How to make silly putty without glue

Written by amanda flocke
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How to make silly putty without glue
Children love homemade silly putty. (Jcomp/iStock/Getty Images)

According to the Silly Putty website, the iconic substance began in a lab in 1943 as a failed formula for synthetic rubber. Seven years later, Peter Hodgson packaged the stretchy goo in a plastic egg and christened it Silly Putty. Since then, many parents and teachers have concocted recipes for a homemade version of the putty. Unfortunately, most of these mixtures contain glue, which can be messy or even toxic. You can make a clean, safe silly putty instead.

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Things you need

  • 250 ml (1 cup) flour
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) salt
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) vegetable oil
  • 250 ml (1 cup) water
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) cream of tartar
  • 2 Mixing bowls
  • Whisk
  • Small cooking pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Aluminium foil
  • Airtight container

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  1. 1

    Use a whisk to mix the flour, salt and cream of tartar together in a mixing bowl. Separate just over 250 ml (1 cup) of this mixture into a second mixing bowl.

  2. 2

    Combine the water and vegetable oil in a small cooking pan.

  3. 3

    Slowly blend the dry ingredients into the cooking pan. Whisk the mixture until it is lump-free.

  4. 4

    Use the wooden spoon to mix the remaining dry ingredients into the pan. The mixture should have a soupy consistency.

  5. 5

    Cook the mixture over a medium heat until it reaches a doughy consistency.

  6. 6

    Remove the mixture form the heat. Allow the dough to cool for one hour on a sheet of aluminium foil.

  7. 7

    Store your silly putty in an airtight container.

Tips and warnings

  • Customise your putty by adding food colouring to the water and oil mixture.
  • To keep your silly putty fresh and germ-free, place three drops of hand sanitiser into the airtight container before storage.

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