how to: make your own silly putty with 3 ingredients

silly putty

I loved playing with silly putty when I was little…favorite thing ever. Was right up there with neon leggings, pompom socks and snap bracelets.  I’m not sure if you can still buy this in stores anymore so the alternative? Whip up your own!  There’s a couple different ways to make it, one being with liquid starch (didn’t have on hand) or the other way with borax (which I had) so we’ll just go with that recipe! It’s ridiculously easy and there’s a lot of give to the recipe. I’m positive that you can’t mess it up.


For a small batch follow the recipe below (it’s halved). For a larger batch double it up!

– 1/2  bottle of school glue (about 4oz)

– 1/2 bottle of water

– 1/2 tsp borax mixed into about 1/4 cup of water

– food coloring (optional)

how to

 Pour your glue into mixing bowl. Fill the empty glue bottle to about 1/2 full with water. Add to bowl. Mix it up. At this point you can add a few drops of food coloring. I forgot and did it later.

Slowly add the borax/water mixture while stirring. It’ll start to look really gross and slimy.

Keep mixing with your fork. (I added food coloring at this point).

To make it easier, transfer this mix to a baggie so you can mix squish and mix it well using your hands without dying them blue. Once it’s mixed, you may need to dry off the excess water with a paper towel if you don’t want it super slimy. Or just give it to your kids to play with and it’ll slowly dry/firm up a bit, like this:

It’s very soft, squishy and somewhat rubbery. Keep in mind the more you play with it and expose it to air, the more rubbery it’ll get. You’ll even be able to roll it into a ball and bounce it or pull it apart and make it snap! Grab some cookie cutters and have fun!

Original recipe found here.


About Amanda

Amanda Robinson is the eco-chic, green living, fitness loving mom behind Natural Mommie. Since 2009, Amanda Robinson has been the source for moms to learn how to bring more balanced green beauty, eco-friendly, sustainable, organic products into their homes without being too “crunchy” or “granola”. Amanda is passionate about design, wellness and inspiring moms to make more eco-friendly and healthy choices without having to trade in their stilettos for Birkenstocks. In addition to Natural Mommie, Amanda is also the owner and designer behind Top Knot Style - a beautiful collection of handmade oversized luxury knitwear.

32 thoughts on “how to: make your own silly putty with 3 ingredients

  1. Awesome! I loved Silly Putty when I was little. Thanks for the recipe. By the way, I pinned this like an hour ago and it’s been repinned like a bajillion times. My inbox is going crazy with repins and likes, lol.

    1. You’re welcome! Have fun! I need to make a new batch…I keep forgetting to pick up glue!

  2. Hi Amanda I have just been introduced to your site by a mutual relative (sharon) and I have been sitting here looking through it . Amazing and I am so going to be making some silly putty tomorrow for my kids

  3. I can’t wait to try this out when my son gets a little older…granted he’s only 7 weeks old! I still remember flattening it onto newspaper and then peeling it off to see the mirror image. So fun!

  4. I recommended this to my daughter for a school project she has to teach the younger kids how to do or make something everyone was doing like duct tape or a deck of cards or I suggested play dough or putty she loved the idea and the little kids loved making it

    Thanks :)

      1. To day at my school in a club called science club we made silly putty. I wanted to make it during the weekend. I think you are soooooooo cool.

  5. So my daughter has been bugging me all weekend to make this silly putty. We are on our 2nd attempt and it isn’t thickening up. How long are we supposed to mix it til it starts to look like silly putty? We both are a little sad this isn’t working out

    1. Oh no! The recipe works perfectly for me everytime! More borax should make it thicker.

  6. i am in china i found some glue but no borax is there any thing else i can use besides borax?
    i need silly putty for a job here and it keeps disapearing .

  7. Thanks for this. I was told by my sons therapist that this kind of thing would help with fine motor skills. I turned mine a pretty lavendar color: I think it was one drop of red and several drops of blue until I got the right hue, then I added 6 drops of lavendar essential oil to give it fragrance. Very relaxing and therapeutic!

    1. I love that you added lavender with it to add another layer of sensory play. Great tip! Thanks for sharing!

  8. This didn’t work at all, it tuned out nothing like your picture or like silly putty. It is like jello that can crumble apart into pieces. It could be slime if it stretched instead of broke up into tiny pieces. My 4 year old is very disappointed. And of course I used the last of our glue to try this. I followed the instructions exactly, so I don’t understand how it turned out like this and yours is like silly putty.

    1. Sorry to hear it didn’t work for you! I’m wondering if maybe it was the brand of glue? Or borax?

  9. Hi, could you please be a bit more specific with which glue and which borax used. Ie was it powder or crystal etc.
    Many thanks x

  10. I dbled the recipe exactly and used non Elmer’s glue as I heard it wouldn’t bounce as well as standard white glue. Then i used “20 mule team borax”. It came out like slimmy Gac which I like its no silly putty. So…don’t use these products …or something.

  11. Hi Amanda,

    Next time you make this, could you measure the “1/2 bottle of water” to see how much it is cup-wise?
    I got a bottle of glue awhile ago …but it’s 518 mL. I’ll weigh the 4oz of glue out, but the water is a bit harder as it won’t weigh the same as glue. Perhaps this is where some of the difficulties above lie?

    Thanks! :)

    1. Had an epiphany. ;)

      Measured the 4 oz of glue into a measuring cup. Turned out to be exactly 1/2 cup!

      So here’s the recipe with quantities:

      1/2 cup of glue (used Armor Coat white glue)
      1/4 cup water
      1/2 tsp borax (used Pure Borax from mixed in 1/4 c water

      It worked for me! :)

  12. hie Amanda even though i do not know who you are i am going to try your recipe thanks a lot i am really looking forward to doing the potty i always wanted to make putty but i did not know how thanks a lot i am really looking forward to knowing you thanks

    Regards: Joanna

  13. Reading through most of the cnomemts, I see salt is a very controversal and confusing element to this recipe. Since someone mentioned using “rock” salt in their recipe and you recommended not using it as it was not edible….my question is could you use sea salt? I’m not familiar with kosher salt and not sure if there is even a big difference from kosher to sea salt?? I just wanted to ask before making a batch or having to run to the store for kosher. (i only have sea salt in my pantry at the moment)…

  14. Thank you for this tip. I recently moved into an apt. The disshahwer must be circa very early 80’s or late 70’s…Let’s put it this way, it doesn’t have a part for rinsing agents. I suspect that the tenants before me didn’t use it much. I too learned that there is hard water in this area I live in. I tried numerous cleaning products but not quite as spot free as it should be. I will try this and let you know. TY

  15. I want to try it but every time I’ve attempted to make slime it just won’t work, so I hope this one works!!

  16. Was this recipe updated to remove borax? I see some comments from folks about Epsom salts or sea salts, but I’m not seeing a thread with an altered recipe. I am trying to find a therapy putty recipe that does not result in a “slime”, but a putty. That said, I’m also trying to avoid the use of borax due to it’s controversial use in products for kids. I’d really appreciate any input you have. Thank you!

    1. And please include any links to recipes if you’ve found the magic concoction!

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