Rose Petal Play Dough

Did you get roses for Valentine’s Day? Instead of letting them die, use them to make a batch of rose petal play dough. This lovely homemade play dough recipe is easy to make, lasts for months and smells like roses—it’s the perfect Valentine’s Day sensory activity for kids!

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Have you ever made homemade play dough? If not, I can guarantee you that once you do, you’ll never want to buy another container at the store.

Not only is making your own play dough at home really easy and inexpensive, but homemade play dough also last longer and feels way softer than store-bought play dough. There’s just no comparing the two.

Plus, homemade play dough has SO many different variations: glow-in-the-dark, colour-changing, scented, edible, glitter

If you have an infant, toddler or preschooler at home, you may have already tried sensory activities like edible water beads or taste-safe sensory foam.

But one of the easiest vehicles for sensory play is homemade play dough—and unlike other sensory materials that can only be used once, play dough can be stored for months and played with again and again!

This rose petal play dough is the latest one we’ve tried, and it may become one of our favourites. Not only does it smell like roses, but it also contains real shredded rose petals, which our kids LOVED.

So if you received roses from your spouse for Valentine’s Day and want to give them a second life instead of letting them wither and die, this recipe is a great way to do it!

How to Make Rose Petal Play Dough

Required Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make a batch of this lovely rose-scented play dough at home:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (bake it on a cookie sheet for 5 minutes at 350°F if you need the recipe to be taste-safe)
  • ¾ cup table salt (we buy ours in packs of three at Costco)
  • 4 teaspoons cream of tartar (if you’re going to be making lots of homemade play dough, I recommend buying this item in bulk—it lasts forever and you’re sure to go through a lot of it!)
  • 1 fresh rose
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon rose water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Pink food colouring (optional)

Note: The rose water can be substituted with a few drops of rose essential oil, but because essential oils are not safe to ingest, I only recommend doing this if your kids are old enough not to put the play dough in their mouth.

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Combine Dry Ingredients

Start by combining the flour, salt and cream of tartar in a medium pot or wok, stirring well. (I combined the ingredients inside a bowl for the sake of the pictures, but using a pot or wok from the get-go will mean less clean-up!)

Note: Raw flour isn’t safe to eat, so if your kids are young and you need this play dough recipe to be taste-safe, you’ll need to bake the flour for a few minutes before using it in order to kill any harmful bacteria. To do this, simply spread it evenly on a baking sheet and bake it for about 5 minutes at 350°F.

2. Add Rose Petals

Shred all the petals from your rose or use a knife to chop them up. (We did the latter, but you can always involve your little ones by asking them to shred the petals by hand!)

Then, mix the shredded rose petals in with the dry ingredients before moving on to the next step.

3. Add Wet Ingredients

Add the water, vegetable oil and rose water and stir until combined.

We used 1 teaspoon of rose water, but for a stronger scent, you can always add more (it should evaporate somewhat during the cooking process) and/or replace some of the water with more rose water.

4. Cook Play Dough

If the mixture is in a mixing bowl, pour it into a medium-sized pot or wok and place it on an element of your cooktop. Then, turn on the element on medium heat.

Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture forms a ball of dough that no longer sticks to the pot or wok.

Note: If you prefer your play dough recipes to be no-cook, you can always add boiling water to the flour mixture instead of cooking the dough, but you’ll need to reduce the quantity of liquid. Try starting with 1 cup of water and add more in small increments as needed until you achieve the right texture.

5. Knead Play Dough

Remove the dough from the pot or wok and set it aside to cool. Once it’s cool enough, knead it with your hands until smooth.

6. Add Food Colouring (Optional)

You can skip this step if you’d rather keep the play dough white—the colour from the rose petals will actually bleed into it a bit and leave pink streaks.

But I thought it would look pretty with a little more colour, so I divided it into three equal-sized balls and kneaded pink food colouring into two of them until the colour was spread evenly throughout the play dough.

Tip: To avoid staining your hands, place the play dough into a sealed sandwich or freezer bag and work in the food colouring through the surface of the bag.

Once the food colouring has been added, the play dough is ready to play with. Give your child a rolling pin, some heart-shaped cookies cutters or any of the other play dough accessories they love, and let their creativity shine!

The roses make this play dough recipe SO perfect for Valentine’s Day, but you can also change up the flowers in the spring or summer and use whatever you have in your garden instead!

How to Store Rose Petal Play Dough

To prevent them from drying out, keep the balls of play dough inside sealed sandwich or freezer bags with all the air removed when not in use. Storing them that way will ensure that the play dough lasts for months!

Scented Rose Petal Play Dough

The Craft-at-Home Family
Did you get roses for Valentine’s Day? Instead of letting them die, use them to make a batch of this lovely-smelling rose petal play dough!
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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Cooling Time 5 mins


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup table salt
  • 4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 rose
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • pink food colouring optional


  • Combine flour, salt and cream of tartar in a medium wok.
  • Use a knife to chop up the rose petals. Mix them in with the dry ingredients.
  • Add water, rose water and vegetable oil and stir until combined.
  • Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes a ball of dough that no longer sticks to the sides of the wok. This should take no more than 5 minutes.
  • Let cool for a few minutes, then use your hands to knead the dough until smooth. If desired, separate the dough into several balls and work in some pink food colouring with your hands. (Place the play dough in a sealed bag to prevent the food colouring from staining your fingers.)
  • Give the dough to your child to play with! Store each colour in a sealed zip-top bag when not in use.


To make this recipe taste-safe, bake the flour on a cookie sheet for 5 minutes at 350°F before using it to make the play dough. You can add rose essential oil for a stronger scent, but this will mean that the dough won’t be taste-safe.
Keyword play dough, rose petals, rose water, sensory play, valentine’s day
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The Craft-at-Home Family