How to Make Silly Putty

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I have wanted to make silly putty with my kids for a while now.

My mother always had silly putty on-hand when we were kids. All three of my brothers had tubes in their ears and back in the 80’s you were advised to put silly putty in the ears of kids with tubes when they would bathe. This would prevent water getting in their ear.

Remember the red egg the putty would come in? My mom always kept it in the fridge- until today I never knew why.

Last weekend I came across what seemed to be a very easy recipe. I knew I wanted to make silly putty with Borax, because I already have that on hand. 

I made the first batch of silly putty today, using clear glittery glue. Epic fail.

I searched and searched for another recipe online.

I made a second batch of silly putty using glittery glue following different measurements on another site. Another epic fail.

I knew I needed to research this further. Super frustrating when you have your kids excited to create something.

Here is how we ended up making it.

Third time was a charm. And I now have blue hands.

Silly Putty with Borax


I know there is a recipe out there that must work with the clear glitter glue, but I could not find one. So, for this recipe we are going to stick to the white school glue.

Grab some plastic Easter eggs if you want to give this silly putty as gifts for school or church friends. Great idea, hua?

Did you know that silly putty was actually developed in the 1940’s when the government was looking for a way to create synthetic rubber? Pretty cool, right?

While this invention did not work for the purpose the creator intended, it did go on to be a toy, of sorts, that children all over the world would grow to love.

This not only is a great activity for kids to help you create, but the Science behind it is pretty cool and intriguing.

How to Make Silly Putty with Borax

Get started by mixing the 1/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of glue in a bowl.

Mix until well combined.

Essentially you now have watered down glue.

silly putty with borax science

Add in a few drops of food coloring.

We added blue- I think I did 4 drops.

Stir to combine well.

Set aside.

add food coloring to the silly putty with borax

Add the 1/8 cup of water to a measuring cup (it does not need to be warm or hot, straight from the tap is fine).

Add in the 1 T of Borax.

Stir as the Borax dissolves.

You will notice that all of the Borax does not dissolve and there is some left on the bottom of your measuring cup. This is normal.

borax silly putty recipe

Use a clean spoon to kind of ladle 1 tsp at a time, just the water from the Borax/water mixture.

You do NOT want to add the undissolved granules. We are going to ladle the water mixture into the glue mixture one tsp at a time to prevent those granules transferring over into our putty. 

AND, you do not want to add too much of the Borax/water mixture or your silly putty will turn to gel mush. I learned this the hard way from my two epic fails and further research.

So when you add the first tsp of Borax/water-  stir, stir, stir. You will immediately notice that some of the glue mixture will start to stick together. This is the chemical reaction from the Borax.

silly putty borax recipe

Add another tsp of the Borax water and stir some more. 

You will notice the glue mixture will lump together even more and get even thicker. Continue to stir.

I ended up adding 3 tsps total of the Borax/water to my glue mixture.

The silly putty was still a bit gooey and slimy- this is normal.

Remove it from the bowl and fold it and knead it like you’re making bread. At first it will be sticky.

You will see within a few seconds of doing this that it will take on the silly putty consistency.

how to make silly putty with borax at home

Super easy, fun and educational.

Your kids will love it!

silly putty with borax crystalandcomp

Use the silly putty as something to play with during your homeschool time, encourage kids to be create with it when they are bored, or use it as a gift for friends at church or school.

Do store it in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge so it will last longer.


silly putty fb
How to Make Silly Putty

How to Make Silly Putty

Here is a quick and simple process for making silly putty right at home.


  • 1/4 cup white glue
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Borax
  • additional 1/8 cup water in a separate bowl
  • food coloring of your choice


  1. In a bowl, mix 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup glue until it is well combined.
  2. Add in 4 to 6 drops of the food coloring and stir. Set the mixture aside.
  3. In a large glass measuring cup or a bowl combine 1/8 of the water and 1 tablespoon of Borax. Stir until the Borax is mostly dissolved.
  4. Slowly add the Borax mixture to the food coloring mixture, do not add any undissolved pieces. Stir constantly.
  5. The mixture will begin to thicken rapidly, this is part of the process.
  6. Once combined, place the putty mixture on a non stick surface and knead. The stickiness should begin to go away.
  7. Divide and place in plastic containers or plastic eggs.


  1. I have GOT to put Borax on my shopping list! My grand-kids will love this!

  2. Ginette Periard says:

    What does the T mean in “1 T of Borax”
    I’m French and thought at first that it was T for Tasse (cup) and I really don’t think that’s what it means.

    Thanks, looking forward to doing this with my grand children.

  3. Hi, I would really love to do this activity, but I cannot find borax here in Malta, can I use something else, if yes what product do you suggest? Thanks

    1. I find out you can use bicarbonate of soda also if you can’t find borax on shelves look on Amazon

  4. Catherine says:

    I made something similar with Metamucil, it has to contain psyllium – I played around with the amount of water and metamucil- let it get to bubbling in microwave ……. made it for special needs classroom- ok if ingested where borax is not…..the orange smell was great – ALL the adults said ewww is that what it does in your stomach if you take Metamucil! 🙂

  5. Sally Wiles says:

    PLease send more great this.

  6. I love that this does not contain rubber!!! I’m so allergic to all things rubber. So, when I saw your link I was sure the recipe was going to have something like “melt balloons in microwave” or something! Kudos. Great project, great that you posted your trials and epic fails. Thanks!

  7. I love this (Silly Putty in the store is kind of high priced for what you get)! Love that polka dotted plate too 🙂 Thank you for linking up to the Thoughtful Spot Blog Hop!

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  9. We made this and it is so easy and fun! Thanks so much!

  10. Love this project and those polka-dotted plates are just too adorable. 🙂 Thanks so much for the very step-by-step instructions!

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  13. Krystal McKinley says:

    I have been able to incorporate glitter glue in this recipe, just replace part of the regular glue (which should NOT be school glue, but the standard Elmers). I usually rinse out an almost empty glitter glue with the appropriate amount of water to add to the glue mix (my recipe uses the same ratio of ingredients, doubled). This makes an opaque glittery putty with unlimited color combinations: green w/red for Christmas, green/gold for St Patrick’s Day, red/white/blue for 4th of July…

  14. Joyce Crick says:

    We used to make silly putty by mixing equal parts liquid starch and Elmer’s glue (the regular not school glue) I believe the starch was StaFlo, but remember it was light blue.

  15. Makes me wish my daughter was little again so we could make this together! Seems like such a fun activity. Thank you for linking at the In and Out of the Kitchen Link Party. Hope to see you again next week.

  16. Thank you so much for sharing your creativity on The Inspiration Board at homework. I can’t tell you how happy I am that you stopped by to share. You were featured in the spotlight today!
    Have a wonderful weekend!
    carolyn ~ homework

  17. Hi, you said your hands were blue. Does the blue come off of the silly putty? Looking to make this, but don’t want food color stains all over. I assume it is not so?

    1. It was on my hands while we made it and I was mixing everything together.

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