Homemade Silly Putty

We have wanted to make homemade silly putty since forever! We finally found our silly putty happy place by using some locally purchased Australian products and discovered how fun experimenting can be. There was plenty of learning about why our previous silly putty attempts may have failed, what makes silly putty work and what ingredient does what while you’re mixing it all together.

Homemade Silly Putty

Please note: Even though the ingredients are kid-friendly, they are far from edible. If you have a child that regularly puts things in his mouth, hold off on making this homemade silly putty. It is not taste-safe, please don’t eat any of it!

I especially love seeing the images of silly putty creations that look like they’re not making too much mess about the place! Oh, don’t get me wrong, we make messes around here but I prefer to keep them contained and easy to clean-up! So, my ideal silly putty recipe had to tick those boxes.

We tried and we tried and we tried but try as we might we just could not get a homemade silly putty recipe to work.

Until today, that is.

It took playing with multiple recipes (borax ones, starch ones, cornflour ones, etc) to understand that silly putty comes down to two basic essential ingredients: a sliming agent and a sticky agent. With that in mind I took the most basic of recipes, starch and glue, and set up a ‘science lab’ on the kitchen counter!

Silly Putty Lab

I purchased glue from three different stores in town, all different brands, and set them out in front of their own little containers. I poured a blob of glue into a container, added a touch of starch and mixed. Every single one failed. Why?

I have six different brands of glue here so I am going to take a guess that it might not be the glue.

I looked at my starch. I’m using the powered stuff. You mix it with water to create a starch mixture. I think I can safely say now, “Well, there’s your problem right there!” Yup, the make your own starch doesn’t work. We need the concentrated stuff!

After this revelation I took myself to the supermarket and scanned that laundry aisle like nobody’s business for liquid starch, not something readily available in my Australian supermarket, however, I did find Fabulon, a spray starch used when ironing. That’s it folks. If this doesn’t work, I’m giving up on trying to make silly putty ever again!

Silly Putty Fabulon

Back in the ‘lab’, dollops of glue, add a little Fabulon and I found our homemade silly putty happy place!

Here’s how to make homemade silly putty!

What you’ll need…

  • 1/2 cup Glue (white or clear)
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 11/2 cups Fabulon
  • Measuring cup
  • 2 bowls and a spoon
  • Optional: Food colouring, glitterHomemade Silly Putty Ingredients

What you do…

  1. Measure out the glue and pour it into the bowl.
  2. Measure out the water and mix that into the glue.
  3. Add your optionals if using.Homemade Silly Putty Glitter
  4. Measure out the starch in the other bowl and this is how to find your silly putty happy place too…
  5. Slowly mix the glue mixture into the starch, stirring with a spoon and you can feel the consistency change and see the gloopy goop form. It is awesome!Homemade Silly Putty Mixing
  6. Now get your hands in there! Silly putty gets better as it is played with. Stop pouring the glue mixture in when it changes from the stringy stage to the stretchy, gooey but not sticky stage.Homemade Silly Putty Handmix
  7. We then put it out on our wonderful play tray in our sensory area for hours of fun, imaginative, exploratory play!
  8. Silly putty will keep for several weeks in a closed container or Ziploc bag.

So after many failed attempts we finally got the right ingredients and created a homemade silly putty that actually works! If you are having trouble getting your silly putty to your happy place, Fun At Home With Kids has a post on how to fix slime that didn’t work out.

We loved making homemade silly putty, I just know your kids will too!

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