There is something satisfying about playing with silly putty. When I was young, I remember spending hours molding, squishing, and stretching the little balls of silly putty. whenever I had a spare dollar, I always spent it on new silly putty.
My kids share a similar obsession with silly putty and slime so it’s only natural that we make our own DIY silly putty. I’ve stumbled across dozens of silly putty and slime recipes and we’ve been slowly making them all. You can find quite a few varieties here at Living Well Mom too.
The beauty of making your own DIY silly putty is it’s super easy to make and much cheaper than buying it premade from the store!
A note on the texture: Due to the ingredients, the final texture of this silly putty will be similar to an oobleck rather than the kind of silly putty you purchase in the store. The cornstarch keeps the putty from sticking to your fingers, but the texture will be a bit doughy.
This DIY silly putty is even easier than most, as it only has two ingredients (three if you want to color your silly putty). Within about 30 seconds, you will have satisfying silly putty that will keep your kids entertained for quite a while.
What you’ll need to make DIY Silly Putty:
- 1 cup of cornstarch
- 1/2-1 cup dish soap*
- Food coloring or gel colors
- A small bowl and spoon for mixing
Note on the dish soap. Certain types of dish soap will not work for this silly putty. Clear, gel-like soaps or soaps that have the consistency of hair gel or conditioner will work the best.
We used Method Gel Hand Soap for these photos and I’ve also used Target brand strawberry shampoo with good results.
We also used food coloring and had no issues with dye sticking to our hands when the project was over.
Dump your cornstarch and soap into your bowl along with your food coloring. You only need a little bit of color to dye your DIY silly putty. The more coloring you add, the deeper your color will be.
Mix the ingredients together with the spoon until it is too hard to mix, then use your fingers. We found that we could mix using a spoon until our mixture turned into crumbles, and after that, we had to mix using our hands.
You may need to adjust the amount of soap used depending on the humidity of your room. It was dry in our house, so we used almost a full cup of soap.
When your silly putty is moldable and still a bit slimy, but no longer sticks to your fingers, it is ready to go!
The girls were really excited about playing with this DIY silly putty. They fought over who got to play with it first. Eventually, I broke the silly putty into two pieces and let each of them have one.
The girls were fascinated by how the silly putty kept its shape like play dough, but only for a little while. Within a few seconds, the silly putty would lose its shape and become one single blob.
Our silly putty did start to dry out quickly. As it dried, it would become flaky. Adding another pump of soap to the putty moistened it up again and made it playable. You can keep adding soap until you are done playing for the day!
This DIY silly putty project is simple enough for older kids to make and quick enough to please little kids, too! It truly is an all-ages project.
DIY Silly Putty Troubleshooting Tips:
Certain types of dish soap are not suited to this activity. Clear, gel-like soaps do best. You’ll have best results with soap that has the consistency of hair gel or conditioner.
Due to the ingredients, the final texture of this silly putty will be similar to an oobleck rather than the kind of silly putty you purchase in the store. The cornstarch keeps the putty from sticking to your fingers, but the texture will be a bit doughy.
Humidity and the brand of your individual ingredients can alter how much of each ingredient you need.
If your silly putty is too runny: Keep adding cornstarch one tablespoon at a time until your mixture stiffens.
If your silly putty is too crumbly: Add a bit more dish soap until the putty can stretch again.