How to Make Play Dough (Play Doh)

by Zena-Marie on 6 May 2012

Post image for How to Make Play Dough (Play Doh)

This is possibly the easiest play dough recipe ever. It takes about 5 minutes to make and best of all there is no cooking.  Just throw all the ingredients in a bowl and mix. Simple as that. It’s great for making with kids and will last for ages. You can add glitter to the mix for added sparkle and even some peppermint oil to make it smell great.


You will need:

1 cups plain flour

1/2 cup of salt

2 tablespoons of cream of tartar (optional)

1 tablespoons of cooking oil

Food colouring

Glitter (optional)

Peppermint oil (optional)

1 cups of boiling water

1 child or more if you have them



Put all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix. As soon as it starts to bond together and is hard to mix, take it out of the bowl throw it on a board and knead until it takes on the look and consistency of play dough. It will be hot when you take it out of the bowl so be careful.

This recipe is great if you’re planning on making a couple of batches in different colours but if your just making one batch you can quite happily double the amounts.

Don’t worry if you have no cream of tartar  it makes the play dough more elastic but you can still make this play dough recipe  without cream of tartar. Also I have found that while liquid food colourings work fine, Gel food colouring produces a brighter more vivid colour.

Next hand it all over to a happy toddler and see what they create.


This is what mine made for me


And my daughter (not a toddler) made me this.

For a picture tutorial of how to make this play dough check out my daughters new blog

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{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

Natasha May 7, 2012 at 10:31

Oooh wow I love this! Can’t wait to try it out, thanks! x


Zena-Marie May 7, 2012 at 12:41

Thanks. I love this recipe, it is so easy to make and the kids absolutely love it. They have played with it everyday since we made it. They especially like the glitter one’s. Let me know how it turns out. Have fun :)


The String Empire May 7, 2012 at 20:14

Oh wow this looks so amazing. I wish I had a child to use it on.


Zena-Marie May 7, 2012 at 21:41

Thank you. To be honest I just love making it. There’s something really comforting about kneading all that warm dough. The kids are just an excuse :)


amummysview May 7, 2012 at 21:08

fab! I am loving the glittery dough must try this out thanks for sharing! xxx


Zena-Marie May 8, 2012 at 09:22

Glitter dough is our favourite too. The kids absolutely love it and I love all the little creations they make for me. They are always so proud of themselves. Nothing says I love you more than a play dough monster thingy. Have fun with it.


Mrs Jones May 8, 2012 at 15:37

Wow that looks brilliant, will save this page to make this when my daughter is a little older! x


Zena-Marie May 9, 2012 at 09:39

Thank you so much. It’s definitely a good page to book mark. Kids never grow out of using play dough so it’s a recipe you’ll come back to time and time again.


farfromhomemama May 8, 2012 at 19:23

Off to buy some food colouring at the weekend :-)


Zena-Marie May 9, 2012 at 09:42

They do some great gel food colours. I used what I had in the house so the green and red are a bit Christmassy but the ice blue and orange turned out fab.


Emily May 9, 2012 at 22:24

Glittery play dough?! Now you’re talking!!


Zena-Marie May 10, 2012 at 19:04

I know. How cute :)


tera May 29, 2012 at 22:50

Can’t wait….my boys will love this!!!


Zena-Marie May 29, 2012 at 23:25

My little boy loves play dough too. He is always so proud of the little creations and I love when he says ‘Look Mom I made this for you…’ This is possibly the best play dough recipe ever. It is so easy to make and the play dough lasts forever. I hope you and your boys have great fun making monsters with it.


Samantha June 26, 2012 at 12:40

Can it be all purpose flour?


Zena-Marie June 26, 2012 at 13:41

Yes all purpose flour should work just fine. Have fun with it :)


Jenny July 2, 2012 at 06:29

Omg my girls love this. Especially the glitter one


Zena-Marie July 7, 2012 at 15:00

I know its great isn’t it, and so easy to make. My kids loved the glitter one too. Have fun with it :)


keisha July 4, 2012 at 21:10

I try it at summer camp and we had two bachs of one of the was blue and green. the seacond one was red and yellow it was a cool colour. just go to how to make playdough and write it down


annie July 6, 2012 at 00:32

great recipe! gives me a workout stirring it too!! i loved it and so did the kids!!! :)


Zena-Marie July 7, 2012 at 15:05

Thank you so much. I love making it too. There is definitely something comforting about kneading all that warm dough. It lasts longer than any shop bought playdough. My kids are still playing with this batch. i love all the cute creations they make just for me! Hope you and your kids have great fun with it :)


Cora July 31, 2012 at 00:24

Me and my friends are making this and we are 14…haha we love it thanks!!!


Zena-Marie August 9, 2012 at 11:38

LOL. Everyone love play dough. I think I enjoy making it just as much as the kids love playing with it. Be creative and have fun :)


Amy August 24, 2012 at 17:55

It seems sticky….I put it in the fridge, will it be less sticky?


Zena-Marie August 24, 2012 at 18:49

When you first mix all the ingredients it is very stick but after much kneading it should became firm. If however there is a little too much water it may stay sticky. Just add more flour a little at a time until you get the desired consistency. Good luck and enjoy


Tana August 28, 2012 at 17:19

Can you use wet glitter? Like glitter glue?


Zena-Marie September 4, 2012 at 12:40

I’ve not tried it with glitter glue but I’d imagine that it may affect the consistency and as the glue dries up it may make the dough a little flaky. That said you can always give it a try in a small amount of dough and see how it works. Let me know :)


Michelle August 30, 2012 at 10:50

This is great – thank you, never knew it was so easy to make play dough.


Zena-Marie September 4, 2012 at 12:41

Thank-you. I know its amazingly simple isn’t it. I’ll never buy play doh again.


denise harter September 3, 2012 at 02:47

My daughter and I just tried to do this…and so sad to say but it so did not work…Im wondering if the water has to be added right when it boils, I think I may have let the water cool to much, and it just looks like goo, well thats what she says, goo or flarp lol. Could that be the problem?? And by the way…I love all the things I have seen on this site so far…LOVE IT!!


Zena-Marie September 4, 2012 at 13:01

Thank you so much. It’s wonderful to get such positive comments about the blog. If you got the measurements right and didn’t add to much water then I would say that the problem was letting to water get too cool. You have to pour and knead it when it really hot. You can use rubber gloves to knead it if its too hot to handle. The water has to be hot enough to almost (but not quite) cook the flour. Give it another go with boiling water and see how it turns out.


morgan February 14, 2013 at 20:42

Hi!! Just wondering… how long does this last before going dry?? Thank you!


Zena-Marie March 13, 2013 at 14:35

It will last for months. My kids have left it out overnight and it still didn’t dry out. You may need to leave it out for a few days for it to fully dry.


Wyn February 20, 2013 at 17:05

This is like the best home made play dough even though i am 10 i still love to goof around i just put it in a container love it!!!


Zena-Marie March 13, 2013 at 14:33

Thank you so much. I don’t think you’re ever to old for play dough :) Have fun


Rikki-Leigh February 28, 2013 at 03:44

Will Vegetable Oil Work? As its raining and i dont wanna go anywhere


Zena-Marie March 13, 2013 at 14:28

LOL. Yes Vegetable oil will work just as well. Have fun :)


Carrie March 5, 2013 at 02:56

I love the recipe, the consistency was fantastic. It will be laminated and put up in my classroom!
I feel a little silly to say though, my color looks awful! I was unable to mix the color around properly and it just turned out blotchy. Do you have a trick!?
Thanks so much!!


Zena-Marie March 13, 2013 at 14:27

The key is to keep kneading the dough when you’ve added the colour. It can take a little while to get it all mixed in but if you keep going the colour will finally all mix in.


amirah March 10, 2013 at 08:10

Hi,does the glitter sticks to your hands or does it sticks firmly to the dough? i thought of making this for a class activity and the glittered ones looks nice but i’m afraid it might be a little messy.


Zena-Marie March 13, 2013 at 14:07

It sticks a little when you are making it but once its finished and been played with for a while it doesn’t really come off on your hands. Have fun :)


Kerrie Sharpe March 11, 2013 at 16:16

Fantastic recipe. We made this and not only was it easy peasy, but it has lasted ages and ages stored in tupperware boxes. : )


Zena-Marie March 13, 2013 at 14:05

Thanks. I made it for my kids and it lasted over 6 months. It didn’t even dry out when left uncovered overnight.


pamela July 29, 2013 at 17:14

Can this be baked to keep as a keepsake once children make their wonderful creations as with salt clay?


Zena-Marie August 16, 2013 at 10:59

I haven’t baked it although I will give it a try and let you know how it turns out.


Tori August 5, 2013 at 18:38

can you use self rising flour


Zena-Marie August 16, 2013 at 10:48

I haven’t tried it with self raising flour but I don’t think it will make too much difference. Like with many things sometimes you’ve just got to give it a go and see what happens. Let us know how it turns out.


Jared August 7, 2013 at 07:32

I tried making this but found it hard to find a large enough bowl and very laborious kneading with the child in with the other ingredients (I only had one, its surely harder with more!)

Did anyone else have this problem or did I misread the recipe?
It does say to combine ALL ingredients and 1 child is on the list!!


Zena-Marie August 16, 2013 at 10:46



martha August 7, 2013 at 08:00

Thanx for the recipe will make for my school kids


Zena-Marie August 16, 2013 at 10:45

Sounds fun. I hope you all have a great time.


Linda August 7, 2013 at 11:18

If you add food colouring to the water before it goes into the dough it mixes more easily. Try putting the colour into the measuring cup before you measure the water.


Zena-Marie August 16, 2013 at 10:45

Thanks so much for the tip. I made a batch of Play Doh this weekend and added the coloring to the water and it does make it so much easier to mix. Thanks :)


Fiona August 12, 2013 at 10:34

Hi, do you know what the measurements would be in grams rather than cups? I’ve tried several conversion sites, and they are coming out up to 100g different to each other! Thanks


Zena-Marie August 16, 2013 at 10:38

Hi Fiona, It is a little confusing converting cups to grams. For this recipe it doesn’t matter too much as long as you use the same cup for all measurements.


Michaela August 15, 2013 at 22:35

Love the recipe!!! Turned out great! But… How do you store it do you put it in the refrigerator?? Thanks!


Zena-Marie August 16, 2013 at 10:32

So pleased it turned out well. I’ve just made another batch myself. I normally store it in airtight containers and it lasts for months. Just wait for it to completely cool before you put it into the containers. You don’t have to keep it in the fridge.


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