Learn + Play Play Recipes

Homemade Play Dough Recipe & Halloween Fun

My husband had to work Saturday, so it was just the kids and I.  Bryson asked to play with play dough and since we were still using the homemade play-dough I made back in May, I decided it was time to make another batch.  Because I wanted to make more colors, I made a much larger quantity this time.

This is basically the same recipe, just adapted to make about 4x the original recipe.  This play-dough turned out much more silky and smooth than my first batch!  I like the texture more and it’s all around better, in my opinion.  So, maybe it’s best to make it in a large batch?  Or, it could just be a fluke.. Who knows?  All I know is that it’s much better than buying it at the store, lasts longer, and is cheaper.


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 Tsp cream of tartar
  • 4 cups water


In a large pot combine all ingredients and mix well.  Stir in the water and oil.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the dough starts to become dry and pulls away from the pot.  The dough should look more dry than wet.  Divide the dough into balls and knead.  The dough is very hot, so I just shape it into balls, then go back, knead, and add my color after it cools for a few minutes.  Add your colors and work each ball until you reach the desired color.

I’ve used both liquid and gel colors.  The gel colors come out much more vibrant and true to color.  In the future, I’ll stick with only gel.

With Halloween coming up, I made some orange and black play-dough.  To make the black, I just mixed blue, yellow, and red colors until I got the color I was going for.  I think you can probably find black food colors during Halloween, but I just used what I had.  Then, I dug through our 101 Piece Wilton Cookie Cutter Set to find the Halloween themed cutters.  Bryson immediately went after the ghost, but there was also a house, a cat, a bat, a moon, a witch, and two pumpkins.

We played with this for hours.  It stayed out most of the day and it’s still silky as can be.  I’m storing it in a storage bag for now.  If you plan on having a Halloween party, this would make perfect party favors.  If you haven’t made homemade play dough, definitely give it a try!  I know that you won’t be disappointed.



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