of glitter! Light blue, purple, sliver, and gold glitter were used!

  6. So glad I found this site…love it all. It does take LOTS of glitter.

    • Valerie Bell says:

      There is no such thing as too much glitter though… I am looking forward to using this with my class next half term during our ‘Space’ topic!

  7. Aunt Annie says:

    This is great! The kids love black. Must look for black food colouring. I’m bookmarking this page 🙂

  8. Beth says:

    I wonder . . . Michaels had Martha Stewart glow in the dark glitter last fall. I still have some, I’m going to add it, have the kids cut out stars and see what happens! Fun! Thanks!!

  9. c.w.frosting says:

    How fun & easy to make! Love the added sparkles! Saw this on Pinterest =)

    -caroline @ c.w.frosting

  10. creativenimi says:

    That’s a wonderful idea. My daughter is going to love it.

  11. I love this and can’t wait to make it!

  12. g-girl says:

    wow. that is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i’ve gotta get my hands on some black food coloring!

  13. Wow!! love it! how long will it last in an air-tight container?! 😀 thank you!

  14. Leah says:

    great idea, my kids would love this!

  15. Nici says:

    This is such a great idea!
    I’ll try it for the next birthday of my son! 🙂

  16. KathyS says:

    OMG, this is such a great idea!!!! Thanks!

  17. That is so, so cool! I love the sparkle and I would love to link to this if you didn’t mind.

  18. Rachel – absolutely link away!!!

  19. Magic post! Wow. My daughter was happy to do this in home))Very cool)

  20. zanimals says:

    this is SO amazing!! can’t wait to try this!
    thanks for sharin!

  21. O. Kliebert says:

    Can anyone tell me if the food coloring comes off on your hands or surfaces? I want to make it for a party, but don’t want moms mad at me later because it left color on their kids or tables……

  22. Oh my goodness, beautiful! Can’t wait to make it and use it with kids. Karen

  23. Anonymous says:

    will the dough harden? Im wanting it to.

  24. Anonymous says:

    so I made seven batches of this for my husband to teach a science unit on the solar system. We havnt used it in the class yet so I cant say much about surfaces. My counter tops are granite but came up clean. On my first three batches I managed to not get any food color on my hands in the creating process and when I played with it afterward my hands came up clean. Also I used frosting food color gel that I got at Michael’s with a 40% off coupon. So it was only like $1.60. One container did three batches for me, but I also used a tad of royal blue in each batch too. Tip: Dont let you liquid get to hot before adding the dry ingredients. It will form before thouroughly mixed leaving flour lumps, which can be kneaded out but takes a while.

  25. Anonymous says:

    yes dough will harden… and get crumbly. Just like ordinary play dough

  26. Miriam says:

    I just made this, using “doodlebug design sugar coating (TM), lily white glitter” and Wilsons brand black icing color, then I added peppermint essential oil — and it turned out wonderful!!! Thank you so much for the recipe and idea! It will be a perfect Christmas gift for lots of kiddos I know.

  27. How fun Miriam! I love that you added peppermint oil! I just purchased cinnamon extract to add to my gingerbread playdough. Fun stuff!!!

  28. Anonymous says:

    are you heating this in a large saucepan on the stovetop?

  29. Yes! I used a large pan on the stove top over medium heat.

  30. Anonymous says:

    You can use unsweetened kool-aid packets for both color & smell. Did this for years with my kids. Get deep rich color for only 25 cents! Grape was always a favorite. Could probably mix a few to get “black” color. Blue lemonade with grape might do it…

  31. Sounds fun. Have you had any problem with the glitter just disappearing? I had one lot that seemed to be adsorbed by the playdoh.

  32. We made our own batch of galaxy playdough (from your recipe) a few months ago and it was so much fun! Thanks for sharing on the 2011 Best Ideas for Kids linky party!

  33. Rebekah says:

    My daughter would love this as she is fascinated with space and loves play dough. Thank you for linking up to the Best of 2011 Blog Hop! Happy New Year!

  34. Ali says:

    My daughter would love to try this, particularly the glitter bit. Popping over from Best ideas for kids linky party.

  35. hello 🙂
    is it possible to replace the cream of tartar? I live here in Bolivia and cannot get that here…
    Greetings, Angelina

    • Anonymous says:

      Buy it on and im sure that if you have internet you have access to cream of tartar

  36. I am not sure about how to make the playdo without cream of tartar! Anyone have any suggestions?

  37. can you get alum- some playdough recipes call for that instead of creamof tartar

  38. Jodie says:

    Very nice playdough! Alum is a great substitute for cream of tartar. Just experiment some 🙂

  39. Anonymous says:

    we just made it – soooo easy, and nice to know it’s all homemade and safe! my daughter loved the part about glitter — doesn’t glitter just make everything better 🙂

  40. Anonymous says:

    My daughter made this at a friends and loves it how ever all of the sudden it is very sticky and she can’t play with it what should I do to fix it

    • I have not had this problem. I would guess it was not cooked long enough or somehow had too much liquid. I like to mix all the dry ingredients together, heat the liquids in the pan and slowly add the dry. I cook it until it is completely solid. Then let it cool a bit and knead. It should be perfect.

    • Anonymous says:

      So do you think I could just add flour until it is solid again

    • I think it is absolutely worth a try! I would heat the dough slightly and then knead more flour into it. Add the flour slowly so you do not end up with dry dough!! Let me know if it works!!

  41. Traci Wachter says:

    Thanks so much for this idea … I made 25 indivdual containers of the galaxy playdough for my son’s 5th birthday party as a favor for his space party.
    We added some glass glow in the dark moon rocks and stars and an astronaut figurine to each.
    Thanks again. Super fun idea 🙂

  42. Great activity!
    Had to share:

  43. Beth says:

    I am looking at making a LOT Of this for my library — how much play dough does this recipe make? I will probably have 30-50 kids at my program. THANKS!

    • I think it is enough for 5 to 6 children. I suggest making one batch and seeing for yourself and your specific needs. Depends on how you plan to use it! Sounds fun!

  44. JenBax says:

    Did you add the glitter after the play dough set?

  45. KAschenbach says:

    How long does this last?

  46. Amber Amlie says:

    I made this, minus the glitter a while back. As long as it is sealed Ina ziplock bag, it can last for months and months. The cream of tartar help its longevity!

  47. Anonymous says:

    does the galaxy dough harden overnite? i would love to have the down syndrome craft group i work with to try this! thanks, t. cox

  48. Anonymous says:

    Thanks so much for getting the recipe to me!! I’m a retired first grade teacher and I guess once these kinds of crafts are in your blood, you just can’t resist. Besides I now have 4 great grand kids!! 🙂

  49. Bridgette says:

    Does the glitter come out once it is in the playdough? I can’t stand glitter, but I would tolerate it for one day while I made the dough. I just don’t want to be picking it up after the fact….

  50. Jenn in AZ says:

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  51. Jenn in AZ says:

    Love this!! Saving the recipe for when I teach the Creation unit to my Sunday School preschool class. It will be GREAT! (Found you on Pinterest and repinned!) Thanks!!

  52. Anonymous says:

    can you get the same color making a non cooking playdough recipe?

    • I am not sure as I have not used the non-cooking playdough recipe for this – yet! If you try – let me know how it works!

  53. Rachel says:

    So fun! We are linking you up today here-

  54. Anonymous says:

    You can get black food coloring at places like Wal-Mart in the cake baking section. It’s actually colring “gel” but once mixed right in, has the same effect. I make wedding cakes and stuff and that’s where I get my colors for the icing. 🙂

  55. Anonymous says:

    Instead of liquid food coloring, you can use a packet of unsweetened Kool-aid. Add to your dry ingredients, it will not only color the dough, but also make it smell amazing. Grape Kool-aid, comes out a purple/black color.

  56. Mrs. Wiley says:

    My husband & I just made this for my adaptive arts class! I love the way it turned out. Once you add the dry ingredients, it does thicken quickly, but once you start kneading, it comes right together! I put mine in an old cottage cheese container & it wouldn’t all fit, so in total I would say it made about 36 ounces. Thanks!

    • Mrs. Wiley says:

      I forgot to mention that my fingers or counter tops did not get any black on them. But the glitter will fall out of the play dough while working with it. It might be a good idea to put down a plastic mat if you’re worried about it.

  57. Anonymous says:

    For those who can’t get the cream of tartar, try the jello, no-cook playdough recipe. Google up no-cook jello playdough and it should come up: contains flour, salt, hot water (micro for 1 minute), package or two of jello (can mix colours to get the one you want), little bit of oil and you can add glycerin at the end (optional ingredient…it works without glycerin). I’ve done both cooked and non-cooked playdough and they would both work for this.

  58. groupbygroup says:

    Great idea! See how ours turned out for our Space and Pirate units over at

  59. Melissa says:

    This is so cool; pinning right now!

    <3 Melissa

  60. Anonymous says:

    Waah! Mine came out almost green, and I used half bottle of black and full one of blue. I can’t imagine what I did to make it look green? I should try to add some blue glitter but I only had silver on hand. Well, hopefully the kids will like it anyway! It makes a lot!

    • This is where things can get tricky! All color is not equal! I love the Wilton Food Colors the best -it provides deep rich color. But the draw back is the price! Black is not easy to get deep and rich. I feel lucky our Big lots carries the super uber big bottle of black food coloring. I use the entire bottle! Hope the children loved it anyway!

      • Mike says:

        Hi there. I’m going to try this with my son. A suggestion: find some cool, swirly marbles of varying sizes to simulate gas planets like Jupiter and Saturn and cool nebulae. A question: do you know of any edible alternatives to glitter? I was wondering if it would be possible to use this dough to make some galaxy cookies, though ingredients would have to be added that might affect color, like vanilla extract. Then you would have to worry about baking affecting the final color. Wouldn’t want the galaxy turning brown. If you have any opinions on making these Galaxy Cookies, let me know. I’m not exactly a baking expert. Thanks!

  61. OOh – I just LOVE this – I just found it on pinterest!! Only problem is I have NEVER seen black food coloring anywhere where I live – I will have to go on an investigative hunt tomorrow and see what I can find!!

  62. I’m the Editorial Assistant for Fun Family Crafts and I wanted to let you know that we have featured your project! You can see it here:

    If you have other kid friendly crafts, we’d love it if you would submit them. If you would like to display a featured button on your site, you can grab one from the right side bar of your post above. Thanks for a wonderful project idea!

  63. Anonymous says:

    omg i LOVE this!!!wonderful

  64. Boo says:

    Do you need the cream of tartar?

  65. Nadia Carballo says:

    This is a good idea! I watch my little cousins and I always buy them clay and play-doh from the stores, which can get expensive. I will try this next time with out making my wallet sick. 🙂

  66. eSEy Bee says:

    Anyone tried it with a different flour than wheat? We have a Gluten concern, and even must be careful with toiletry products. So, I’m sure this would not be something a celiac, could use.
    Thank you!

  67. KidsCareList says:

    Love it. We featured it on our FB page at

  68. Emily says:

    Can you keep it out of the frige for a while?

    • Sally says:

      Absolutely! It will last about 14 days in a seal container. I never put it in the fridge.

  69. Christine says:

    I found a recipe for edible glitter so I’m thinking of using that! It’s cheap and I can make any color I want…this will be perfect for the boy’s Transformers bday party! Thanks so much!

  70. Colleen says:

    Thank you so much for sharing, I’ve listed it in our post ’15 remarkable uses for that flour in your cupboard!’

  71. Colleen says:

    Thank you SO much for your amazing Galaxy Playdough recipe, I LOVE it! I’ve used it on my blog post about 17 super fun ways to to keep the kids busy this weekend!

  72. Marianela Rodousakis says:

    Awesome idea!! My class loves using playdough and I can already foresee how much they would enjoy this!

    • Sally says:

      It is so beautiful and the texture is different than other doughs. I think you will find so many different ways to use this! Magical!


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