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Fun 3D Play Dough Faces Kids Can Make

by Jean Van't Hul
February 4, 2017

Play dough faces are often made by kids, but here’s a new 3D technique using upturned bowls as a base. Plus ideas for hair and decorations.

How to Make Playdough Faces on Bowls

Play dough faces are often made by kids, right? I mean, faces and people are one of the most re-created images in children’s art, period, and play dough play is no exception.

But here’s a new way for kids to make play dough faces bigger and more three dimensional.


By using an upside-down bowl as the base.

Here’s a video showing our play dough faces in progress:

We’ve done something similar in the past, making playdough faces on pumpkins at Halloween time. But I’ve long wanted to try this on bowls for a more year-round play dough activity.

How to Make Playdough Faces on Upside Down Bowls

How to Make 3D Play Dough Faces

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  • Mixing bowl
  • Play dough in multiple colors*
  • Tools (optional), such as a butter knife, rolling pin, and garlic press or playdough press
  • Poke-ins (optional), such as googly eyes, feathers, and beads

*Use this easy, no-cook playdough recipe to make a quick batch or three of play dough. It makes a nice big batch, and the texture is great! However, if you don’t want to make your own, you can obviously buy playdough. 

No Cook Playdough in Red, Yellow and Blue


First, gather your materials. You’ll need play dough and a bowl. The rest is optional.

Turn your bowl upside down on the table.

Note: The size of your bowl depends on how big of a face or portrait you want to make. You can do this with a small cereal bowl or with a large mixing bowl. It’s up to you.

Make Playdough Faces on Upturned Bowls

Use your play dough to make eyes, nose, mouth, etc for your face and press them to the bowl.

You can cover your entire face with a play dough skin as Maia did above or just add your facial features directly to the bowl.

Use Garlic Press for Hair for Playdough Faces

To make hair, use a garlic press (or a play dough press)…

Adding Garlic Press Hair to Playdough Face

…as Maia and Daphne did…

How to Make Playdough Faces on Upturned Bowls

…or roll out snakes of play dough for your hair as I did.

Make Playdough Faces with Kids

You can use poke-ins such as googly eyes, buttons, or beads to add detail to your play dough face if you like.

Play Dough Faces on Bowls

Feathers can be a fun embellishment, too!

Playdough Faces on Upside Down Bowls

Here are our family’s play dough faces, mostly finished. See the play dough flower in the hair of the play dough person on the left? Maia came up with a special technique for making those with a garlic press.

Want a quick demonstration?


Check out Maia’s new technique for making playdough flowers with a garlic press!

A video posted by The Artful Parent ❤ Kids Art (@jeanvanthul) on

Here’s a brief video of Maia showing us how that I shared on Instagram the other day…

Playdough Faces for Kids on Upside Down Bowls

Daphne decided to make a play dough flower for her face, too, but then took it to an extra level by poking beads into it.

More Ideas for Play Dough Faces

  1. Make Awesome 3D Playdough Faces on Pumpkins (with poke-ins, too!)
  2. Playdough Monsters
  3. People Playdough Mats (free printables on Picklebums)
  4. Snowman Playdough Activity and Gift

Pin It for Later

Play dough faces are often made by kids, but here's a new 3D technique using upturned bowls as a base. Plus ideas for hair and decorations. #kidsart #artsandcrafts #sensoryexperience #playdough #preschoolers #kidsactivities

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