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How to make silly putty without glue

Updated July 20, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

  7. Store your silly putty in an airtight container.

  8. Tip

    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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Things You'll 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

About the Author

Amanda Flocke

Amanda Flocke is a freelance writer and artist based in Houston, Texas. Her broad range of expertise includes green living, interior decorating, woodworking and primary education. Flocke holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in sculpture from the University of North Texas.

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