Home > Hobbies & Craft > Make Your Own Play Dough

Make Your Own Play Dough

By: Lucy Debenham BA (hons) - Updated: 23 Jun 2010 | comments*Discuss
Crafts Recipe Play Dough Play Doh

Play dough is almost like a staple toy of childhood, and is still enjoyed by many children for good reason! It's fun, it's creative and can be used over and over again. However play dough does have a life span, and replacing it can be costly. Children have long enjoyed brands such as play-doh, however, making their own play dough will be just as much fun as crafting with the finished product. The alternative of making your own play dough, which may be a lot easier than you first anticipated and much less expensive.

The additional bonus to making your own play dough is that the homemade recipe is non-toxic and completely child friendly. However, as the recipe uses a high volume of salt, the dough is still inedible and children should not eat it, however tempted!

Play Dough Recipe

Making play dough is quite simple and quick. To make a portion of basic play dough, you'll need the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of plain flour
  • ½ cup of salt
  • 2 tbsps cream of tartar
  • 2 tbsps vegetable oil
  • A selection of food colourings

To make your play dough, you'll first need to find a saucepan, and mix in the flour, salt and cream of tartar together. Make a small well in the middle of the dry ingredients, and then carefully pour in the water, mixing in to create a smooth consistency. At this point you can then add in a few drops of your chosen food colouring, as well as the 2 tablespoons of oil, making sure that all ingredients are consistently combined.

The mixture will then need to be transferred onto a medium heat, during which time it will require constant stirring. If you don't stir the mixture enough or have the temperature up too high, the dough will burn easily.

You will notice that the dough eventually starts to 'ball', although it may be a bit sticky. However, once the dough has contracted from the sides of the pan and balled, you can then remove it from the heat and leave to cool for up to half an hour.

After this time, the dough will be ready for use! Of course, if you want lots of different play dough colours, you'll need to make several batches of dough and add different food colourings each time (taking care to clean the saucepan out each time, to reduce cross colour contamination!). If you are planning on making a variety of coloured doughs, then it might be an idea to cut the quantities in the recipe above in half.

Play Dough 'Use By' Date

Your homemade dough should be fairly easy to clean up after use, and any and as long as it is stored in air tight containers in a cool, dry space, it should have a relatively long life! You can also store your play dough in the fridge to try and get the most 'life expectancy' out of it. However, eventually the play dough will be overworked and you'll need to create a new batch.

New Ways to Use Your Play Dough

Although children will happily while away the hours sculpting and building with their new play dough, it does have a few other uses.

When left to dry or oven baked on a low temperature, the play dough can be used as building blocks or little homemade sculptures to use with other toys. For instance, if your child has a favourite doll or action figure, the play dough could be used to create small landscapes or accessories. An active imagination is all that is needed, as well a coat of varnish once the dough has dried out!

Once children become more adept with using their own play dough, they can start experimenting with sculpting tools, such as blunt knives and palette knives.

Play dough is also malleable but firm enough to make craft moulds with. You could easily convert a block of your homemade play dough into a plaster of paris mould, or why not try making your own unique candle moulds? If left in the hands of creative children, the possibilities may seem endless!

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
This stuff worked perfectly, it's so easy to make I can't believe it! Helpful info.You rock!
sam_sam_sammie - 24-Mar-11 @ 2:11 PM
Wow that's so easy and cool. Thanks alot for showing it. Helpful information.
serena - 22-Mar-11 @ 11:15 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • CHIB
    Re: Make Your Own Organic Compost
    Autumn is the best time for this kind of work. Forking in some well rotted horse manure, well rotted leaf mould if you are able…
    28 January 2018
  • MakingYourOwn
    Re: Make Your Own Puppets
    HRMS44 - Your Question:Good Afternoon,I am hoping to make embroidered finger and glove puppets out of certified embroidery thread and…
    17 January 2018
  • HRMS44
    Re: Make Your Own Puppets
    Good Afternoon, I am hoping to make embroidered finger and glove puppets out of certified embroidery thread and certified felt. As these…
    15 January 2018
  • JanPez
    Re: Make Your Own Sloe Gin
    I’ve got some damson gin on the go, which I intend to leave until next year. In fact I have a few different convictions on the go. My…
    11 October 2017
  • MakingYourOwn
    Re: Make Your Own Washing Powder & Fabric Conditioner
    Jo - Your Question:I would like to know how much gram of soap do you use?Thank uOur Response:An
    3 July 2017
  • Cornish
    Re: Make Your Own Sloe Gin
    I have dregs of bottle of homemade sloe gin; can I top up with more gin and keep it going? If so do I need to add sugar as if starting…
    20 June 2017
  • Tanya
    Re: Make Your Own Periscope and Kaleidoscope
    Very easy to make and interesting.
    8 June 2017
  • Parrot
    Re: Make Your Own Sloe Gin
    Hi, I've just decanted sloe gin and slodka made in 2013. It is natural, unsweetened and the gin is delicious, and the vodka is much…
    6 June 2017
  • MakingYourOwn
    Re: Make Your Own Fudge
    GVallen - Your Question:This is quite honestly the WORST fudge recipe I have ever come across, it completely ruined our best pan and didn't…
    27 March 2017
  • GVallen
    Re: Make Your Own Fudge
    This is quite honestly the WORST fudge recipe I have ever come across, it completely ruined our best pan and didn't even work! Even at over…
    25 March 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the MakingYourOwn website. Please read our Disclaimer.