DIY Playdough Recipe

DIY Playdough Recipe

This DIY playdough recipe is so simple. It takes just a few minutes to mix all the ingredients, and a couple of minutes to cook on the stovetop. And the result is soft, squishy, colorful playdough!

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smooth and squishy playdough in green, yellow and blue

Finding a Great DIY Playdough Recipe

Prior to using this DIY playdough recipe, I tried a no-cook and no-cream of tartar recipe. A no-cook recipe just sounded easier, plus, who has cream of tartar on hand? 

I don’t recommend it though! The recipe I tried out anyways, resulted in crumbly dry “playdough”. I could barely manipulate it as it fell apart in my hands, and my toddler just seemed confused. 

I was hesitant to try another DIY playdough recipe after that initial homemade playdough experience, but I’m so glad I gave it another go! I passed over the no-cook recipes, and landed on new one that looked promising from livingwellmom

Gathering Your DIY Playdough Recipe Ingredients

So if you’re like me, don’t let a little cream of tartar or cook time keep you from some great DIY playdough. If you don’t have any cream of tartar on hand, just grab a small jar during your next grocery shop for about $3 (it’s usually with the spices).

And food coloring is usually in the same aisle, just next to the spices. I bought a pack of 4 colors for less than $4. And it really is just a couple of minutes of cooking on the stovetop once you have mixed all the ingredients together.

Long-lasting, Squishy & Delightful Playdough!

The cream of tartar and the salt act as preservatives in this playdough, so you can keep it around for awhile! We have a few balls of playdough that I made a couple of months ago that are still looking and feeling fresh. We do sometimes forget to put the playdough back in ziplocs after done playing with it though, so like any playdough, it will dry out eventually. 

I imagine in another month or so, we will make a new batch to replace our current one. Because even with all that salt and cream of tartar, it’s not meant to last for eternity and those little toddler fingers have probably added a few ingredients of their own.

It is a fun activity making this playdough though, and my toddler loves helping, so I look forward to our next batch! 

I adapted this DIY playdough recipe from livingwellmom, so credit and many thanks to her.

DIY Playdough Recipe

Easy DIY Playdough Recipe. Originally adopted from
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1 Large Baseball Sized Ball of Playdough


  • 1 Small-Medium Sized Cooking Pot
  • 1 Mixing Bowl
  • Wooden spoon for Mixing and Stirring


  • 2 teaspoons Cream of Tartar I bought a small jar for $2.99 at Albertsons. This 3.25 oz jar is enough to make 9 batches of playdough (9 baseball sized balls). You can also buy it in bulk if you plan on making a lot of playdough!
  • 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/3 Cup Salt A finely ground salt is best. I bought a large jar for about $2 and it made 7 batches of playdough.
  • 1 Tablespoon Canola Oil I also use an additional 1 teaspoon of canola oil to grease the sides of my cooking pot since I don't have a nonstick pot.
  • 1 Cup Water
  • Food Coloring A small pack of red, blue, green and yellow is about $4 and will last a really long time! You just need a few drops for each batch.


  • Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl, and mix it all together until it's nice and creamy.
  • Add to stovetop pot or pan and cook on low/medium heat until the dough starts to clump together (about 2 minutes give or take, depends on how fast your pot heats up). Let the playdough sit in the pot for a minute after turning the heat off.
  • Remove the playdough from the pot and let it cool.
  • That's it!
  • Store in a sealed bag or container when not using the playdough to keep it from drying out.

Benefits of Using a DIY Playdough Recipe

Making playdough is a great activity to do with kids. They get to see what goes into playdough, as well as enjoy the tactile sensory experience of it afterwards!

Exploring playdough is one of my toddler’s favorite activities. We either make things together out of playdough for a fun interactive activity, or I set him up with a playdough tray that he can explore during independent playtime. The sensory experience of playdough helps him stay engaged and also supports his creativity and problem solving skills as he’s developing his independence. You can read more about How to Encourage Independent Play here.

How did you like this DIY playdough recipe? Say hi and let me know in the comments!

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