AJ’s best, awesomest, most super-amazing jello playdough recipe

by humanmama on February 2, 2012

It’s the dog days of winter, folks, or it usually is at this time of year, and I’ve gotten three requests in the last week for play dough recipies because people need something to do. This is the absolute best play dough I’ve made at home–a great texture, and a great smell, too! This is much more like “Play Dough” that you buy than the traditional salt dough that I’ve been making–try it, you’ll love it!

I originally got this recipe from Playdoughrecipe.org, and they have it listed there as “Jello Playdough Recipe.” I have made a couple of tweaks to it, so I’ll call it


if you don’t mind. Here you go:

AJ’s Super Amazing Playdough:

1 and 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
2 Tbs Cream of Tartar (*this helps it keep and not get slimy)
2 Tbs Salt
2 Tbs cooking oil (Canola, Olive, Vegetable all work)
1 C warm water (Tap water will do)
1 tsp alum (*optional)
Small packet sugar-free Jello (any brand)–3 oz. packet
Extra food coloring to achieve your desired brightness of color (in this recipe I used 5-7 extra drops each of yellow and red to get a very deep orange)

Mix all ingredients in big pot on stove. Turn stove on to Medium heat, and stir constantly until it begins to stick to bottom of pot. **It will look extremely gloppy at first! When it begins to stick together and form a layer on bottom of the pot, begin spreading playdough out, then mixing around over and over until it begins to be too hard to mix.

Take playdough to clean table and knead until it’s uniformly cool and soft. It’s HOT at first, so unless you have hard, unfeeling hands like me, be CAREFUL!

Enjoy–this is the BEST PLAYDOUGH EVER!

Helping Mama! (before heat is on)

gloppy at first!

sticking to bottom and HOT!

cool and perfect for making "eggs" with!


*Alum is supposed to help this dough keep longer
*Sugar-free Jello is less likely to burn as it cooks on the heat. You can also use regular Jello, but be sure to keep stirring at all times!

*NOTE: I have noticed after making this MULTIPLE times that Jello-brand Jello works way better than generic “flavored gelatin.” I have no idea why…. If you find a gelatin that works well, post a comment here so others can be aware!

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Christine February 2, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Remember these goodies from Pressley Ridge? Magic Nuudles…they are like packing peanuts, but made from constarch and are for crafty stuff. Get ’em wet and they stick together. Bought some for Alex from Discount School Supply.

Also, I loved the Dot Markers (like Bingo Markers) and the workbooks that went with them. Check out Dotart.com
I have the rainbow, ABC and Trucks workbooks. I copied them so I can use them again, or for playdates. If you want, I will send you copies of each. You can also get the Do a Dot Markers at Michaels and use the 40% off coupons that comes w/ the Sunday paper! The markers are around $12, but worth it with the coupon, and they are washable!! I dont’ know if the bingo markers from the Dollar store are washable.

Thanks for the playdoh recipe, I knew you’d have the best one!


aj February 3, 2012 at 4:01 pm

loved those magic nuudles Chris! I think they stuck to themselves AND were edible too–what a combo!


Ingrid April 10, 2012 at 4:56 am

Have you tried using unsweetened Koolaid pcekats to make finger paints? I tried a recipe and it didn’t work at all, but I can’t figure out if it is because I used the offbrand or because it was just a bad recipe.Did you have any trouble with the kids wanting to eat the playdough?


aj April 12, 2012 at 9:36 pm

Nope–one taste and they realize it was pretty gross (but it is edible!)


Debuthakur April 11, 2012 at 1:43 pm

I’ve read about using Koolaid to scent play dough, but have never tried it. We have added cinnamon and vinllaa to ours, and it turned out well, but I love how many different scents are possible using Koolaid. I think we may just have to do this! Thanks for the inspiration! :)


Jessica February 3, 2012 at 1:13 am

I have yet to try making my own play dough, but if you say it’s the best recipe, then I’m willing to try it! Thanks for sharing. : )
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aj February 3, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Jess–it’s not as hard as you think! :)


Beth May 1, 2013 at 8:41 pm

I tried to enlarge your picture to double-check, but my small box of playdough is 0.03 oz.
3 oz. is ten times as much, so I would be using way too little, but you did say a small package. My 0.03 oz. pkg. of jello serves 4.


aj May 5, 2013 at 10:46 pm

Sorry! Now I need to recheck that. I use the small box–disregard the typo!!


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