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Softest Cornstarch Playdough Recipe

There are all sorts of DIY playdough recipes out there. Our family loves creating together to see which one is our favorite. We loved this simple DIY playdough because it was so silky with only 2 basic ingredients.

bottle of lotion, corn starch, measuring cup and white homemade playdough.

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With all the handwashing going around, this easy playdough is not only fun to play with but also great for your skin.

Little hands can easily manipulate, squeeze and sculpt this soft playdough recipe. My children and I were calling this awesome 2-ingredient playdough recipe: moon dough. You simply make this soft playdough by mixing cornstarch and body lotion.

Recommended Supplies

  • Bowl for mixing
  • 3 parts cornstarch
  • 1 part lotion (unscented works best, but we just used whatever we had extra of)
  • Optional: Food Coloring-Gel food coloring will give you more vibrant colors
lotion, corn starch, measuring cup and homemade playdough.

How To Make Lotion & Corn Starch Playdough

Step 1: Add Corn Starch To Bowl

Add 3 cups of cornstarch to the mixing bowl.

See our FAQ for why our cornstarch looks this way. We were just reusing it from another project.

3 cups of corn starch in mixing bowl with spoon.

Step 2: Add Lotion To Corn Starch

Stir in 1 cup lotion or baby lotion. We used 3 cups and 1 cup and seemed to have enough for both children to play with and make different colors.

Make sure you chose the proper lotion for your child. If they have sensitive skin I would use a lotion that you know will work for them.

1 cup of lotion being added to 3 cups corn starch in mixing bowl.

Step 3: Mix Together

Mix together until the homemade playdough is soft and will not stick to your hands. If you are having trouble with a sticky mess, I found that using the back of the spoon to push this playdough back together helped consistency.

If it is too wet, you could also add additional cornstarch to get a good mix. No matter what, this is a great sensory activity for your children.

hand mixing cornstarch and lotion together.

Optional Step: Add Food Coloring

If you want different colors spilt your total amount of dough up into smaller mixing bowls. You can add a few drops of food coloring.

red food coloring in homemade white playdough with spoon mixing.

Our Food Color Mistake

When mixing the colors, use the back of the spoon and not your hands.

hand using a spoon to mix red food coloring in corn starch lotion dough.

I let my son use his hands. His hands were pretty blue for the rest of the day.

Step 4: Repeat To Make Different Colors

Play and have fun using this homemade silky playdough.

tie dye looking playdough in 3 balls on counter top.

Warning: Since this playdough is using lotion you will want to monitor your youngest children to make sure that they are not putting this in their mouths.

Playdough Clean-up Tip

This easy recipe is so much fun for sensory play.

As the children played with this cornstarch and lotion playdough, it did start to “dry” out. You can clump it back together. Putting a little bit of lotion on your hands helped collect the dried pieces.

child's hand playing with blue marbled DIY playdough with wooden playdough tool on counter.

Also, anytime you use a homemade playdough recipe, it can be a little messier than regular store-bought. However, have your children work in one space and then just simply vacuum up the rest.

How-To FAQs

How did you get a tie-dye color effect?

Start with the lighter food coloring. Put a few drops of food coloring in the playdough. Use the back of the spoon to mix it partially in. Add a few drops of the next color and mix slightly. If you overmix it, your colors will just blend together.
Just note that after a while of playing with the dough, the colors will mix and red tie dye looking homemade playdough in small glass bowl.

Why is your corn starch lumpy?

We reused the cornstarch from our DIY oobleck slime activity. We let it dry out before mixing playdough.

To make this playdough, I actually reused the dried-up cornstarch from the last time we made the DIY oobleck. I just let it dry up (it is only cornstarch and water). I used a soup spoon to turn the chunks of cornstarch into powder. dried cornstarch after being used in DIY oobleck slime activity.

Can you make cornstarch dough with something else besides lotion?

We have seen how-tos where they use hair conditioners in place of lotion.

How do you store this playdough?

It can last for a few days in an airtight container or Ziploc bag. We were able to continue to play with ours for about 4 days after.

What if my playdough is too crumbly?

You will need to add a little more lotion because you have too much corn starch.

If you are interested in other homemade playdough recipes, check out this book.

And if you are simply looking for a product that is just as fun, but no mess here is one of my favorite sculpting material for kids!

Let us know how your homemade silky playdough making went! We would love to see the sculptures that were able to be made with just cornstarch and lotion!

bottle of lotion, corn starch, measuring cup and white homemade playdough.

Cornstarch Playdough (Only 2-Ingredients)

Learn how to make soft, homemande playdough using lotion and cornstarch.
Print Pin Rate
Keyword: corn starch playdough, homemade playdough, lotion playdough
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Author: Erin
Cost: Under $5


  • Mixing Bowl
  • Measuring Cup

Recommended Supplies

  • 3 cups Cornstarch
  • 1 cup Unscented Lotion the cheapest lotion will work well


  • Add 3 cups corn starch to a large mixing bowl.
    3 cups of corn starch in mixing bowl with spoon.
  • Stir in 1 cup unscented lotion.
    1 cup of lotion being added to 3 cups corn starch in mixing bowl.
  • Use hands to mix together until smooth.
    hand mixing cornstarch and lotion together.
  • Optional: Split playdough into small bowls to add different food colorings.
    hand using a spoon to mix red food coloring in corn starch lotion dough.


  • Add extra lotion to your hands if you are having a hard time mixing the dough together.
  • Use the back of a spoon to help get the right consistency when mixing playdough.
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Tuesday 24th of November 2020

Why is mine so sticky? Do I need more lotion or more starch? HELP ME PLEASE LOL MY OCD IS FULL THROTTLE with doughy hands ???????? ????


Wednesday 25th of November 2020

Hi, I would try adding a little more cornstarch. Just do it slowly and knead together until you get the consistency you are looking for. Good luck.


Friday 17th of April 2020

So fun! I've never seen playdough made this way before! We used to make it all the time when we were kids. Such a fun little project!


Saturday 18th of April 2020

Hi Rachel! You will have to try this playdough. I was skeptical at first, but then it was such a different feeling material that my kids just loved playing with this DIY playdough recipe.


Friday 17th of April 2020

I’ve never heard of using lotion! I’m going to give this recipe a try with my little one


Saturday 18th of April 2020

Hi Krysten! This is totally a fun and worth it indoor activity with your little one. I hope you enjoy making this fun playdough out of cornstarch and lotion!

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