Homemade 'Play-Doh' Is Cheap and Easy

Suzanne Murray

homemade playdoughI'm afraid of Play-Doh. The smell, the dye. I don't want my daughter playing with it.

I've tried a few eco-friendly brands, but one is super-expensive; plus, it seems we're always in need of some new dough every now and then. The colors get mixed, the dough gets hard ... you get the picture.

Last week, at my daughter's toddler farm class, we celebrated strawberry season and all the kids made play-dough strawberries with dough that the instructor had made. It was really great dough, and she was kind enough to share the recipe.


  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon cream of tartar (found in the baking section)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • Food coloring (fruits and veggies make great dyes if you want to be eco-friendly)



  • Mix dry ingredients in a cooking pot.
  • Mix wet ingredients in a bowl, then add to the pot and stir until smooth (a whisk helps).
  • Place over low heat on the stove and stir constantly. Dough will start to thicken and cook onto the pan so be sure to scrape the "corners" of the pan well as it cooks.
  • It will start to glom together -- once it looks all cooked (not gooey), remove from heat and turn out onto the counter.
  • When cool enough, knead until smooth and voila! Lovely play-dough. 
  • Store it in an airtight container or plastic bag.

Have you ever made homemade play-dough? How did it turn out? 


Image via terren in Virginia/Flickr


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