Do It Yourself: Homemade Playdough Recipes

The following playdough recipes can easily be made at home from common, inexpensive items that you already have around the house.

Before beginning any playdough project, it is best to protect the area in which you will be working. You may want to purchase an inexpensive plastic shower curtain liner or spread out trash bags on the surface you will be using, as well as on the floor. Or, you can use wax paper if you will only be working in a small area.

Below are several recipes. Those that need to be cooked will require adult supervision. Enjoy.


-Common Playdough

½ cup of flour

½ cup of salt

1 tablespoon cream of tartar

½ cup of water

Mix dry ingredients and begin adding water. Stir until soft. If necessary you may add more water by wetting your hands while kneading. Dough should be nice and soft but not sticky.

-Cornmeal Playdough

¾ cup flour

¾ cups cornmeal

½ cup salt

½ cup water

Mix dry ingredients, and add water. Mix well and knead until pliable.

-Oatmeal Playdough

½ cup flour

1 cup oatmeal

½ cup water

Mix dry ingredients then stir in water. Knead until soft.


*These recipes require adult supervision.

-Simple Playdough

1 cup water

1 cups flour

¼ cup salt

½ tablespoon of cooking oil

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Combine all ingredients and heat in saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly. When the moisture has been absorbed the playdough is done. Allow to cool then knead until smooth.

-Putty Style Playdough

½ cup Corn Starch

1 cup Baking Soda

¾ cup cold water

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the mixture has the consistency of mashed potatoes. Pour onto cookie sheet and cover. It is best to cover with a clean, damp cloth to prevent the cloth from sticking. When the dough is cool, knead it until is stretchy like Silly Puttyâ-¢. Allow the finished sculptures to dry for a day or two at room temperature before attempting to paint.

-Salt Playdough

1½ cup salt

¾ cup flour

1½ cup water

-small amount of additional flour

Mix dry ingredients together then add water. Cook over medium heat, stirring often. Remove from heat when mixture becomes rubbery. As dough cools knead in enough extra flour to make dough pliable.

-Kool-Aid Playdough

*This recipe does not technically require cooking, but it uses boiling water (so it still requires adult supervision).

1 envelope Kool-Aid or any brand instant soft drink mix (unsweetened)

¼ cup salt

½ tablespoon alum (spice)

1¼ cups flour

1 cup boiling water

1½ tablespoons cooking oil

Blend dry ingredients together then stir in water and oil. Mix well. When dough is cool to the touch, knead well. This dough smells great.

-Bake-able Playdough

*This recipe does not require cooking, but finished crafts may be baked.

2 cups flour

½ cup salt

½ teaspoon powered alum (spice)

¾ cup water

Mix all ingredients until soft dough forms. You can add small amounts of water with your hands if mixture is too dry. Mold or sculpt into desired shapes, then bake on an un-greased cookie sheet for about half an hour at 250 degrees. Gently turn shapes over and bake an additional hour and a half. Remove from oven, let stand to cool, and gently sand before painting.


While these recipes (minus some of the added options listed below) are non-toxic, they are not intended to be eaten.

To improve any of the above recipes, a few drops of food coloring can be added to create colored dough. Or, a few drops of baby oil can be added to give the dough a nice scent (always keep baby oil out of reach of children). You can also knead some glitter into your dough to make it sparkly.

The types of dough listed here must be stored in an air tight container but do not require refrigeration.


The really cool thing about playdough is that the kids get to use their imagination in so many ways. The different colors, textures, and scents they experience will stimulate their senses and inspire creativity. You might even have some fun yourself.

© High Speed Ventures 2011