How to Make Playdough (Play-doh)

FeaturedContest Winner

Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of 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 Kool-Aid or similar drink mix)
scented oils

In the ingredient list, did you mean _unsweetened_ drink mix? Kool-ade, or Wylers, or whatever is easy to blend in, and they make lots of colors.
jennabanana7 years ago
So my mom has a recipe for play doh that doesn't require cooking. Its so EASY! I'm making it for a demonstration speech in speech class. Here's the recipe: 3cups four 1/3 cup salt 2tbsp oil (veg) 1cup water 7 drops food coloring. mix dry ingredients with oil. add food coloring to water and mix together. add water to flour/salt/oil mixture slowly~about 1/4 cup at a time and mix together with a spoon. once you've added all the water, knead the dough with your hands. Basically this playdoh kicks butt ha ha. try it out and let me know how it worked for you!
 You should make an instructable out of this. It would be short but people could find what theyre looking for more easily
o my gosh I'm doing the exact same thing! pretty cool :)
OK, I am lovin' this recipe. TI was so fast to make, and no heating which is a bonus. The kids loved it. Thanks for sharing it.
I have to do a speech also. How exactly did you do yours and how did you grade? Did you use power point? Send some more info. This sounds interesting.
did you mean 3cups flour?
Thanks for the no cook version! I just made it for my little boy in less than 5 minutes and it turned out great!
this was so fun to make when i had a friend sleeping over, we got it a bit wrong because we added too much water but in the end it was great, BABY PINK playdough..
hi jammmmmmmmm for short recipe was sick its great but it came out sticky for sum odd reason aniway reply b
hey Jennabanan i tried this recipe... guess what i liked it alot more than the one that requires cooking its less exspensive and no cream of tartar that stuff is exspensive tanks so much!!!
I was wondering the recipe says salt and the picture is sea salt is there a difference, or can I use reg. salt?
What I would like to know... Is there a way to make this with out Making 3 Cups of one color? Maybe I can make 1 cup each of different colors. How would I go about doing this?
canida (author)  jennabanana7 years ago
Hey Jenna, Sounds like lots of people are interested in this one. You should put up a separate Instructable for no-cook playdough to make it easier to find!
Sounds good jennabanana. I am going to make it now!
thanks i deaf and me like this better it faster i go to ISD in iowa and i going to use yours for my demontration speech (in sign language) haha lol how old r u?
Mariapaguio5 years ago
i really like this play dough thing

Hard slog and in the end (half hour hard stirring) still sticky and unusable. Never cooked anything that has made me cross. kinda put me off cooked playdough
 tried it , it doesnt work try 3 cups of flour, 1 cup of water, 3 tablespoons of oil (add more if you want soft play dough) , 1/2 cup of salt, add 10 drops or more, and mix well. that way you dont have to buy cream of tar tar
whites6 years ago
this worked amazing, best recipe ever
danajs856 years ago
I've just made this playdo, and it turned out brill, I've got 3 small children happily playing in the kitchen and there's plenty to go around, thanks
frog8736 years ago
im going to try this!!!!!!!! it sounds great! also, how much does it make??? reply plz!
patinose6 years ago
This is amazing!!! I love it it always turns out very well!
Anja123456 years ago
I love this recipe it is very cool.
c3j1s6girl6 years ago
Mine came out way sticky. I don't know what went wrong :(.
duke11026 years ago
Hey. Very nice. I made this ago some minutes. It's still warm and I'm waiting for cooling down. :] Thanks, great Instructable.
I'm no Martha Stewart by no means but would it not be easier to add the food coloring to the water so that you have a even color and less trouble? I know this would make only one color per mixture but hey...it's PLAY-DOH!
wuany7 years ago
How long does this take to make? I have to do a demonstration speech for my communications class and it has to be between 5-6 minutes long
mnkyluver117 years ago
i think it is easy forget the cream of tartar its expensive
shearbear7 years ago
I made playdough today and i used kool-aid for the sent and colour and it work really good and i substidued the vegetable oil for margirine and it worked great now my playdough smells like raspberry lemon and its blue i love it lol
prekmom7 years ago
I have made playdoh at home a few times, but never 'scented' playdoh. Looking to make strawberry scented playdoh for a birthday party in a few weeks - your instructions list scented oil, but not when to put it into the playdoh. With the food coloring (after cooking), I am guessing - but not sure? Any help with adding the scented oil would be great. Thanks!
canida (author)  prekmom7 years ago
After cooking, since the heat could damage the scent. Good luck!
confusedd7 years ago
i made this and i turned out really sticky, i just checked the ingrediants and it says 2 tbls of oil and i used only 1 would that be the cause?????
derekmac7 years ago
If you want to keep your play dough for a really long time, substitute mineral oil (I buy mine in the Wal*Mart drug section) for the vegetable oil. Your dough will not get rancid as it will with veggie oil. Mineral oil is considered a "food grade" product, although it is of no nutritional value, and often used as a laxitive. Wikipedia says "It is occasionally used in the food industry (particularly for candy). Some studies suggest that prolonged use might be unhealthy because of low accumulation levels in organs. It has been discouraged for use in children's foods, though it is still occasionally found in candies in China and Canada.". I also knead in a tablespoon of artificial vanilla just before removing from the saucepan. Adds a great smell and seems to improve the consistency.
daycaremom7 years ago
Add the food coloring to the liquid ingredients before mixing them with the dry ingredients. Easier and better color saturation. You can cook this in the microwave. Heat on high for 2 minutes, mix with a spoon, microwave again for 30 second intervals (stirring in between) until it is still shiny but not liquid. Then LET COOL A BIT and knead it well.
hfw017 years ago
My wife, a preschool teacher for 10 years, recommends substituting 1/2 - 1 cup of non-toxic washable (tempera or Biocolor) paint for the same amount of water. It is much easier than trying to mix food coloring in after the dough is finished, and you get a larger variety of colors to work with. (Biocolor is a brand of flexible kids paint. Only takes 1/2 a cup. Most kids tempera will take one cup of paint to get good colors.)
For all international playdough-makers, Cream of Tartar is also called 'crème de tartre' or 'cremortart' and has the following chemical formula: KHC4H4O6. Its E-number (EU standard for allowed food additives) is E336.
canida (author)   strarry eyes8 years ago
Cream of tartar is usually found at the grocery store, shelved with the spices in one of those little jars.