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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trinarundgrenphotography made it!1 month ago

My son loved this playdoh. perfect consistency. will make this again and again for sure.


Awesome! He looks so happy, too. :D

I used neon food coloring. The Playdough turned out great!

WOW! that play dough looks so shiny and perfect

no it doesn't! (me)

it is awesome

dsaavedra6 years ago
cool! i made a monster :)
playdo monster.jpg
heres another:
playdoh face 001.jpg

(or whatever the small thing is)
TrisC codongolev3 months ago

yeah eat it


it looks like a head a eating a rabbit, just like Bambi! except even more bad I mean who would eat a small hare???!!!
yah!! i closed up on it and it looks like a buny
TrisC Sunny1246133 months ago

it is a bunny

awesome! and freaky at the same time. but still AWESOME!

your monster is skux as dude

have great news!

This posting has won today's "I Made It" Challenge. For winning you will receive a 3 month pro membership!

Thanks for using instructables!
cool animals
canida (author)  dsaavedra6 years ago
pwnage! i like that! its godzilla!!!!!!!!!! aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!
vhata6 years ago
I used this recipe and mine turned out great! check it out...
vhata vhata6 years ago
Here is a pic...
bopsomops vhata8 months ago



IsaacH bopsomops4 months ago

u are wierd

In my (almost 2 year old) sons stocking for Christmas this year he received a package of cream of tartar and a box of neon liquid food coloring. When he unwrapped it, he looked at me like... umm ok? I then tried to explain to him that I was going to make playdough with him. He had no idea what I was talking about. So thankfully this weekend I was able to make it for him using this recipe, It turned out great and he loves it! He enjoyed helping me too. This process is not messy at all! Thanks for the memories!

We loved this playdough! We've used a couple different recipes and this was my favorite for both simplicity and the consistency of the dough.

JoeyK112 days ago

Just wondering, can you use Kosher salt?

ona.stewart2 months ago

Mine turned out perfectly well. I did not have food colouring but... I came up with a briliant idea. I had a can of pickled beetroot and I used the beetroot juice from the can instead of food colouring the colour of the play dough came out perfect pink. My daughter loves it. And it is 100 % natural. If she tries to eat it it is safe.

yes i also love this idea but came up with my own great soloution it is not toxic depending on what type you use but i dont have food colouring so i use acrylic paint but make sure before you use it you check it isnt toxic paint lol xx (:

yes i also love this idea but came up with my own great soloution it is not toxic depending on what type you use but i dont have food colouring so i use acrylic paint but make sure before you use it you check it isnt toxic paint lol xx (:

canida (author)  ona.stewart1 month ago

Brilliant! Love your solution.

itsagoa28 days ago

does the cream of tartar make it taste better and is it the same as the one you use on fish?

DeborahK128 days ago

I made this today using leftover egg dye from Easter lol. I only had orange but anyway it turned out perfectly. A very easy and cool recipe. Two thumbs up.

mtrottster made it!28 days ago

Here's 2 batches, bagged up and ready to head to nursery in the morning! I find that putting the liquid in first and then whisking in the dry ingredients little by little (and switching to a spoon when it gets too thick) makes it much smoother. I always add my colour and scent into the water at the start since I'm making one whole batch for a class. This is by far my favourite recipe!

2014-11-23 22.14.42.jpg
My girls and I made this yesterday and it was so great. They love it. It smells like store bought playdoh and looks like store bought playdoh but we made it and I know what's in it. It's also way cheaper than store bought playdoh.
itzkara2 months ago

My kids are excited for the never ending play dough! Thank you for this recipe! It was so quick and easy I don't plan on ever buying playdo in the store again!

canida (author)  itzkara1 month ago

Awesome, glad to help! My kids love it too. :)

StephSky4191 month ago

I made this and it turned out wonderfully. The only thing I didn't figure out was that I put food coloring in later in the cooking process when I probably should have done it when it was still liquidy. So it came out with a weird marbling effect. The consistency was spot on, though!

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