How to Make Homemade Playdough!

DIY Playdough

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Have you ever tried making Homemade Playdough?

It’s so simple, fun, and thrifty!  This Homemade Playdough Recipe comes from my friend Kristee, and is an absolute cinch to make!

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 tsp. Cream of Tartar
  • 1/2 cup Salt
  • 1 tbsp. Vegetable Oil
  • Food Coloring
  • Optional: Vanilla or Peppermint Extract, or Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • This makes a good-sized batch, so you could also cut the recipe in half… or make the full recipe using two different sauce pans {to make 2 different colors}

DIY Playdough Recipe from TheFrugalGirls.comPin It Buttons

What You’ll Do:

  • Mix Together all ingredients {except food coloring} in saucepan
  • Optional: Add in a splash of Vanilla extract to make it smell yummy. Or… for more fun scents: add in some Peppermint extract to the ‘Green’ playdough you’re making, or Pumpkin Pie Spice to the ‘Orange’ playdough you’re making! {thanks to Heather & Susan for sharing these tips on Facebook!}

  • Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly.

  • As soon as the mixture begins to thicken, add in food coloring.  Continue to stir.
  • Mixture will begin forming into a solid, and gathering on spoon.
  • Remove from heat to cool, then remove from saucepan to cool on wax paper, plate, etc.
  • Store in freezer ziploc bag.  Then, you can even place the bag in a dark container, or in the fridge… to make it last even longer!

If it starts to get dry after several weeks, try adding a few drops of water into play dough to extend it’s shelf life.

Give it a try, and see what you think!


As far as playdough toys go… my boys always loved using mini rolling pins, plastic cookie cutters, and even the garlic press! 😉

See Also:
BIG List of Frugal Summer Fun Ideas for Kids from

The Frugal Girls on Pinterest |

The Frugal Girls on Facebook

The Frugal Girls on Google+ |


  1. Tamara Lee says

    My Grandma uses this all the time, my copy of it also says you could add oil of peppermint or other scents if you want we don’t add color do to possible fights over who gets what color, Store in a ziplock in a dark container lasts forever. :)

  2. bella says

    We only use homemade playdough at our pre-school. For
    Valentine’s week we make a chocolate scented playdough.
    The kids love and the room smells great!!!!!
    Love the idea to add pumpkin spice etc……
    I have made the kool aid version a few times, that
    also smells great and looks great.
    Thanks for the new hints

  3. Robin Jackson says

    It’s not play dough, but when I used to babysit, I would buy instant vanilla pudding (or white chocolate) and some food coloring and let the kids finger paint on the kitchen table on placemats or on a plastic tablecloth. They could pain, and make pictures, lick their fingers (dessert) and then, I could throw it all in the sink and rinse it off and be done.

  4. says

    Hey, I just made this for the grandkids! I made it PINK for Ellie’s birthday color (she’ll be 3 tomorrow). I added vanilla and they love playing with it, smelling it as they roll it out. It’s still a little warm, which adds to the senses of playing with it! Thanks, I had this recipe years ago and now have pulled it back in front of my recipe cards for the grandchildren! ~Heidi

  5. Kami says

    I love making homemade playdough! I make mine in the microwave. I use a lot of color and spices or kool-aid packets. Fun party idea to make with the kids. I let each pick a color & flavor, chocolate, mint, etc. Then I let them play!

  6. Marcia says

    I’ve made playdough for years and my students just love it. I’ve had my students (pre-k age) help measure, mix, etc. I like to make it in a non-stick electric skillet. I’ve used the kool-aid to color/scent the dough…even using two packets for extra punch! I will say, if you use the kool-aid, make sure it is the actual kool-aid not store-brand or off-brand…they just don’t have the same color saturation as the real thing does!

  7. Deb says

    I used to make this when my kids were small. I pulled the well-worn recipe card out of my box just a few weeks ago and made some for my grandkids. Boy, did I go up a notch in their esteem! “Wow, Grammie knows how to make playdough! She even let us pick our own colors and mix them together.”

  8. Laura says

    I used to make play dough for the kids’ preschool classes (the recipe I used was the same as yours, except 3-4 times as much!) If the kids are big enough not to eat the play dough, you can also mix in glitter — pink glitter dough was especially popular with the girls.

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