The Best Playdough Recipe {Soft, Easy, Smells Great & Long Lasting}

My little guys LOVE playdough! It’s one of the greatest and easiest imaginative toys for little ones! I love that playdough can be used in so many different ways again and again.  My biggest complaints about most playdough recipes is that they are stinky, gets hard way too quickly, and is such a waste when it only lasts a few days. Finally, after years of tireless searching {ok, well my oldest is only three} we found a recipe that changed all of that for our family!  I consider it to be ‘The Best Playdough Recipe’: it smells great, it’s super soft, and extremely long lasting (with recommended storage)! Just watch out… it actually smells so good that you and your little one may be tempted to taste it! However, no worries the salty taste will instantly curve that idea! 


  • 1 (3-oz.) package sugar-free jello
  • food coloring or food gel {for brighter colors}; use until you reach your preferred color
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup salt
  • 4 TBS cream of tartar
  • 2 TBS oil


1. Mix the jello, flour, salt, and cream of tartar in a saucepan; stir together.

2. Next add the oil and the boiling water and coloring. Stir continuously over medium heat until dough forms into a ball.

3. Remove from heat, knead. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Note: If playdough ever seems too sticky, simply add a little more flour and kneed together well. 


Recipe Originally from:




  1. I love how vibrant the colors are. I a going to give this recipe a try.

    • The great bright colors are all credited to awesome food gels! :) Way better than food coloring but stain if you don’t wash it off your hands right away! I’ve definitely had blue hands for days before! :)

  2. I have yet to try making my own. This recipe looks easy and I’m going to do it soon!

  3. Hi, am so excited about this but think I made an error. The kind of sugar free jello we used was strawberry so the dough is super red. I couldn’t get food coloring in in time so it’s mainly red. It feels good and smells amazing but I am afraid the jello might stain my girls hands as it has mine. Does it sound like I did anything wrong? Does the jello come in a non flavor?

    • Peggy- Interesting… I’ve never had it stain my hands; try folding 1/4 cup of flour into the dough, continue until it reaches the desired consistency. Let me know if this doesn’t work! Did you use 3oz of Jello?

  4. elizabeth says:

    The sugar free jell-o i found everywhere is only 0.6oz so i need 5 boxes??? Thanks

    • Elizabeth- That is correct, sorry you can only find 0.6 oz packages! Stay on the lookout for the 3.0 boxes, I find them at the grocery store and Wal-Mart.


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