Recycling Old playdoh into unique embellishments Part I

If you have kids, this is probably a familiar sight.

That dreaded mush of  Playdoh  that is barely distinguishable as  the original bright fun colors it once was.

Now it’s just…. kind of like old socks….no longer that sparkling white after years of use and abuse



Well never fear…. Playdoh is cheap enough, specially if you manage to snag a deal on it around Black Friday like we did a few years ago.  Splash out and get your kid some new Playdoh, they will love you for it…. and you get to make some cool new crafting embellishments.  What makes it even cooler is your embellishments will be one off, unique creations and if your kids or grandkids are crafty… this is something you can do with them too.  A great crafting time and a valuable lesson in recycling  “trash” into treasure.


Now for this project tutorial… I am using some molds I bought a year or so ago.  These are sugar icing molds I believe, except for the alphabet one which if I recall correctly is a Mod Podge mold designed for use with some glue sticks they also produce for mold making purposes.

But never fear… if you don’t have molds like these, you don’t have to run out and buy them.  Check the toy box I bet you have things in there that have potential..and your house is a virtual gold mine for  items that can be used.  You are a crafter…. I will lay bets you have at least one rubber stamp or embossing folder in your supplies that has a design that  will work.


Don’t forget that it’s not going to look much of anything  untill it hardens and you can paint it.. so use your imagination when choosing  mold designs.

PoPNow if you are a thrifty crafter, you may already know that plaster of Paris is damned
expensive when bought at crafting stores…. usually it’s a small bag and barely enough for a project or two.  Well let me tell you a secret…. DIY stores carry 25 lb bags for around $15, so check your local stores.  This is a great way to buy P of P if you have kids, teach, or plan to make larger projects.  It sets super quick and  then it can be painted with a variety of different paints and finishes.  One day I may write about my escapades back in the UK and the giant eggs made of plaster.  That is a whole post on its own and a project for the brave LOL



The other thing you can use if you don’t have old Playdoh around and don’t want to mess with P of P …. is Fimo or similar polymer clay, which come in a  huge variety of colors….including glow in the dark.  OMG that was so cool back in the day when I made my own Jewelry beads.  Fimo is one you had to bake in the oven…. some of the others may, or may not require baking, so check first.


anywho…. sidetracked again…. LOL


All you need to do is fill the molds with the crappy old Playdoh and I use an old Credit Card, or gift card to scrape off the excess.  The less excess the better, then you won’t have to do so much clean up on the edges later once it dries…. and then leave it to dry.  The first time I tried this; I turned them out onto a sheet of card, but they dried funny as the card absorbed moisture and warped a bit in the process.



These molds are not super deep, so turning them out on a glass board, or  other non porous surface is a bit challenging too if the playdoh is very soft and moist.  So this time,  I am going to exhibit some rare patience and leave them to dry in the molds ….or at least partially before turning them out LOL.  I did not smooth the back sides of these down intentionally, so there was more purchase for glue to achieve a good solid bond later.

Now I am pretty sure if you are impatient like me…. you could probably speed up the drying process by baking this in the oven like Fimo.  If you google baking Playdoh there are a gazillion posts on the subject.

Come back for the 2nd part of this tutorial next week when I take my hardened Playdoh pieces from these molds… and some pieces you haven’t seen yet….and turn this ugly mush into something really cool.


War and Peace – “Playdoh Edition” To be continued …… later this week !!!  That should give you plenty of time to find some old Playdoh and some cool things to use as molds…. and maybe even get some pieces drying while you wait.

Coming up in part II
 A variety of molded pieces and decorating ideas to turn your Playdoh from grubby, to gorgeous.  

Coming up in Part III  –  Project sample gallery, ideas for using your gorgeous new embellishments.    Lots of cool ideas for unique Christmas gifts.




  • I’m working on part II right now, just waiting on a few “extras” to arrive in the mail that I want to use on them. It’s crazy… I just keep finding cool ways to do things with this and the fun part is it’s super cheap. Either using stuff I already have, or anything extra I buy is like a couple of bucks here and there.

    Hint…. since you have to wait for the Part II… I found something really cool at Hobby Lobby the other week that caught my eye and I figured I was going to try them out. I was playing around with them tonight while lil man made more Playdoh Teenage Mutant Turtles…. which by the way I have to take a picture of and show you. For the first time he is actually modelling with Playdoh, not just Hulk Smashing it or using cookie cutters.
    It was soo cool…. anywho I digress. So I was testing out these new”things” and he looks at me and says he wants to see what I am doing… well that was it. My stuff suddenly was on his tray and he took over “production”

    So these new ones are perfect for crafting this recycled playdoh idea with toddlers… I now have a craft assistant to make my playdoh blanks haha and when his are dried, I think we are going to make some stuff for Grandma 🙂 It’s such a fun thing to do with him and he had a blast… You are so going to want to get some of these to use with Ms E when she comes to visit.

    I also bit the bullet and finally ran this through my Boutique… I’d been avoiding it and considering buying a pasta machine…. and then thought …. why the hell not…. the Boutique cost me less than $20 with a coupon and the pasta makers are about the same…and I don’t need to wait a week. So in it went…. it works really well and I think varying the shims used will give it enough versatility as far as thickness goes.

    My first attempts were paper thin…..which is crazy…. it will work for some folder patterns, but not others ….as it give an almost tattered lace effect. But anywho…. all that will come in Part II.

  • NanaDonna

    Cool sounds like fun. Hope we can find some old PlayDoh in Emma’s room.
    I am going to the Dollar store later today and I will check and see if they have
    some kind of cheap molds.

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