Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Best Homemade Playdough Recipe

I'm gonna be honest here - I love the smell of store bought Playdoh.

BUT I don't like how fast it dries out. For years, I've made my mom's homemade playdough. This recipe is a cooked playdough and it's the best! It is long lasting. If stored properly it will last for months. It's NOT sticky. It IS squishy and perfect for molding, and it doesn't dry out quickly. It's my very favorite!

Best Homemade Playdough Recipe

So here's the deal. This homemade playdough is made with regular cooking ingredients - flour, salt, cream of tartar, water, oil and food coloring. It does NOT taste good, but if your little one happens to eat a little, there's no need to freak out. Because you know what's in it.

When my kids get bored, I pull out the playdough and they will play for hours. Even though my younger girls are now 8 and 10, they still will pull out the playdough and create stuff all afternoon. Their latest thing is creating layered cakes, with each layer a different color. Then they "frost it" with more playdough and cut a slice to see all the layers.

DIY Playdough

I decided it was time for my girls to learn to make playdough themselves. It required some supervision, but they were able to do it. And you can too!

How to Make Playdough

How to Make Homemade Playdough

Add all ingredients into a pan. {Recipe is at the end of the post} If you would like all the play dough to be the same color then add the food coloring at this point. We like to make several different colors, so we add the food coloring later.

Ingredients for playdough

 Mix together.

mixed ingredients for playdough
Now cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.

 After a few minutes it will look like this. It's NOT done yet. Keep stirring.
keep stirring playdough ingredients

When it forms a ball, I always stir an extra minute or two. If' it's under cooked it can be sticky - you don't want that.
stir until mixture forms a ball

This is what it should look like. {And don't worry about the dough that sticks to the bottom of the pan, just soak it and it will come right off}

playdough is ready

Now let it cool a few minutes so you don't burn your hands. Then separate the dough into sections and add food coloring. We poke holes in the dough and add drops of food coloring in the holes.

adding coloring to playdough

Then squish it until it the color is uniform throughout.

squish playdough until color is uniform throughout playdough

My girls wanted a rainbow of colors.

colored playdough

Store in an airtight container - I use zip top bags.

I usually double the recipe.

how to make playdough

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Best Homemade Playdough

Best Homemade Playdough

Servings: 1
Author: Rachel Nielsen
Prep time: 10 MCook time: Total time: 10 M
This play dough is the best! It is NOT sticky and doesn't dry out quickly. It will last for months if stored properly.


  • 1 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. salt
  • 2 t. cream of tarter
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 1/2 T. vegetable oil
  • food coloring


  1. Combine all ingredients (except possibly the food coloring, see note)
  2. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until dough forms a ball.
  3. Let cool a few minutes before handling.


If you want all of your play dough to be the same color, add the food coloring in at the beginning. If you want multiple colors of play dough, separate the dough and add drops of food coloring to each piece. Then "play" with it until the color spreads evenly throughout the dough.
playdough, homemade playdough, how to make playdough,
Created using The Recipes Generator


  1. My daughter has been begging for more playdoh! Thanks for the recipe!

  2. I think we're going to try this soon!

  3. Oh how fun!! I made this for my daughter a few months ago and she loved it. I think I will have to make it again.
    a homemaker's journey

  4. mom used to make this for us all the time. Needless to say, its also safe if they eat it! lol.

  5. I have been planning to make play dough from scratch. Thanks for the recipe.


  6. This is identical to the recipe I use! LOVE it! I have a pretty much identical post! I made a cute package for a friend's little girl for her birthday!


  7. I think this is the same recipe that I use, and I totally agree with you that it's awesome how long it lasts! I keep meaning to make some with glitter. Have you tried that? Happy playing! http://auroraspitfire.blogspot.com/2012/01/two-kinds-of-dough.html

  8. Hi! Followed you over fro Daisy Cottage Designs Off the Hook blog hop. I have seen several recipes in pinterest, but have not attempted yet. My daughter is now 15 months old so I think it might be fun to try it now, even though she won't really know what to do with it. I love the smell of play dough as well. Now following via GFC :)


  9. I keep saying I'm going to do this and keep forgetting. But I seriously am. SOON. Following you thanks to Delightful Orders link up post. :)

  10. Linked over from linkin with my ladies. Cant wait for my son to get older so we can play.


  11. Came over to have a look from Judy's blog. Looks like her daughter had so much fun with this recipe. Am going to pin it to try soon! Cheers