Step by Step Instructions for Making Play Dough

May 17, 2017. Tagged , , , , , ,

Here is my step by step recipe for making play dough. I made a dark purple play with these instructions but it can be easily adapted to a colour of your choice. I chose to use icing colour to make the colour, which is more of a paste and makes a stronger colour than food colouring.


  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 tbsp of oil
  • 2 tsp of creme of tartar
  • 1 tsp food colouring / icing colour / Brusho
  • Glitter (optional)
  • Glycerin (optional)


  • Saucepan
  • Large spatular

First I add oil into the saucepan then I add the dry ingredients. I leave the water until last. If you are using Brusho the powder should be mixed into the water before pouring into the saucepan. If you are using food colouring or icing colour just add this to the saucepan.

Whilst mixing, gently heat the mixture over a medium heat. Once the ingredients start to join together it will begin to go sticky, keep mixing until it forms a big ball. If it appears too dry add a little more water. To make glossy looking play dough, add a few drops of glycerin whilst stirring. This can also be added during the time you knead the dough.

Once it’s formed a ball, leave it to cool slightly. Next put the ball of play dough out onto the surface and knead. I use baking paper underneath the play dough and knead it for 5-10 minutes. It’s important to knead at this stage to make the play dough lovely and soft. It’s now ready to play with. I share the play dough on it’s own, with tools, or with different items. Play dough can be easily adapted for different play and learning activities.

To keep the play dough for longer keep it in an air-tight pot or a ziplock bag. Apart from changing the colour of the play dough, you could also change the experience by adding different essential oils or herbs; such as rose, lavender or rosemary. Another way to change the appearance is to mix two colours together.

I hope you enjoy making this play dough. I would love to see your creations and hear how you get on. Let me know in the comments below, and share using #harrietandviolet.

There are affiliate links in this post. If you purchase a product through one of them I will receive a commission.
It will cost you nothing extra. I only ever endorse products that I have personally used. Thank you.

Discover the Print Play Learn resources and find out more about the benefits for you as a:

You might also like

An Easy Lavender Playdough Recipe

Do you want to know how to make Lavender playdough? Then read below. This playdough recipe is perfect, create a soothing, calming lavender play dough. Ingredients for the lavender play dough: 1 cup of flour 1 cup of water 1/2 cup of salt 1 – 2 tbsp of oil 2 tsp of creme of tartar …read more Read More

Homemade Halloween Black Play Dough

I wanted to make black play dough for a change, previously I’ve only used natural or bright coloured play dough.  I tried black food colouring and used a whole bottle but it only developed into a dark grey colour. I decided to try black Brusho (I use this a lot for art or play activities) and …read more Read More

“I’m ready to get printing, get playing and watch them learn!”