Squishy, squashy, soft, and stress-relieving! This play dough recipe without cream of tartar has it all. A batch of this silky smooth dough is a joy for both children and adults. You’ll find it impossible to stop molding, mushing, and you may find you’re mesmerized for hours. (Such a great tension-releasing tool or before-bed relaxation!)
If you’ve never tried making your own, this is the time. Find your favorite friends, children, and fun-loving adults for a fabulous play dough party! Ask everyone to bring their own sensory supplies (see below for suggestions) and beloved scents to boost up their finished blob.
To start, collect a small list of ingredients from the kitchen and spread out the supplies over a large counter space or kitchen area. A waterproof or worn out table cloth works perfectly. Select a few spoons, several bowls, and a bunch of reusable towels or rags.
If you’re ready, let’s get started!
The main ingredients for playdough are seriously simple—flour, salt, and water. Woo! This recipe also includes a bit of oil and cornstarch to create the softest and smoothest texture. When making your own dough, you can adjust the ingredients any way you wish…add a little more or less oil, cornstarch, fragrance, or color. It’s all up to you. That’s the beauty of this vegan play dough recipe.
In order to make your play dough recipe without cream of tartar soft, the key is to knead, knead, knead. Then, knead again! This is why it’s such a perfect recipe for kids. They can go on working the dough forever and having fun.
The best way to keep your DIY play dough recipe soft and pliable is to keep it sealed in an airtight container when not in use. Here are some suggestions for storing:
This homemade play dough without cream of tartar is so quick to make, you’ll have a fun, malleable dough in no time! Here’s a simple tutorial with step-by-step photos so you know exactly what to do. For exact measurements, reference the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Step One: In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, and oil well. You can use a rubber spatula or your hands to mix it all together.
Step Two: Add the food coloring to the warm water and mix well.
Step Three: If using a scent, add this now to the water mixture. Use ½ teaspoon (40-50 drops) of scent or essential oil.
Step Four: Slowly add the colored water to the flour mixture in the bowl. Start out slowly and mix thoroughly to avoid adding too much water.
Step Five: Once the dough becomes malleable in your hands (it may be a tiny bit sticky at this point), sprinkle 2-4 tablespoons of cornstarch onto the dough and knead well until it becomes springy, smooth, and very slightly dry to the touch.
That’s it! Now you have a fun dough to play with all week long! Make sure to keep it wrapped in plastic wrap or a damp cloth and store in a sealable container in the refrigerator for maximum freshness.
To elevate your homemade playdough without cream of tartar to the next level, consider adding a super scented experience! Choose your all-time favorite scent for the entire batch or make multiple batches, each with a unique fragrance. It’s wonderfully fun to experiment with all different kinds of lovely odors. Sniff-tastic!
Feel free to add non-toxic scents, fragrances, or flavoring extracts to the dough. For alcohol or water-based scents, mix the drops with water before adding to the flour mixture. Use approximately ½ teaspoon (40-50 drops) of scent or essential oil per recipe or to your liking.
Essential oils should be mixed with the oil before the oil is added to the flour mixture. Kid-friendly essential oils include lavender, lemon, lime, orange, tangerine, chamomile, peppermint and vanilla.
These edible extracts may even add a little bit of color. This fancy set gives you luxurious tastes of rose, raspberry, chocolate, and lavender. J.R. Watkins Extracts are a nice, vegan-friendly choice, too.
Note: Even better if you’re able to find plant-base glycerin extracts instead of alcohol-based ones, but it doesn’t matter too much in the end.
What could be more fun than to have a super cute collection of rainbow playdough colors? It’s much easier than you think. All you need to do is to add the food coloring (paste, gel, etc.) to the warm water (or oil if the dyes are oil-based) before adding to the flour mixture. This way, you save your hands from getting temporarily dyed crazy colors and the color is more saturated and even.
Make a full batch of your favorite color or, if you’d like less of each color, just reduce this recipe by half before mixing in the color. Whether it’s red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, or some wacky new shade you made up yourself, it’s incredibly exciting to create your own personal set of colorful, homemade dough!
This is absolutely the best part! The ideas are infinite for things you can add into your play dough. Keep in mind the age of the person you’re making the dough for. If it’s an adult, anything is possible. If it’s for a baby or toddler, make sure that the items are over 2 inches in diameter to prevent choking. You can also buy this object tester to check.
Not only do little items add another level of sensory play to this hands-on recipe, it also makes the piece of modeling dough more personal. Some may love sparkle, but other might prefer texture. Have fun with this and look around the house for interesting items to add.
If you’re low on time or just can’t face a creative art project right now, no worries! There are a number of playdough brands you can buy with just a click of a button. Some of these brands do contain cream of tartar, so if you are sensitive to this ingredient, please stay clear. It’s reassuring to know that this play dough recipe is made without cream of tartar, even though this additive is vegan.
Yes! The brand Play Doh is vegan. Their list of basic ingredients includes the basic salt, water, and flour, just like our recipe below. We’ve also learned that it does not contain any peanut or dairy products, such as peanuts, peanut oil, or milk by-products. Though it is certified non-toxic, it is made with wheat.
Most store bought play dough consists of some proportions of water, flour, and salt. They also may include preservatives (most likely chemical), fragrance, and color. That’s why this recipe is so helpful. You can make a batch whenever you want, it’s inexpensive, and you can leave out any ingredients that you don’t want or that you or your family are sensitive or allergic to. It’s a win-win!
This playdough recipe without cream of tartar was written by Gina House and edited by Rachel Lessenden. Photos by Amanda McGillicuddy for World of Vegan, all rights reserved.
Leave a Comment
So nice to find a recipe without cream of tartar in it! My two year old loved it and it turned out so nice and soft! He has had hours of playing! I did use normal gel food coloring, not vegan (sorry I know it’s an vegan website) and it worked great!
So happy to hear your kiddo loved the play dough! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Such a cool activity to do with the kiddos!
I love this homemade dough even more than any commercial brand. Plus, I get to choose the colors and scents I like best. Win, win!
how cool! i’ve never made my own play dough before and this looks so easy! thank you!
I love this play dough recipe so much!! My little one loves making his own fun “pretend” cookies, shapes, and more. We’ll be using this for years to come!
This homemade play dough was a hit with my friend’s kids. Thanks for this awesome idea!!
I love that this play dough has only a handful of easy to find ingredients!