Remember gazing at those toy machines outside stores when you were a kid? They often contained Silly Putty in colorful plastic eggs, and you could buy it for about a quarter. It is hard to find those toy machines these days, so if you want to share the joy of silly putty with your kids, save a trip to the store (and some money) and learn how to create Silly Putty at home. Making homemade Silly Putty is a great activity to do with kids who are old enough to follow the direction “Don’t eat this!”

Gather These Items First:

  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • Mixing bowl or large cup/mug
  • spoon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Borax
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 4 ounces of white glue (i.e. Elmer’s school glue)
  • Liquid food coloring (optional)
  • Gallon-sized resealable zipper storage bag (a sturdy bag such as a Ziploc freezer bag will work best)
  • Airtight storage container










  1. Line your mixing bowl or cup/mug with an open, gallon-sized Ziploc bag (this will help contain the mess).
  2. In the Ziploc bag that’s lining the mixing bowl or cup/mug, dissolve a 1/2 teaspoon of Borax in a 1/4 cup of warm (not boiling!) water. Once the Borax has dissolved, add in a 1/4 cup of cornstarch, 4 ounces of white glue, and several drops of liquid food coloring (optional) to the mixture.Using a spoon, mix the ingredients for five minutes, or until the mixture no longer has a lumpy and stringy consistency.
  3. Seal the Ziploc bag and then let it sit for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Knead the bag for at least 25 minutes until it has a putty consistency.
  5. It’s time to play! Try pressing the Silly Putty against newsprint to imprint the text in the Silly Putty. It’s also fun to imprint different objects such as paper clips and coins.
  6. When not in use, store it in an airtight container. If you really want to give your kids a nostalgic experience, store the Silly Putty in colorful plastic Easter eggs (although they may not be as airtight as a Tupperware container).

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • This homemade silly putty is not edible.
  • Consider making Silly Putty an outside activity so it doesn’t end up stuck to furniture or carpet. If the kids do get Silly Putty stuck in the carpet, a little WD-40 will help get it out.
  • Wondering what to do with all the extra Borax? Use it to make your own homemade laundry detergent. Check out this Krazy Coupon Lady article to learn how.
  • When the kids get sick of playing with the Silly Putty or it starts to dry out a little, fill an inflated balloon with the Silly Putty and then securely tie the balloon. Voila! You’ve got a homemade stress ball!
DIY Family Fun: Make Your Own Silly Putty