How to Make Silly Putty Without Liquid Starch

Updated February 21, 2017

Silly putty is an excellent rainy-day toy that can bounce, be pressed onto newspaper and made into all kinds of shapes without cracking or drying out. Silly putty is fairly inexpensive to purchase at the store, but children will go through it so fast; instead, make it at home. Although homemade silly putty will look slightly different in colour than the putty you can buy in the store, it will work just the same. Many silly putty recipes use liquid starch, but if you do not have liquid starch in the house or you have a family member who is allergic to starch, the following is a recipe that does not use starch.

In a small plastic mixing bowl, mix 1/2 cup of water with 1/2 cup of white glue. Stir thoroughly.

Add 2 drops of food colouring, if desired. If using food colouring, do not use the silly putty near any white surfaces or walls.

In a separate bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of Borax and 1 cup of water. Stir thoroughly. If you have trouble finding Borax, check the cleaning section of your local grocery store.

When the mixture is combined completely, measure 1/2 cup of the Borax mixture and slowly add to the glue mixture, stirring slowly. The mixture will thicken until you can knead it with your hands.

When the mixture is thoroughly kneaded, place in a plastic bag until ready to use.


Experiment with different food colouring combinations to make wacky silly putty colours.


Do not eat or ingest silly putty, especially if it is made with Borax, a household cleaner. Borax may cause allergic skin reactions so if you or your child develop a rash, discard the silly putty immediately.

Things You'll Need

  • White glue
  • Water
  • Borax
  • Plastic bag
  • 2 plastic mixing bowls
  • Wooden spoon
  • Food colouring ( if desired )
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