How to Make Play-doh - 3 Easy Ways

What You'll Need:


  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup salt
  • 2 tsps cream of tartar (you can substitute 1/4 tsp of lemon juice or white vinegar for each 1/8 tsp of cream of tartar. Be aware if you use vinegar, the play-doh will have a vinegar smell)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Food coloring (blue and green are the best, but any color will work). A couple of drops will usually be enough. Too much and your hands will be bright blue for a couple of days.

There are some types of play-doh that require no cooking, but this isn't one of them. First, combine flour, salt and cream of tarter in a saucepan. Mix liquids and gradually stir them into the dry ingredients. When the mixture is smooth, cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until a ball forms. Remove from heat and knead until smooth. Store in a zip-loc bag.

Kool-Aid Guy

Play-doh Made with Kool-Aid


  • 2 c. flour
  • 2 c. water
  • 1 pkg. (.17 oz.) unsweetened kool-aid mix: orange, berry, lime are best (do not use grape - it turns out sort of gray in color)
  • 2 tsp. cream of tartar (you can substitute 1/4 tsp of lemon juice or white vinegar for each 1/8 tsp of cream of tartar. Be aware if you use vinegar, the play-doh will have a vinegar smell)
  • 1/2 c. salt
  • 2 tsp. oil

Add Kool-Aid to water in pan. Add remaining ingredients and stir together. Cook over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Play dough is done when color deepens and it comes together in a ball. Turn onto a plate to cool and cover tightly to store. Store in zip-loc bag.

No-Cooking-Involved Play-doh


  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 c. salt
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 tsp. oil

Add water and oil to dry ingredients. Mix well. Note: This play dough will harden when air dried.

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Comments 148 comments

Stephanie 9 years ago

Can wheat flour be used??? and does it matter what kind of oil, I have safflower oil in the cupboard, will this work?! thnx!

AroundtownSue profile image

AroundtownSue 9 years ago from Mountain View Author

Good question Stephanie. I've never tried either - I usually use all-purpose flour. I can't imagine the safflower oil would make a difference. Using wheat flour - my guess is that the play dough may be slightly more dense. The only real differences in the 2 flours are that Wheat flour has a smidge more fat, a little more fiber, 1 gram more of protein and no sugar vs. 1 gram of suger in AP. For play dough, I don't think it will make a huge difference. If you try it and it works, let me know and I'll update the recipe!

Stephanie 9 years ago

Thanx! I will let u know when/if I try the wheat flour.....I did just use the safflower oil tho and of course that worked fine and now my 4 yr. old daughter is having so much fun and said "wow mom u can make play doh??!!" so thnx again for posting your recipe!

playdomum 9 years ago

I've tried a few different play dough recipe ideas but I've not tried kool aid. I'm not we can get it over here in the UK. What is it exactly?

AroundtownSue 9 years ago

Hi playdomum,

Kool-aid is a powdered drink mix for kids. You just add water. Comes in lots of fruity flavors. You may be able to substitute it for something similar in the UK, but that's just a guess.

Mary 9 years ago

Is there any substitutes for the cream of tartar?email me the answer thx!!

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AroundtownSue 9 years ago from Mountain View Author

So, I researched this and found that you can substitute a 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice or white vinegar for each 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar. I've never tried it, so you'll have to let me know if it works. Then I'll add it to the recipe!

savanna 9 years ago

do you have to use cream of tarter to make playdough???

chloezzzzzzzzzz 9 years ago

do we have to use coloring? oh and what oil do we use? thx

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AroundtownSue 9 years ago from Mountain View Author

Hi Chloezzzz, You don't have to use color, but not sure that would make for very beautiful play-doh - it will just look like dough. But that's your call. For oil - a vegetable or corn oil will do the trick!

Abigail 9 years ago

Hi! I used the white vinegar instead of the cream of tartar and it came out good but with a horrible smell of the vinegar. I think it would be better to use the lemon juice for the smell. But I did not try it with the lemon juice.

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AroundtownSue 9 years ago from Mountain View Author

Abigail, Thanks for your post about the vinegar. Good to know!

AJIAGURL 9 years ago

That's pretty awesome with the koolaid playdoh!!:]

buddy 9 years ago

I love to make play doh but is the cool aid one edible

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AroundtownSue 9 years ago from Mountain View Author

No, not edible. I mean, technically, it probably wouldn't kill you if you accidentally consumed a little of it. But the amount of salt is the problem. I know play-doh is actually deadly for animals to ingest because of that, so it just can't be all that good for humans either. In other words, I wouldn't bake play-doh cookies anytime soon.

buddy 9 years ago

does play doh need all the salt

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AroundtownSue 9 years ago from Mountain View Author

I'm pretty sure it does. Never made it without it...

Amiy 9 years ago

wouldn't the kool-aid play dough be sticky.

like really sticky.

because i know that wen u spill kool-aid it makes u really sticky.

and does it smell like kool-aid.

let me know plz thnx.

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AroundtownSue 9 years ago from Mountain View Author

Amiy, Surprisingly, the Kool-Aid version is not sticky. And frankly, I cannot remember if it smells like Kool-Aid or not. Hope that helps!

hopsey 8 years ago

do you have to use the cream of tarter or the lemon juice or vineger

AroundtownSue profile image

AroundtownSue 8 years ago from Mountain View Author

Hi Hopsey. There is a recipe above called the No-Cooking-Involved Play-doh, that does not call for any of those. I have not tried to make the play-doh without at least one of those ingredients with the other recipes, so I'm not sure just how critical it is if you leave one out. But since there are so few ingredients, I would assume that each is essential for optimal play-doh.

Uzair  8 years ago

What's wrong with grape play-doh? Also is there any way of storing it so it won't get hard?

Thanks in advance


Uzair 8 years ago

I got the answer for the storing question. I looked above. Though for using the grape kool-aid what is wrong with that, purple is a fun color =). That does not come out right or something?

Please reply

Thank You

AroundtownSue profile image

AroundtownSue 8 years ago from Mountain View Author

It's funny...I don't remember the reason. I honestly think I was in the store buying up a bunch of Kool-Aid once and mentioned to a lady that I was going to make play-doh with it. She said - don't use purple. I am pretty sure it had something to do with the dye - that it stayed on your hands or was hard to get out of clothes. I only remember adding it to the recipe as a 'don't'. If you decide to try purple - remind me what happens! Sorry I couldn't be more helpful on that one.

Terra 8 years ago

If you omit the cream of tartar the play dough doesn't turn out right. DS used it for a short time then we had to toss it (can't remember why). Kool Aid doesn't make it sticky because you don't add gobs of sugar to play dough as you do to the drink. The smell of Kool Aid does remain in the play dough for a while. My mom makes play dough every month to use at school and has never had a problem with a particular color. You can use regular food coloring or natural dyes or herbs (tumeric, cinnamon, etc) instead of Kool Aid. Kids like to mix the food coloring in to the play dough once it has cooled slightly. But be aware that some kids are allergic to food coloring.

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AroundtownSue 8 years ago from Mountain View Author

thanks for all the great info!

Anna 8 years ago


ummm if you use the kool-aid one wont it stain your hands?

if you coould please respond that would be great. thanks

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AroundtownSue 8 years ago from Mountain View Author

Anna, yes, it may stain your hands, but as long as you wash your hands quickly, it should come off. I found a link that talks about removing Kool-Aid stains from hands. Hope it's helpful:

essence 8 years ago

why we cant use grape kool aid

Melissa 8 years ago

For the no cooking involved playdoh, is the little 'c' in the ingredients cups??

Kyra.Marie 8 years ago

is it messy to make play dough? cuz i have a day care program for 4 year olds and i don't want it to be sticking all over them

Latoya 8 years ago

i used vinegar and it came out graat with the cherry kool=aid, it still have a cherry scent to it.

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AroundtownSue 8 years ago from Mountain View Author

Melissa, yes, the little 'c' is cups.

Kyra, No, I don't think it's very messy.

Latoya, great to know!

Cameron Bradford 8 years ago

When ever you make it to make it colorful put in some food coloring or coolade in it.

playdoh updater 8 years ago

playdoh update!i found out a shocking and interesting discovery. you don't need oil, you can use nicresto crystals! they only cost 1,000,000 dollars a piece!just kidding! you can use water! im not even sure you need salt. ill check a get back at ya!!

Gareth 8 years ago

Salt would presumeably stop the dough from going off.

Chloe222 8 years ago

um im still 10 is it esey to do or do i need supervishen for the last one

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AroundtownSue 8 years ago from Mountain View Author


You should be able to make the no-cooking play-doh yourself as long as you have the ingredients. Just measuring, mixing and stirring. Good luck!

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crayons 8 years ago

does it matter what type of vinegar you use?.. because i have White House apple cider vinegar

kath 8 years ago

it cool making play dough i reakon

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AroundtownSue 8 years ago from Mountain View Author

crayons, I think the vinegar you have should work fine.

katheryn.elaine 7 years ago

the lemon juice worked fine :]

i've been trying to make good playdough for years...thanks for the recipe!

melanie 7 years ago

i just made the no-cooking playdoh i would highly recommend it if u want something quick and easy to amuse kids. If u want it too last i suggest you make it the lengthy way. My kids are amused and happy and only took 5minutes so very convenient. Cannot go wrong i don't think if all doesn't turn out just let em play in the mess lol.

gracey 7 years ago

do u have to use koolaid or tarter

KAYLA 7 years ago


sophie anne wilson 7 years ago

i don't want te cooking parts!. do we have to use them?

Melissa Malone 7 years ago

I made three batches for my Sunday school class tomorrow. I just wanted to update you on the grape issue. As I said I made three batches grape purple, lemon yellow and cherry red. I really didn't see any reason why you can't make purple. At first it looked kind of lumpy like it wasn't going to mix together well. But after taking it out of the pan, throwing a little flour on it and kneeding it for about 5 minutes it looks great. It has a good smell and my hands are a little red from the heat but they look fine.

I do have to say that the lemon yellow was a little sticky. I had to add about another cup of flour to it after it came out of the pan. I would add a little, kneed it, add a little more, kneed it. It is still slightly sticky but we will see how it is in the morning.

Jean 7 years ago

I too had a problem with the purple play dough. It came out looking more gray then purple. I tried a second version using purple jello (sugar free) and it turned out great but a little on the sticky side even after adding a little more flour. What does the cream of tartar do to the play dough? Is it a preservative?

Rory-Lee 7 years ago

Hi i was wondering if we needed any tartar or lemon juice or vinager

tina shaw 7 years ago

how do i stop my play dough from being sticky, i used the hot water method rather than cooking, is that why??

corey 7 years ago

I just tried the lemon juice instead of the cream of tartar and the playdough came out beautiful! I will let you know if anything different than the usual happens to it.

Mary 7 years ago

How much lemon juice did you put in??? The measurements up there are confusing! Do I just put in 1/4 tablespoon??

Person101 7 years ago

Is the non cooking recipie easy to use and non-stickey?(I need to use it for an organ in my cell project)

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AroundtownSue 7 years ago from Mountain View Author

Gracey, You need the cream of tartar and the Kool-aid in that recipe. One does not replace the other.

Sophie Ann, there is a "no-cooking" recipe above. Try that one.

Melissa, Thanks for sharing your play-doh experience for everyone!

Mary, if you use lemon juice instead, you'll need 4 tsp.

Rory, you need cream of tartar OR lemon juice OR vinegar in the Kool-aid method.

Emma 7 years ago

thankz so much for the recipe we are now making it all the time and making it for my daycare kids and they love it so much ~ Emma

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AroundtownSue 7 years ago from Mountain View Author

Yay! Emma, thanks for letting us know!

hardcore 7 years ago

if you don't put as much salt on it would it be alrite to eat it because the name brand playdoh doesn't have alot and my daughter tries to eat it

707 7 years ago

awesome playdough

CaliPlaydough 7 years ago

I once played with this in elementary school it was really fun and yummy

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup honey

4-6 oz. corn flour or corn meal

this recipe is good if there is someone lactose intolerant

1 c. peanut butter

1/4 c. honey

1/2 c. powdered milk

and this one is the regular recipe with both you just mix the ingredients

sc 7 years ago

regarding the non cooking recipe. Does the play dough last long? Is it sticky enough to hold for clay molding or modeling?

cutie 7 years ago

what is cream of tartar? i have never heardof that thing. and do we have to use it, is it compalsary? whatif we don't add cream of tartar?

mineee 7 years ago

the no coooking one didn't work its sticky

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AroundtownSue 7 years ago from Mountain View Author

Hardcore, I don't recommend eating any playdough. Cutie, I list some cream of tartar substitutes above.

mele2 7 years ago

Hey how do you keep the play doh from getting hard?


Hannah  7 years ago

This is an exellant idea thank you not just my son will enjoy it!!! :D

RaeRae 7 years ago

Thank you SO MUCH!!! I made it and its the first time it ever came out right lol, usually its so sticky. I used the vinegar and it seems perfectly fine, the smell wont even stay long I don't think. I also added GLITTER!!!! Its so cool! I try to add some kind of glitter and sparkle to everything I make and didn't wanna leave out the play-dough lol.

SEE it here:

Dwayne 7 years ago

what kind of oil do you have to use?

Hector 6 years ago

I have heard that besides water, wheat flour, etc., one can use CMC (carboxymethylcellulose). Could this be true?

Tracy 6 years ago

This recipe worked just fine when I substituted 4tsp lemon juice for the 2tsp cream of tartar.

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another andrea 6 years ago

My Daughter and I just did a science experiment on play dough. We made 5 batches and left out one ingredient in each batch. The one without salt is blooming with mold while the batches with salt have no mold (two weeks later). The one without cream of tartar is too sticky, and the one without oil is not very pliable.

Tamz 6 years ago

iv just made 2 lots of hot water method play-doh but at u try and play with it, it starts getting really stick. gets so bad u cant get it off your hands without washing them! plz help :( i used plain flour salt oil hot water and food colouring.

Juls 6 years ago

For me, the latter recipe worked great, when I taught Sunday School last week we made it for part of Palm Sunday

chloe2001rock 6 years ago

well i used a hairdryer to dry it

ruby 6 years ago

To make your own clay at home does it matter what kind of flour you use to make it?

jazzy 6 years ago

what kind of oil

madison 6 years ago

You guys do good. But you could at least make it an easyer way!

wishes to be anonymous 6 years ago

the 3rd option duznt work

Terwerver 6 years ago

I Used The One Without Cream Of Tartar, And It Turned Out Really Good! Thank You So Much, You Made My Life Much Easier. (:

Kasey 6 years ago

what type of oil do you use?

monica 6 years ago

do u use the lemon juice in the sauce pan with the flour?

BritClo 6 years ago

do u hav 2 use oil? do u hav 2 use so much salt?

BritClo 6 years ago

what will happen if u eat the no cooking involved play-doh?

Katie  6 years ago

Can u use anything else instead of flower?

AwesomeGal 6 years ago

The kool-aid play ough is awesome...... I tries the grape kool-aid and it was purple!!!!

alexis 6 years ago

hey this is awsome i love making them i have like 5 of them

ponystar8525 6 years ago

the noncooking one did not work it was like oily salt water

Barbara 6 years ago

I made this seven years ago and found a bag of this clay... it is STILL WORKABLE. Crazy!

alysa 6 years ago


pixy mum 6 years ago

can u use Self raising flour and will it work?


allissa 6 years ago

how can you make it non sticky without using tartar because we cant find any in the supermarket

emaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa 6 years ago

I love this reicpe it it work it fun and ot takes 5 to 10 mintues to cook on the stove

emaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa 6 years ago

a love this reicape

anonymous 6 years ago

does the play doh ever expire, go bad or start smelling?

Random Kids 6 years ago

Can you eat the playdough and does is tast nice with the lemon juice?

Alaina 6 years ago

I had almost no salt so i mixed it with sugar and i had no tartar so i was gonna use lemon juice but i didn't have any of that either so i used lime juice.

Suprisingly, it worked out really well!!!

once i moldeed is it got really smooth!

jenny 6 years ago

thnx 4 da playdo recipe it works good with kids

jenny 6 years ago

hi thnx so much

Chase  6 years ago

what the heck is wrong with u why would u abuse puppies

ravenhorneman12 6 years ago

does it matter if we use vegetable oil

Amber xx 6 years ago

I would like to know if the last play-dough recipe works thanks lots.

Please reply back!

PT 6 years ago

great! I just made a huge load of brown dough for my daughter's project

rachel 6 years ago

hey people do not use this site again it is not true it is the badest

luvs2bake 6 years ago

thanks 4 the recipes. i lost mine years ago. i will try these tomorrow. thanks. im so excited now!!! =)

aliisha 6 years ago

what sort of flour can you use? Can you use self- raisinf flour? thx x

heaven karrazom 6 years ago

salt dough with food coloring is esier to make and put it in a container i have the recipe!!!!!!

jayashree 6 years ago

how long can the dough be stored?

steve 6 years ago

can you make it wight?

Holly 6 years ago

After you make the play dough does it harden? I'm making it for some marketplace thing at school, and i don't want it to harden so then the kids can play with it. Thnx!

RiverW 6 years ago

mix all dry ingrediants first and make a gopher hole in the middle then mix all liquid ingredients into a mixing bowl exept food coloring, and then pour THAT into the hole

jayne  6 years ago

hi, i made this playdough recently and it is extremely sticky how do i get rid of the stickyness

kelly 6 years ago

i made it with wheat flour and veggie oil but it came out more dense and it smelt like flour too. i also colored it but now my hands r all yellow!!! AHHH!!!

Carxer 6 years ago

can you use icing? thanks man you da play doh master!!! gotta love you. you god

teo 5 years ago


tickity tockity  5 years ago

why do you have to have scented oils when making play doh???

Play-Doh 5 years ago

how is the no cooking play doh?

Emma 5 years ago

Does the koolaid stain?

Jonathan  5 years ago

i didn't have to use the cream of tarter and it came out alright wow

Bob 5 years ago

Wow sounds kool

Ihadfwdbfkhfewvbkugchxxgsqdghwqgfqsdhuydywhucgscg 5 years ago

Hi I was wondering, what do u do wen the play do is to wet?

???????? idk 5 years ago

it doesent work we did it ten time but no i dident work

emma 5 years ago

i need this for a prank witch is a better play doh

emma 5 years ago

????????? idk, maybe you did it wrong cause all three worked for my prank

emma 5 years ago

go on you tube and watch my moment by rebecca black, robert and kent from so you think you can dance are in the music video

emma 5 years ago

go on you tube and watch my moment by rebecca black, robert and kent from so you think you can dance are in the music video

lauren 5 years ago

it is very good i have tried it thounseds of times 4 YEARLS OLD

Haley 5 years ago

Do you store it in the fridge?

`ropafadzo 5 years ago


what's the difference between the cooking method or the not cooking one ?

bitchisgay 5 years ago


( . )

( u )

sinthya 5 years ago

for the dry playdoh shuld i use food coloring to give it color?

kat 5 years ago

i tried the non cooking one and it worked GREAT!!! i gave it to the lil' kids ima babysit.

maddog212 5 years ago

i need help i cant seem to get it plez help

Storm 5 years ago

Made the no cook play dough with Lime Jello instead of coolaid or food colouring, worked out perfectly.

P.S. If your play doh feels too sticky when you make it just add a bit more flour!! Simple solution

playdoh freak 5 years ago

how much will the no bake playdoh make?

Charli 5 years ago

I love play dough it rocks

laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa 5 years ago

no it is not eatable it is very salty and does not taste good at all it is very fun to make and also should do it on a flouerd

suface so it will br nice and soft have fun./ !!!!!!!!11


Gibby JollyBear..!!^-^ 5 years ago

I think playdoo is a fun actividy for people like mii..!! Well how em i sappose to no that im only 12 haha im just bored sleeping over at mii friendzz houzee Iztel ZombieKiller..!! We wete bored and we tried to make playdoo so ya well ummm byee hahah..!!

cornell jr ps 5 years ago

thank-you all of our kids in all of the classes had made this.realy it did not work because i have no idea what is cream tartar please tell me if.btw who knows china anne M.well she comes here.if you want our locaition it is at... sorry she is here her parents said don't sell her out where the locaition is so sorry i tried.but realy please help me

NoName 5 years ago

what does c. mean?

cookies 5 years ago

Instead of Flour can I use pancake mix instead?

Er 5 years ago

Can you put die in the no cook playdough?!

ange 5 years ago

Purple koolaid will work if you use 2 packs. it is by no means a bright purple, but it does look purple, not grey!

ange4555 5 years ago

it dosnt work

Lam23 4 years ago

For the first play dough recipe i added one packet kool-aid to the dry ingredients and mixed one packet of kool-aid with the liquids and followed the rest of the directions. It became scented play dough and the color was great!!

Lam23 4 years ago

also you can use one packet of kool-aid for what i did above^(color and smell still excellent), however i was aiming for scented play dough for preschoolers and adding two packets made the smell much much stronger.

playdohmaker 4 years ago


do you know if you could use something other than the oil?

donnay 4 years ago

wow awsome it really works

gip 4 years ago

does it expire

Kaylaooooooookjkjkj 3 years ago

Do you put it in the oven or microwave i need help

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