Rose Petal Play Dough

Published: January 10, 2022 · Updated: February 22, 2024 by Sacha — This post may contain affiliate links. Read our full disclosure.

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!

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, color-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 favorites. 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!

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Required Ingredients

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

Ingredients to make rose petal play dough.
  • 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 coloring (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.

How to Make Rose Petal Play Dough (Step-by-Step)

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!)

Dry ingredients combined in white bowl.

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!)

Rose being chopped up on white cutting board.

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

Dry ingredients with chopped rose petals in white bowl.

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.

Dry ingredient and rose petal mixture with wet ingredients added.

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.

Cooked rose petal play dough in black 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.

Large ball of rose petal play dough on round white plate.

6. Add Food Coloring (Optional)

You can skip this step if you’d rather keep the play dough white—the color 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 color, so I divided it into three equal-sized balls and kneaded pink food coloring into two of them until the color was spread evenly throughout the play dough.

Pink rose petal play dough with tube of gel food colouring.

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

Once the food coloring 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!

Stack of 3 balls of rose petal play dough beside a red rose.

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!

Stack of 3 balls of rose petal play dough beside a red rose.

Scented Rose Petal Play Dough

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!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Cooling Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Play Dough
Cuisine American


  • 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 coloring 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 coloring with your hands. (Place the play dough in a sealed bag to prevent the food coloring from staining your fingers.)
  • Give the dough to your child to play with! Store each color 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.
Have you tried this?Mention @thecraftathomefamily or tag #thecraftathomefamily to let us know how it went!

Related Play Dough Recipes

Love homemade play dough? Check out these easy DIY recipes:

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2 thoughts on “Rose Petal Play Dough”

  1. Hello,

    Do the roses in the rose playdough go bad? I know playdough can last a few weeks if stored correctly but wondering if the flowers will dry out or make the dough go bad faster?
    Thanks in advance!

    • Great question! We have never had any issues with this play dough going bad due to the rose petals. I think this is because the heat and salt content dry out the petals, so it’s sort of like using dry flower petals instead of fresh ones. Since the rose petals dry out really quickly due to the salt, they never have the opportunity to go bad and they just end up as decorative elements in the play dough!


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