The Best Homemade Playdough Recipe Tutorial

 best homemade playdough recipe

I am always trying to find things (other than TV & video games) for my kids to do. They all love play dough so I decided to make the BEST homemade playdough recipe with them. It is my mother-in-law’s recipe and always turns out perfectly.

Homemade Playdough Ingredients

best playdough recipe ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need for this homemade playdough recipe:

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • Food coloring
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tsp. cream of tartar

How to Make The Best Homemade Playdough

I had lots of helpers with my play dough. That is another thing I love about the play dough, the kids love to choose what color they want and help make it. We made 4 batches in about 40 minutes.

1. Add the water:

homemade playdough recipe step 1

2. Add the oil:

homemade playdough recipe step 2

3. Add a few drops of food coloring:

homemade playdough recipe step 3

4. Mix those ingredients together:

homemade playdough recipe step 4

5. Add the flour:

best homemade playdough recipe step 5

6. Add the salt:

best homemade playdough recipe step 6

7. Add the cream of tartar:

best homemade playdough recipe step 7

8. Stir constantly over medium-low heat:

best homemade playdough recipe step 8

9. Keep stirring…

best homemade playdough recipe step 9

10. Your homemade playdough will start to thicken and pull away from the sides:

best homemade playdough recipe step 10

11. Once it starts to form a ball, remove it from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes so you don’t burn yourself:

best homemade playdough recipe step 11

12. Remove your homemade playdough the pan:

best homemade playdough recipe out of the pan

13. Gently knead it:

kneeding the best homemade playdough recipe

14. Now your kids are ready to play with it!

Kid playing with the best homemade playdough

Now that you have the best homemade playdough in the world, it should keep your kids pretty happy (for a little while)! The best thing about this playdough recipe is that it’s super cheap to make and it’s doesn’t have any toxic chemicals in it. Enjoy!

kids playing with the best homemade playdough

Want to Save the “Best Play Dough Recipe” for Later?

Here is a homemade play dough recipe card for you (just right click on it and save it):

best playdough recipe copy

More Fun DIY Projects for Moms:

View all our family DIY projects here or view our kids’ crafts here!


  • Cathy of Fabulessly Frugal

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe! And I love your colors! How fun!

  • I’ve made a similar recipe but used a package of unsweetened Koolaid to color and scent the dough. Kids LOVED it.

  • I used to make this same recipe for playdough when I had a daycare years ago. I loved it because it was not toxic and alot cheaper then buying the store stuff.

  • I made this with my two boys and my oldest played with it for two hours and my 2 year old that has not discovered TV yet, played with it for 6 hours. I had play dough toys for presents we had gotten in the past but the dough had dried out so I would let them play with one set of toys (Cars) and then pull out the next (Cookie Monster) until they were done. They are ready to play again today. This was GREAT!!!!

  • I have made this for YEARS as a kindergarten teacher. You are right, it is the BEST. When I make it, I stir in a package of unsweetened Kool-aid in place of the food coloring. (food coloring can get pricey) It makes really bright playdough that smells good too!

    • Food coloring is a lot cheaper than Kool-Aid, especially icing gels. The individual packages are more expensive, but a tiny bit of icing gel goes a long way!!!

  • This is great! I have been looking for a recipe that actually WORKS for ages. It seems everything else I have tried was too sticky or too flakey. This one is perfect! We have used up almost all of my flour and salt though. Going to have to make a trip to the store tomorrow!
    We are getting a head start and making them into Christmas ornaments. So fun 🙂

  • This recipe is even better if you mix the water and salt together first, and just heat that in the microwave (or stovetop) until it’s steaming hot, then mix in the rest of the ingredients and stir well. With the microwave, there’s no open flame and it’s safer around the kids. 😀

  • love the way your colors turned out! but i could NOT get the same result! how many drops of each color of food coloring did you use? could it be that I used a generic brand? I used 10 drops of blue and the result was a pale blue.

  • Just made this and love it. The texture, consistency is perfect. Soft and squishy! This will for sure be my go to play-doh recipe. Thank you!

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