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play doh home made

Play-Doh with Pantry Ingredients and Cookie Cutters

I love Play Doh. It’s not sticky, it comes in a million colors, and it smells delicious (don’t be fooled—I have a core memory of trying to eat Play Doh as a child, and it is categorically NOT delicious). When my kids were little little, I used to have tons of it on hand at any given moment. They would get it in Easter baskets and Christmas stockings, and they’d usually always ask for another tub of it anytime we went to the dollar store or Target. But as they’ve gotten a little older, we don’t get it as often, so the chances are pretty good that when they go to open one of those little yellow tubs in the craft bin, it might be dried up. So sad. If you find yourself in this situation, you can either load up those kids in the car and run to the store, or you can take a few minutes to whip up a batch of homemade Play Doh using ingredients you probably already have on hand. (An activity that then becomes a secondary activity, giving the kids something fun and creative to do for more than 10 minutes? Yes, please, sign me up.)


2 cups flour

3/4 cup salt

8 teaspoons white vinegar

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

2 cups room-temp(ish) tap water

Food coloring, glitter

Scented oil or vanilla (if desired)


1. Combine flour, salt, and vinegar in a medium saucepan; mix well. Add vegetable oil and water to the pan and stir. (We made two batches, and when the first batch came out great but smelled a little vinegar-y, I poured a little bit of my Clearly Not Vanilla into the measuring cup of water before I added it to the dough. It definitely made the dough smell a lot yummier!)

2. Place pan on stove over medium heat. Stir constantly for several minutes. When your dough pulls away cleanly from the sides of the pan and forms a ball, remove from heat and allow it to cool a bit.

3. Scoop dough into several separate quart-sized zipper bags; we did 4 colors per batch. Add food coloring and glitter (if desired), and knead dough until color is evenly distributed. We used my Cookie Countess gels to get a nice bright set of colors!

4. The dough can be stored in the zipper bags or small containers, whatever you prefer. 

Let the kids use your stash of cookie cutters and fondant molding tools for that authentic cookier vibe. 

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