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Bring Out Your Inner Martha Stewart by Creating Home Made Play-Doh

home made play doh

Surprise your kids by creating a super simple home made play dough in 7 short minutes. Do it yourself with your children with 5 simple ingredients you have at home.


If any of you readers are like me, you go through tubs of Play-Doh on a weekly basis. I have 5 kids who love to create, design, crumble. After their creativity has been satisfied, they leave the Play-Doh out on the table to turn into hard colored rocks.

Sure, I could head on over to the best store on the planet, Target, and purchase yet another Play-Doh starter kit, complete with 8 tubs of standard colors. At $4.99 a pack, this seems like a reasonable thing to do. About $1/tub seems like mere pennies right? Not so much. Multiply said packs by 5 kids. This is $15. Then realize that you are now purchasing Play-Doh packs at every other Target trip and... you see where I'm going.

It gets expensive. Demanding that the kids put the Play-Doh into its rightful container immediately after playing is a losing battle. So, on this rainy day I chose to experiment by making my own Play-Clay. I have done this once before, and honestly, it turned into a smelly mess. Apparently training with play-doh is one of the 3 motors skills that will help your children to do better in school.

Most people already have the 5 ingredients required to concoct such a delightful batter. Although, Cream of Tartar is an odd one. Without further ramblings, grab the following from around your kitchen:

  • Flour (1 cup)
  • Salt (1/3 cup)
  • Oil (1 tablespoon)
  • Cream of Tartar (2 teaspoons)
  • Water (1 cup)
  • Food Coloring (you decide)

Here's a picture for an idea of what I used:

play-doh making home ingredients

As you can see, any oil is acceptable: Vegetable, Canola, Olive, Coconut. Just use a tablespoon. Salt--any kind will do. Iodized, Kosher, Sea, Pink Himalayan, etc. Flour--My first batch I used all-purpose. My second, I used "cake" flour because I ran out of "all-purpose", and I wanted to see if it would work. It did.

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Making Home-Made Play-Doh in 7 Minutes

Step 1. Grab a pot and toss in your flour, salt, and tartar. Mix it up with your hands. Step 2. Dump a cup of water on above mixture and add a tablespoon of the oil you have on hand.

Step 3. Turn your stove on medium heat--careful! This stuff heats up to a gooey mess within about 20 - 60 seconds. Stir it constantly with a wooden spoon.

Step 4. Choose your color. It's much easier to add your food-color drops when the mix is nice and gooey. At this point, I turned off the heat and stirred a bunch 'til it got nice and blue.

Step 5. Satisfyingly, squish together and place this (almost) hot-dough-ball onto wax/parchment paper... and if you don't have either, a plate will work.

Step 6. Let it cool for about 5 minutes before your kids get their hands on it.

Voila. You have now spent 7 total minutes of your life making Play-Doh, whilst saving yourself countless dollars. Remember when I said I did this before and it turned into a smelly mess? I lied. It really wasn't a mess, but it was smelly. For some reason I had zero salt in my house, except for a ginormous thing of Costco-brand celery salt. Also, no oil except olive. I used both. It really smelled. Bad. But my kids didn't care, and I didn't care when it turned into hard colored balls 3 days later that they threw at each other. The moral of the story is use what you have on hand and enjoy!

P.S. Wash your pot and spoon right away or you'll be dealing with a crusty disaster.



Great article! My kids love play-doh! I've never thought of using coconut oil before. I'll have to try it out. Thanks!