A Home Made Play Dough Recipe, Step-By-Step

A Play Dough Recipe You Can make at Home

I found an interesting looking play dough recipe that you can make at home. It looked fairly easy so I thought I would give it a go. What could possibly go wrong? :-)


  • 1 Cup of Flour
  • 1/2 Cup of Salt
  • 1 Cup of Warm Water
  • 2 Teaspoons of Cream of Tartar
  • 1Tablespoon of Cooking Oil
  • Food Colouring

Step 1: The Cooking

Put all of the ingredients into a pan, leave the colouring out for the moment if you intend to make several colours (which I did). I've just realised that I made a mistake when trying out this recipe - I missed out the oil, which would probably explain why it was a little dry.

A pan full of wet ingredients
A pan full of wet ingredients

Slowly heat the ingredients making sure you stir continuously. The mixture should be quite smooth but it will soon start to stiffen. Watch out for lumps forming:

Smooth Mixture Turning Lumpy
Smooth Mixture Turning Lumpy

The mixture will begin to stiffen very quickly - at least it did for me. The website I got this play dough recipe from said that it might take a while so I guess it varies. You'll need to put some effort into the stirring at this stage. When your mixture looks like the picture below, it's just about ready:

The Mixture is Ready
The Mixture is Ready

Step 2: Kneading the Dough

Take the dough out of your pan and roll it onto a suitable surface. I used a wooden bread board for this which was a big mistake as you'll understand when you see some of the later photos!

The dough should be light and springy. It's lovely stuff actually, I don't know why I never tried this before! Knead it for a few minutes like you would knead a bread dough and it should look something like this:

A Ball of Dough
A Ball of Dough

Step 3: Colouring the Dough

I had four colours in mind for this batch - red, green, blue and yellow so I divided up the dough into the four portions, poked a hole in each and put in a few drops of colour into the holes. Made for a pretty photo but turned out to be not that useful:

Dough Balls With Holes
Dough Balls With Holes

It took quite a long time to get the colour right with each portion and by the time I got around to the last ones they were starting to dry out a little. So I would recommend working with only one colour at a time. Actually, after having done this and made an utter mess as I'll show you in a moment, in future I think I'll just make half a batch and add the colouring at the cooking stage and just make several batches.

Anyway to use this method you need to add just a few drops of colouring at a time and work that into the dough. Here is what NOT to do - pour too much in so that it floods out all over your wooden bread board leaving a rather large blue stain which will probably stay there forever!!

Nice blue dough though don't you think?

Blue Dough and a Blue Bread Board!
Blue Dough and a Blue Bread Board!

Now repeat the process with each of your portions. Some more tips on the colouring if you are doing it this way:

1) Wear latex gloves! My hands got absolutely covered in dye. Now it's not harmful but it's going to take a few days to come out which looks pretty silly in the meantime!

2) Wash your hands between each colour. I still had wet dye on my hands and some of it spilled over into the other colours.

3) Cover the dough you are not using with a tea towel while you work on the others to prevent them drying out. As I said earlier, I missed out the oil which might explain why my mixture was a little drier than it should have been.

Ok here is my finished product: Not bad for a first attempt!

4 Coloured Balls of Play Dough
4 Coloured Balls of Play Dough

Step 4: Create! (The Kid Test!)

My son found it highly amusing to watch me make a mess of my kitchen and he also seemed quite happy with the finished product as you can see here:

My son seems to be enjoying his play dough
My son seems to be enjoying his play dough
My Flower
My Flower
My Partner Calls This a Car!
My Partner Calls This a Car!
My Bumble Bee
My Bumble Bee

Comments 15 comments

bob 9 years ago

nice one thanks,your partner is a fool,aint they all

livelonger profile image

livelonger 9 years ago from San Francisco

What a great guide on how to make this!!!

glassvisage profile image

glassvisage 9 years ago from Northern California

This is like my favourite hub ever! :)

Amber 9 years ago

Thanks so much for this I was concerned that this would be pretty difficult. I actullly put a littlle milk in it on accident when I went to fill up my daughters sippy cup and realized I didn't have the cup in hand. HAHAHA anyway it turned out awesome. I now plan on doing a playdough party for my daughters birthday this time I will omit the milk ;).

It was so nice to have the visual on the how to!

gwen stafani 8 years ago

hi. my kid loves it.

michael sunarto 8 years ago

Hi, very funny hub caroline.

I am a 30dcers, i found your blog through 30dc forum.

And decided to look for your play dough page.

good luck, all the best

joey 7 years ago


julie 7 years ago

thank you my kids love it julie

criss angel 7 years ago

ediot this is the worst dough ever

Play-Doh 6 years ago

the least fav. plydoh i ever saw, and i made a lot, probablt 20 times (dif. recipes)

Girly 6 years ago

wow i want to make it it sounds fun!!!!

nasus loops profile image

nasus loops 6 years ago from Fenland

Thanks for this cmiidlebrook. I am hoping that me and my son will have fun making this. Great hub with plenty of tips.

eden 6 years ago

i'd relly like to print this page but it's to big

lizzy Mc.carlie 5 years ago

Omg i can not belive that it actily worked and know i might tell my class room

desiree3645 4 years ago

this stuff is awesome i am glad i went on this website

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article