Easy Silly Putty Recipe You Can Make at Home

This easy homemade silly putty recipe resembles the nostalgic original silly putty toy that bounces and transfers newspaper images. Let’s introduce a new generation to the squishy, stretchy, rubber-like fun of playing with silly putty that you can make with just a few ingredients and a few minutes.

How To Make Silly Putty

Silly Putty Recipe

Making silly putty is a great way for kids to explore textures that they feel through squishing and stretching while also letting them find textures to imprint and watch them disappear.

Related: Best slime & putty recipes

I love to make silly putty in place of playdough as both are moldable, but homemade silly putty does not leave a residue, so clean up is a breeze.

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How to Make Silly Putty

Supplies Needed

This Silly Putty Recipe makes 2 small baby food jars worth of putty. 

Directions for Silly Putty Recipe

Watch Our Step by Step Tutorial Video

Step 1

Add the Borax to the water and set aside for a couple of minutes while it dissolves.

Step 2 How to Make Homemade Silly Putty Recipe - adding glue to mixture
Let’s make silly putty!

Step 2

Once the Borax has dissolved, add the cornstarch, glue and coloring to the mixture and mix thoroughly.

Tip: We like to put the ingredients into a Ziploc baggie to contain the mess. Freezer bags are best as the seal withstands the kids assault.  

Step 3

Continue to mix. The mix will seem clumpy and stringy, but mix for several minutes, until all the ingredients are mixed.  

Step 4

Then let it sit for half an hour or longer.  Give the cornstarch time to absorb the moisture before kneading the bag again.  

It takes about 20-30 min of kneading to gain a putty consistency…so hand it to a child!

Silly Putty Recipe in a bag

Finished Silly Putty REcipe

Do not eat or put in mouth.

To store, dip the goop in water and place in airtight jar.  

Or better yet, fill a balloon with your goop mixture. Now you have a toy that doubles as a yo-yo or stress-relieving ball… or you can break it open and have lots of goopy fun!

Yield: 2 small jars

3 Ingredient Silly Putty Recipe

DIY Silly Putty Recipe

This easy 3 ingredient silly putty recipe makes a stetchy, bouncy putty that has many of the properties of the traditional polymer silly putty toy. Kids of all ages can help make and then play with this fun play recipe.

Active Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Difficulty Medium
Estimated Cost $5

Materials

  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon Borax
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2-3 ounces of white glue (roughly half a 4 ounce container)
  • (Optional) Food coloring (liquid kind)

Tools

  • Ziploc bag - freezer bag is best
  • Jar to hold Ziploc bag upright when mixing ingredients

Instructions

  1. Add the Borax to the water in an upright ziploc freezer bag and let it dissolve...takes a few minutes.
  2. Then add the cornstarch, glue and optional coloring to the mixture and mix.
  3. Knead or squeeze in the ziploc bag.
  4. Let it rest for awhile 30-60 minutes.
  5. Knead for awhile --> up to 30 minutes.

Notes

Do not put the finished silly putty in your mouth.

Try Some Slime Recipes from Kids Activities Blog

Leave a comment: Did your kids have fun playing with this homemade silly putty? 

12 Comments

  1. what a great gift idea for kids birthdays and christmas .

    Thanks.

    We are living on one income currently but struggling…hubby is pressuring me to go back to work part time.

    I keep praying that God will see us thru this tough time.

  2. I am making this today…can’t wait to play with it!!

  3. I can’t wait to try this silly putty recipe. I have one questions though….what is Borax? I can identify everything but that. Is it easy to find?

  4. Just made some of this for my 3yr old girl, she loves it. She is having so much fun playing with it. Going to make some more in different colours too. Thank you so much for this.

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  6. Borax is highly poisonous to small children. Less than 1 tsp is all it takes to kill a small child or pet. Do not do crafts like this with toddlers! My son ate some and we are living a nightmare right now!! Look up borax poisoning!

  7. Thanks for the information Jennifer. So sorry to hear about your son’s illness.

    Here is some basic information from Wikipedia on toxicity:
    Borax, sodium tetraborate decahydrate, according to one study, is not acutely toxic.[22] Sodium tetraborate decahydrate was once registered as an insecticide for a brief period; however, the product was issued a “Danger” signal word by the EPA. Registration was allowed to lapse after the initial one year registration due to the fact the product could not be legally sold over the counter as an insecticide due to the dangers the product posed to the general public. Danger is the highest level signal word issued by the EPA. Its LD50 (median lethal dose) score is tested at 2.66 g/kg in rats:[23] a significant dose of the chemical is needed to cause severe symptoms or death. The lethal dose is not necessarily the same for humans.
    Sufficient exposure to borax dust can cause respiratory and skin irritation. Ingestion may cause gastrointestinal distress including nausea, persistent vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Effects on the vascular system and brain include headaches and lethargy, but are less frequent. “In severe poisonings, a beefy red skin rash affecting palms, soles, buttocks and scrotum has been described. With severe poisoning, erythematous and exfoliative rash, unconsciousness, respiratory depression, and renal failure.”[24]
    Borax was added to the Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC) candidate list on 16 December 2010. The SVHC candidate list is part of the EU Regulations on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals 2006 (REACH), and the addition was based on the revised classification of Borax as toxic for reproduction category 1B under the CLP Regulations. Substances and mixtures imported into the EU which contain Borax are now required to be labelled with the warnings “May damage fertility” and “May damage the unborn child”.[25]

  8. I can’t seem to get this recipe to work for me… did you use regular all-purpose glue (vs. washable)? Here’s what I did and please tell me where I went wrong… I put 1/4 cup warm water in cup, added 1/2 tsp Borax and stirred. Set aside. In a bag (placed inside a cup), I squeezed out 1/2 of a 4 oz bottle of all-purpose glue, 1/4 cup cornstarch and a few drops of liquid food coloring. I mixed these 3 ingredients together and then added the borax solution. But it turned into a hard mess and the liquid did not absorb into it. I let it sit about an hour but the liquid never absorbed into it. I keep kneading it but it’s just not working. Are these measurements correct? Did I mix it in the correct order? I made it once before, and I think it was this recipe, and loved it. My boys have been asking me to make it again for months but I can’t seem to get it to work again. I’d love any ideas!!

  9. trish young says:

    so, is there anything else you can use in place of borax? i really want to do this today with my daughter, but she is 2 and there is no way no how, not even mixed and evened out with barely a chance of harm, that i would use borax. i would just feel awful. accidents happen, and with my luck? anyways, any other suggestions would be grateful!

  10. trish young says:

    let me rephrase that, we are looking for crafts to do WITH her, this is why i will not use the borax. i don’t want her to have the chance of being exposed while making it. but would love to find a substitute for the borax because this sounds WAY FUN!!

  11. In the past, I’ve always made silly putty with just plain white glue + liquid starch. I don’t know if liquid starch is less toxic than borax, and it’s also very hard to find, but it makes a super fun silly putty…

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