How to Make Playdough (Play-doh)

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Playdough (aka Play-doh) is easy to make at home, and fun for kids of all ages.  Here's how to make your own non-toxic toy with custom colors and fragrances.

This is the classic method that involves a bit of cooking on the stovetop - I prefer it because cooked playdough has a better texture than uncooked varieties.  If you want the kids to be able to do it all themselves, try this uncooked playdough recipe.

Warning:  Keep away from dogs and other pets.  Playdough smells like people food but contains lots of salt, and a hungry dog can eat enough to cause a dangerous salt imbalance.

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Step 1: Ingredients

Playdough is a classic childhood toy everyone can have fun with, and it's so easy to make at home you'll never buy that stinky store variety again.

Basic ingredient ratios:
2 cups flour
2 cups warm water
1 cup salt
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon cream of tartar (optional for improved elasticity)

food coloring (liquid, powder, or unsweetened drink mix)
scented oils

Step 2: Mix and heat

Mix all of the ingredients together, and stir over low heat. The dough will begin to thicken until it resembles mashed potatoes.

When the dough pulls away from the sides and clumps in the center, as shown below, remove the pan from heat and allow the dough to cool enough to handle.

IMPORTANT NOTE: if your playdough is still sticky, you simply need to cook it longer!
Keep stirring and cooking until the dough is dry and feels like playdough.
I've gotten many comments asking about sticky dough, so please just keep cooking a bit longer and it will work!

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dumb question but do you add the food coloring along with everything else?

joel43 months ago

mameshiba bean is a sluuuuuuuuuuuuuuuug

mameshiba bean

hhogue4 months ago

can you make this without cream of tartar

Tjmack3rd4 months ago

Good Stuff!

barnum454 months ago

I got an A in class for this

NiCaam1 year ago
I have to admit I love the smell of store bought play-dough. Just brings back childhood memories, but I love that I can make this with the kids at home. We make slime all the time, and this would be a great addition. Thanks.
bopsomops NiCaam5 months ago


NiCaam bopsomops5 months ago
LOL! You should see the looks on the parents' faces when I make it. They look horrified, and I bet wonder about my mental state...don't get it. When I was little they used to sell small containers of green slime with black rubber worms in it.
The salt burned my fingers


congrats! 3,000,000+ views!


Kelly021 year ago
wow! colourful handmade play dough!
bopsomops Kelly025 months ago


how long does the cooking process take?


stevo69nz11 months ago
awesome, you're right the stuff in the shop smells yuk

it sure does

SpringRobin9 months ago

I had no idea that you could 'make' PlayDoh. Thanks for sharing!

did you not know that you could make home made play dough?

SpringRobin8 months ago

oh boy!! My carpet is not going to like this... Very nice instructible. Thank you for putting this together.


asiya-6 months ago


bopsomops asiya-5 months ago


asiya-6 months ago

great recipe.your the best

lshook16 months ago
I will be making this with my 3 yr old nephew tomorrow. I can't wait to see how it turns out!!!!
co'brien116 months ago
Did anyone elses dough leave like a powdered saltly residue on there hands when they've been playing for a while
Clayton Mott7 months ago
We are making this using a similar recipe and it works great. The only problem is we want to be able to store the dough for extended periods. We ate finding most of the dough goes moldy after about a week in a sealed bag. If it's played with constantly it's fine.
Is there anything we can do to prolong the storage life? Any kind of preservative?
Thank you in advance
We found something called much should we use if we are using 4 cups of flour?
hlook7 months ago

We just made this for my 4 year old. She loves it(so does the 14yr old). Trying it out for my preschool class for VBS. The former teacher used to make it and the kids loved it! We added the food coloring at the beginning and it worked great. Also, towards the end mixing got a bit tough so I just used my hands.

pxlchk1 made it!8 months ago

We made it! Perfectly easy. My 4 year old son and I are OVER this snow so we decided this would be a fun craft to make. He's in the kitchen with all my cookie cutters having a blast. Thanks!

dgalindo19 months ago
Home with my 3 year old son this morning. Used this recipe to make play dough in less than 30 minutes. Turned out great. Much easier than I thought it would be and the included tips were extremely helpful.
flavrt9 months ago

Perfect recipe. TY

I used coarse salt thinking it wouldn't matter. It did, the salt was grainy, but who cares! They loved it anyway. They are taking it to school (jk/sk) to have fun with!
rsavage51 year ago
Just this moment finished making this with my 3 year old neice - she's off playing with her brand new playdough and thinking I'm awesome and I'm happy at how easy and quick it was to make! Cheers!
Chloe81 year ago
What a safe playdough recipe! good job.
tadobbs1 year ago
I LOVE this recipe. I just got done making it for my 2 yr old she helped me make it (by stirring the dough until it was to hard for her). She is now having loads of fun playing. She even too a taste of it and said ICKY.
mgregory51 year ago
i was a little over ambitious and doubled my dough... Took a little more elbow grease than if I would have just stuck to a single order. None the less, this was amazing and worked out great!!!!
Cat20141 year ago
I only have to say it's super!
MrsOwens1 year ago
Awesome! This is perfect! I cant wait to make this with my kids! Also would you mind if I shared your post on my blog?
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