I remember with some fondness playing with Play Doh as a kid.  It wasn’t until middle school that I realized that you could actually make the stuff yourself.  Recently, as we look for more constructive activities for Tron, TacoMa’am decided to make a few batches of the homemade stuff for him.  It turned out great and he’s a big fan of it (indeed, it’s one of the few things I’ve ever seen keep his attention for over an hour).  So today, I bring you several recipes for your very own PlayDough.


One thing I learned from TacoMa’am in her project to produce playdough, is that the cooked playdough is superior to the no-cook stuff I remember from middle school.  Indeed, the recipe she uses is very close to the real thing (a little softer).  It also lasts longer and doesn’t dry out as quickly as the non-cook stuff.

The cool things about making it yourself are in the cost savings and variety of color.  For the same money you’ll spend on about a pound of Play Doh, you’ll be able to make several pounds of your own stuff.  Along with that, you can color your own stuff with a wide variety of colorants available, which include the standard iodine drips and color gels* as well as things like Kool Aid packets.  And, since it’s cheap, it doesn’t matter so much if some of it is ruined.  With normal Play Doh, I always felt bad about combining the colors because they don’t uncombine.  So, once you combine some, you either throw it out, or put it in your “combination” container of Play Doh that eventually turns a swirly brown color.   The homemade stuff is so inexpensive that losing a bunch of it to mushed combination isn’t a big deal, so using all the colors in combination is a guilt-free exercise.

As a bonus, all the Play Doh forms, presses, and other accessories still work with the stuff you make in your own lab.  For the yard sale champion, this is a great cost saving measure because you’ll see the accessories sold on the cheap without the Doh fairly often.  And if you’re really handy, you can make some accessories of your own (which I’ll cover some other days once I make the ones I’m thinking about a reality).

-Confusion is a state of mind, or is it?

*If you’ve never played with food-grade color gels, I highly recommend giving them a try.  They are way, way better than iodine based colorant.