Homemade Play-Dough Recipe - EASY!

As a kid I remember my mom making homemade play-dough for us. At the time, store bought name brand Play-Doh was a luxury, and I can still remember that smell! But now that the roles are reversed, and I'm the mom, all I can think of is... ewwwww. That plastic-y "doh" with its memorable chemical-y smell really gross me out.

DIY Playdough

Now that my kiddos are home with me full time, I am often looking for things to keep their little hands busy, especially when the weather is bad and we can't play outside. Remembering that my mom used to make play-dough, I turned to google. After a little research I learned how easy it is to make homemade play-dough! Knowing exactly what is in it makes me feel better about the fact that Wren (2yo) can't resist eating it from time to time, or that he also likes to feed it to our dog Mabel, who has learned to beg for it while they are playing.

playing with homemade playdough

I usually make a double batch of this play-dough recipe, so there is plenty to go around! This play dough keeps my kids happy for hours, and it lasts for months if you store its in a zip top bag. When it starts to dry out a bit I just spray it with a little water and give it a quick knead, and it comes right back to life.

There are quite a few methods for making DIY play-dough, and after experimenting with several of them, I found this one to be the quickest, easiest, and most reliable to make a really nice pliable dough. Whipping up a big batch of this homemade DIY play-dough is very inexpensive and chances are you already have everything in your cupboard required to make it.

DIY Play-Dough Recipe

Total time: 20 minutes.


2 Cups Flour

1/2 Cup Salt

3 Tbsp Vegetable or Coconut Oil

2 Tbsp Cream of Tartar

1 1/4 Cup Boiling water

Food coloring


1. Boil water. Add the oil to the hot water. Let the water and oil sit and cool slightly while you measure and mix the dry ingredients.

2. In a mixing bowl add the flour, salt, and cream of tartar. The cream of tartar likes to clump so break up the chunks with your fingers (or sift it if you have the time and energy for the sort of thing - I don't). Mix the dry ingredients together well.

3. Add the hot water and oil to the dry ingredients and stir until combined into a lumpy dough.

4. Turn the dough onto a well floured surface and knead until smooth. Add flour as needed if the dough is sticky. This step typically only takes a minute or two.

5. Choose the colors you would like to have, and divide the dough into a corresponding quantity of pieces. Make a well in the center of each ball. Add a few drops of food coloring and knead until the color is evenly distributed through the dough. Repeat this process until you have reached the color you desire. I find that achieving a very saturated color require quite a few drops of food coloring (15-20+ depending on the size of the ball).

6. Store the playdough in airtight containers or in zip top bags. Refresh the playdough from time to time if it is drying out by kneading in a bit more water. It will last for months if kept this way.

homemade playdough

DIY Playdough

Making homemade play-doh

DIY Playdough

playing with homemade playdough



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