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Best Homemade Play Dough Recipe

Updated on October 24, 2012
My homemade playdough
My homemade playdough | Source

Better than store-bought!

This recipe is by far the best play-dough recipe I have ever used. It makes a smooth dough that doesn't leave your (or your child's) hands feeling dried out or filmy. I've experimented with a number of others both cooking and no-cook recipes, and I have to tell you that this one tops them all. I started with a recipe I found online then tweaked it a little here and a dab there until I came out with this wonderful creation! I'm sure you'll agree once you've tried it that this is by far the BEST play-dough recipe around.


Not only is homemade play-dough cheap to make and fun to play with, it also makes fantastic gifts! With the holidays around the corner you might want to consider whipping up a few batches for the special kids in your life. Nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, grand-kids, or your own kids ~ I haven't met a child yet that could resist the urge to play with this stuff!

Color ideas:

  • Orange & Purple for Halloween
  • Red & Green for Christmas
  • Light green, pink & blue for Easter
  • Orange & Red for Thanksgiving
  • Red & Blue for Independence day (white would just be with no food coloring)
  • The child's favorite color plus glitter for birthdays!

The possibilities are endless! You'll start looking for reasons to make this stuff.

You don't need "name brand" supplies - the cheaper stuff works great & saves money!
You don't need "name brand" supplies - the cheaper stuff works great & saves money! | Source


  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup tap water
  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • food coloring


  • 1 medium cooking pot
  • 1 range stove
  • 1 spoon (preferably plastic)
  • 1 hard, flat surface (table or counter)
  • Measuring cups & spoons

Step 1: Mix all dry ingredients together

Flour, Salt, & cream of tartar
Flour, Salt, & cream of tartar | Source

Step 2: Add water and oil, turn heat on med./low & stir

Stir it together
Stir it together | Source

Step 3: Add desired amount & color of food coloring

For this batch I chose yellow
For this batch I chose yellow | Source

Step 4: Stir constantly until it is clumpy and looks like this:

Don't worry about it not being completely blended
Don't worry about it not being completely blended | Source

Step 6: Scrape it out onto your flat surface & allow to cool slightly

You can see it's not completely blended & that's okay!
You can see it's not completely blended & that's okay! | Source

Step 7: Kneed the dough

Kneed the dough for a minute or two until well blended.  You're done!
Kneed the dough for a minute or two until well blended. You're done! | Source

Step 8: Package or Play!

You've just completed your batch of the best homemade play dough! Congratulations!

Now you can store it in an air tight container (I prefer baggies) or have at it and let your kids enjoy playing with the fresh batch.

The heat doesn't bother me, so I tend to skip the "let it cool" step and just blend it while it is still hot. That is a personal choice and completely up to you. If you are having your child help make it I suggest giving it that cool down time so they don't burn themselves.

Make a bunch of different colors, separate them into sections & give them as gifts. One batch makes approx. 1 cup. You could make 4 different colors, divide each color into 4 sections & give each child a 1/4 cup of each. (or divide them in 1/2... it's up to you.)



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    • Mom Kat profile imageAUTHOR

      Mom Kat 

      8 years ago from USA

      I believe it is good for 6 months... my kids never seem to keep it around that long (lol) so I can't speak for that time frame from personal experience. Glad you like it :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Just made this- turned out great!! How long does it last in a plastic container?

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I can't wait to try this!! I've found a few recipes, but I have the most confidence in this one! Thanks!

    • Mom Kat profile imageAUTHOR

      Mom Kat 

      8 years ago from USA

      Won't that be a fun time :) Thanks for your encouragement & support btrbell, I always enjoy reading your comments.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 

      8 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      fun! I love play dough. I am looking forward to the time when I'll have someone to make it for. thanks for another great hub!

    • Mom Kat profile imageAUTHOR

      Mom Kat 

      8 years ago from USA

      I've been right there with you. Soggy, dry, salty, sticky... if it's not one thing it's something else. That's why I did the tweaking. This stuff is great. Make some & then tell me what you think, don't just take me word for it :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Excellent hub! I'm always look for a good play dough recipe and I've tried a lot and some recipes left me with a squishy, soggy mass of dough that stuck to your hands like cooked oatmeal.


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