playing with colors

Day 13 of 31 Days to Build Creative Confidence: Playing with colors part 3

Did you make mudpies when you were a child? I did, filling them with dirt, pebbles and even doodle bugs. Family rumor has it that I made my little brother taste them… all I remember is how good it felt to play with the mud, to mold and shape it and run my hands through it. From mud, I progressed to playdough and sidewalk chalk. I never lost that love of getting my hands dirty – although now they are more likely to be covered in paint, clay or ink.

playing with colors

I made the piece above using Premo clay, this is designed for at home use and you just bake it in the oven. I am staying with my Mom right now for vacation and she has so many colors of clay to choose from and a variety of fun tools to play with. She makes incredible art with this clay, like this piece below. I could easily become addicted to this medium just because of the array of colors and how easy it is to use. Plus, I love working with my hands!

premo clay art

Be sure to check out part one and part two of this mini-series on playing with colors. On day one, we made a color wheel. On day two, I suggested people just play with looking at colors around them and then put color on paper, trying to match what they saw. One aspect of making art that you will see many well-known artists and crafters talking about is to pick a palette of colors that are uniquely yours and that you love to work with. Lately, I have been drawn to very vibrant, almost neon colors in my work, as you can see from the clay piece I created.

For day 13 of Build your Creative Confidence, I am going to encourage you to get your hands involved in playing with colors! We are going to make playdough. Or, if you feel so inclined, you can go buy Play Doh at the store or head on over to your local craft story and buy some Premo clay.

Lesson 13: Let’s  Make playdough

playing wiht colors

Look at the vibrant colors of the playdough in this image above. I can feel the soft, doughy texture just from looking at the photo. Making homemade playdough is super easy. If you have kids, this is great fun to do with them but don’t be afraid to say, “This is my playdough!” Or if you don’t have kids and haven’t seen a tub of playdough for 20 years, it’s time to remember how to have fun like a kid again!

Recipe for Playdough

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1.5 cups salt
  • 6 tsp. cream of tarter
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • 3 cups water

Instructions:

Pour all ingredients into a large pot. Stir constantly over medium heat until a dough ball forms by pulling away from the sides. Knead dough until the texture matches play dough (1-2 minutes). Store in plastic container. Should last for at least 3 months.

To color the Playdough:

Break the large ball of playdough into several smaller sections, you can make as many as you want! Our goal today is to play with creating color!

There are several things you can use to color the playdough:

  • Regular McCormack’s food coloring you can buy at the grocery store. The colors will not be as bright and it takes a lot of the color to get the vibrant shades you want.
  • Wilton cake decorating food coloring is your best bet for achieving great colors. Available at craft or baking stores.
  • A popular coloring, especially when working with kids is to use dry packets of Kool-aid.

For added fun, you can add glitter to your playdough. Who doesn’t love a little bling in their art.

Experiment with the different colors or make your playdough all different shades of one color. Enjoy getting your hands dirty!

The playdough will keep in the fridge for several months so hang on to it, and when you are feeling stressed, pull it out and play with it! Use cookie cutters or create shapes on your own. Working with your hands is a great way to relieve stress and stay present in the moment.

What are you favorite memories of getting your hands dirty as a child?