Homemade playdough recipe.

Homemade playdough Recipe | Clean : : The LuSa Organics Blog

There are few projects as satisfying to a five-year old (okay, or even a 35 year-old) as making playdough. It's fast, simple, and rewarding beyond the skills needed to make it happen.

I shared my playdough recipe once before, but I've rewritten it for you now, with photos of the process. Those help, since playdough goes through a "that-can't-be-right" stage just before it's done.

A note on wheat: though we do not eat gluten, no one in my home is celiac so this recipe is based on wheat flour. I'm working on a gluten-free version that I'll be sure to share when it's ready.

Homemade Play Dough

1 C white flour (I have used whole grain with good results as well)

1/4 C salt

2 T cream of tartar

1 C water

2 tsp food coloring (optional)

1 Tb oil

A few drops of essential oils of your choice.I am partial to Cranky Pants EO Blend, but use whatever you love.

Homemade playdough Recipe | Clean : : The LuSa Organics Blog

Homemade playdough Recipe | Clean : : The LuSa Organics Blog

Homemade playdough Recipe | Clean : : The LuSa Organics Blog

Combine dry ingredients in a medium cooking pot.

Add wet ingredients (except essential oils) and stir.

Homemade playdough Recipe | Clean : : The LuSa Organics Blog

over medium heat stirring constantly. It will go through the following stages:

Homemade playdough Recipe | Clean : : The LuSa Organics Blog

Wet soupy flour mixture;

Homemade playdough Recipe | Clean : : The LuSa Organics Blog

still moist but becoming gooey and starting to stick to the pan;

Homemade playdough Recipe | Clean : : The LuSa Organics Blog

very awkward to stir and rather chunky;

Homemade playdough Recipe | Clean : : The LuSa Organics Blog

and then suddenly – voila! – a fairly smooth ball of dough in your pot.

Homemade playdough Recipe | Clean : : The LuSa Organics Blog

Once the dough forms a ball in the center of the pot, turn
out onto a lightly floured surface. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then knead until smooth. Make a dent with your finger to add optional essential oils. Knead in completely. 

Homemade playdough Recipe | Clean : : The LuSa Organics Blog

For colored dough, divide as desired. Flatten each ball and make a fingerprint in the center. (But don't go all the way through!)

Add a drop or two of food coloring to each, then fold into a little calzone and carefully knead and fold to work the color into the dough. (This job is best for adults or older kids, and you might want to wear gloves if you are worried about a touch of coloring on your hands.)

We've had success with both grocery-store food coloring and the natural food coloring we use for baking.

Homemade playdough Recipe | Clean : : The LuSa Organics Blog

Store in the fridge. Discard when it becomes sticky or if it starts to seem off.

Want a PDF of the recipe to can print it out? You bet!

Download HomemadePlaydoughRecipe

Have fun today!


21 thoughts on “Homemade playdough recipe.

  1. All in Stitches says:

    Just started reading your blog and everything is relevant for us right now! The “everyone helps out” posts, and now the play dough! I just said to the girls, I need to find a good play dough recipe for us to make…thanks!

  2. Amanda says:

    How fitting that you would post this today! I use a different recipe (no cook) that I love. I made a batch just this morning for my 3 year old and, I kid you not, she has been sitting at the table playing with it non-stop for over 2 hours now! Such fun!

  3. Emmalina says:

    Funnily enough I just made playdough this afternoon (your recipe and mine are the same!), with a 3 year old playdough addict in the house we are in serious trouble if we don’t have a good supply! I made mine with a good few drops of lemon tea tree oil as there seem to be some yucky bugs flying around right now. A good way to disinfect little hands!

  4. Michele says:

    This looks similar to a recipe that I’ve been using a few years. I’m wondering though, why the suggestion to refrigerate this one? Our batches usually last around six months; I throw it out when it seems overly dry, mostly from being left out.

  5. Rachel Wolf says:

    Michelle, I always assumed that being a biodegradable product it would get funky if I didnt. And sometimes the funk isnt evident. So we keep it in the fridge. If what you are doing works then go with it! 🙂

  6. sara says:

    I have made this recipe with white rice flour, for a gluten free alternative, with great results. (I think it is the same- all the same ingredients anyway, possibly different ratios)

  7. Julie says:

    Have you ever had play dough mold? I did once and it was horrible. It wasn’t in the cabinet for that long… perhaps 2-3 months. I can see why you recommend refrigerating! However, is there an ingredient or another way/recipe to PREVENT molding altogether?

  8. Rachel Wolf says:

    You can add essential oil of clove or tea tree (just a drop or two). Both would help. You can balance the smell with a sweeter oil too, like lavender or ylang ylang. And lets hear it for refrigeration!

  9. Sofya says:

    Great recipe, Rachel, we just made it! Less of a project than I thought, and Josie really, really loves working with it – says it doesn’t make as much mess (crumble less), is pleasant to touch, doesn’t dry out hands (so far), and very malleable. Thanks so much for sharing. We followed it to the T and everything went perfectly.

  10. Jess says:

    Just made some for my 20 month old daughter’s Easter basket and it turned out great. She stood by my side while I made it and I couldn’t stop her from playing with it right away! I mixed in some Cranky Pants and it smells so good!

  11. GirlonFIre says:

    I just have one question to ask, do children have to wash their hands immediately after playing with this or can they play with other toys first? Because the ingredients are all edible right.

    I know, for normal play doh, they have to wash their hands with soap immediately after playing just in case they put their hands in their mouth and all?

  12. Patricia says:

    I love that I just found this!! 🙂 I’ve been looking up homemade play dough with oils and although I’m sure young living and those are really great, I have only ever used your oils… Going to go to the coop to buy some more oils today and make some! Can’t wait!

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