Sunday, April 20th, 2014

Art & Reusing: Coffee Playdough


dscf4155.jpgdscf4176.jpgdscf4193.jpgI decided to try a NEW art project for this post and its related to me recently starting to drink coffee (I’m 31 and never liked coffee but 3 kids make you tired enough to try it!). I had heard you could make coffee dough with the used grounds and I looked it up on the web. I found quite a few recipes but a lot of them used instant coffee, which I didn’t have and the idea of reusing the old grinds was nice (composting works too but the dough is more fun and hell I can compost the dough after too). The kids had so much more fun with this dough than I would have thought. While they were making it Ethan kept saying it was gross so I went with that and said it was gross dirt dough. They were excited! Once I kneaded it and handed it over things got better. It has a great texture and smell. They rolled balls, made snakes and then I got out the dinosaurs for them to make fossil tracks. Ethan wants to do this activity at his upcoming dinosaur party! John got in on the action while I took pictures of them playing forever with this new “dirt dough”. You NEED to try this!

Here is the recipe I tried:

Coffee Playdough (mix the following, after play it can be stored in a zip-lock bag):

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 cup used coffee grounds
  • 1/2 cup cool coffee (more or less depending on how wet/dry the grounds are)

Here is a recipe I’ll try next time (you are supposed to let your creations air dry for up to a week with this recipe):

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2cups used coffee grinds
  • 1 1/2 cup salt (I didn’t make this recipe because I didn’t have enough salt!)
  • 1 cup sand
  • up to 1 cup water (add slowly to above ingredients and use only as much as you need to get it a good dough consistency)

Here is another recipe I’ll try in the future:

Coffee Grounds Playdough
• 1 cup coffee grounds (used, by dried out)
• 1/4 cup Salt
• 3/4 cup Cornmeal
• Warm water
1. Lay grounds out on a cookie sheet to dry.
2. Mix grounds, salt and cornmeal.
3. Add warm water slowly while stirring until a dough-like consistency is achieved (it will be a grainy
4. Play with it as you would playdough

****So this is turning into some long post! In my web travels I found this site about uses for coffee grinds and now I want to start collecting them from coffee shops too (for my compost and so I can make a huge patch for the party)! I already collect other people’s bags of leaves in the fall to compost and mulch my garden with so why not add to my quirks and collect used coffee too!dscf4179.jpg

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7 Responses to “Art & Reusing: Coffee Playdough”
  1. piseco says:

    What fun! I’ve tried the one with cornmeal in it – on the rare occasions that someone is at my house using my mom’s old coffee maker, I always try *something* with the grounds! I’ve seen the air-dry recipe with sand and wanted to try it, but no coffee drinkers yet. : ) I bet I could have M. save them from the big pots at work! (He already brings home those enormous coffee cans whenever I want them.)

  2. That looks like fun! I think I’ll ‘borrow’ it and maybe try it today and use it for one of my first post on my new Kids Crafts blog! I’ll definitely give you a shout-out, though! ;)

    And that way I’ll get to sorta fulfill my composting urges – since the grumpy old guy I call ‘hubby’ (on good days) ;) won’t let me compost for real!

  3. Gwendell Octavia Grier-Simmons says:

    In the past, I have worked with pulp paper and paper mache.
    I, also, have worked with sawdust. Just in the last couple of days, I have been experimenting with used coffee and sawdust. Both of these are free at Starbucks and the home improvement stores, respectively. I have been working on trying to get some old flour from the food bank. This would be flour that they would have to throw away.

  4. candy g. says:

    I’ve tried this recipe in my preschool classroom and it’s a BIG hit each & every time i do it. I usually make it w/ the kiddos when we’re doing a dinosaur unit. They love to shape volcanos with it.


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