The formula for the original Play-Doh, invented in 1956, remains top secret. But you can make your own version of play dough that's just as much fun to make as it is to play with. This recipe makes 3 1/2 cups of dough.

Tools and Materials

2 cups flour

1 cup salt

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

2 cups cold water

Food coloring

Wooden board

Plastic bag or container

Play Dough How-To

1. In a medium saucepan, mix together the flour, salt, vegetable oil, cream of tartar, and water.

2. Cook uncovered over medium heat, about 5 minutes. Stir constantly until the dough is the consistency of mashed potatoes.

3. Divide the dough into four equal portions.

4. Add approximately 6 to 8 drops of food coloring to each portion and knead the color into the dough to distribute it evenly. Kneading the color into the dough is the fun part -- kids will love it.

5. If you store the play dough in a plastic bag or airtight container, it will stay nice and soft and last for years.

Comments (8)

Martha Stewart Member
January 4, 2019
My baby never slept well (especially through the night) until I started using the website >>SLEEPBABY.ORG<< - that website has been by far one of the best things I've ever got my hands on to get him to fall asleep quickly. Best time is 45 seconds from awake to asleep! Can’t imagine life without it! I heard about it through a kindergarten teacher who uses it to put to sleep a group of 30 children. Check it out! >>SLEEPBABY.ORG<< - sorry, you can't post links here so you'll have to turn it into a normal link :) Best of luck to you and your family!
Martha Stewart Member
December 3, 2016
Excellent recipe. Have added all types of aromas and all have turned out great. The playdough is not as stiff as regular play dough. What can I do to add some stiffness? I welcome all suggestions.
Martha Stewart Member
November 21, 2015
My daughter and I added a couple of drops of peppermint extract to it and it smells amazing. Thinking about selling it at her Girl Scout craft sale.
Martha Stewart Member
October 5, 2011
i live in spain, and have no idea how to get the cream of tartar here, could i change it for something like baking soda???or anything else,thanks fro the help
Martha Stewart Member
July 26, 2011
I LOVE this recipe! I make it double batches for my kindergarten classroom every year. It keeps so much better than the name brand stuff! The children love it and can even help me mix the colors we want to use. I place a portion of made dough in a zip-lock, add food coloring , zip it shut and let them start squishing away until all the color is in the dough. They love helping their teacher and their fine motor skills get a good work out too!
Martha Stewart Member
March 22, 2009
Worked out very well for us. Easy to make. Dough was a little sticky, but improves with play. Inexpensive and I won't feel bad when it's accidentally left out or mixed with other colors. Smells better than the real Play Doh.
Martha Stewart Member
July 27, 2008
Loved this recipe! No more worrying about the kids mixing the colors
Martha Stewart Member
April 28, 2008
Has anyone tried to double the amount of dough the reciepe gives? If you have, can you?