Jun 2, 2008

Silly Putty

A mate of mine had a pretty old book that she got from a garage sale that had a recipe in it for homemade silly putty. Great, I thought, lets give this a whirl. Well, the ingredients are deceptively simple (just equal amounts of white glue and liquid starch with a bit of food colouring to jazz it up), but the reality is a little more tricky. Bear with me here.
After a couple of botched experiements I came to realise that not all white glue is equal and not all liquid starch is suitable either. The ones I found to work were Elmer's Glue-All multi-purpose glue (Not Elmer's school glue) and a concentrated liquid starch called Sta-Flo, when the first brand I tried (Niagara) didn't react at all.

Mixing the glue with the food colouring first is a good idea to get the colouring even, because when you add the liquid starch it makes a big crazy congeled blob and you have to wait five minutes or so for the glue to absorb most of the liquid starch before kneading the resulting putty. Honestly, when you first mix them you'll be thinking, "oh gosh no, that's got to be wrong. Ew", but it does come together into a great silly putty and I have posted a lot of pictures to prove this to you, in case you feel like you may lose hope and bin the gluppy mess before it reaches it's glorious silly puttiness.



So there you can see the progression from pouring the liquid starch into the glue, to after stirring and leaving for 5 minutes, to pulling out of the mixing bowl onto paper towel and finally after about 5 to 10 minutes of kneading in your hands.


The last pic I have for you is of some pink silly putty we made that shows you can copy newspaper print onto it, just like you could with the original store bought silly putty and also, like that, it bounces when you roll it up into a ball.

It's one of those things that would be great for older children to make themselves, but I had to make and knead the stuff for my kids because they are only two and three years old. Probably not a good idea for children younger than mine though as I doubt it's snack worthy.

12 comments:

John said...

Thanks a bunch for the silly putty recipe, Linds. I'm definitely giving this a try.

poster said...

You didn't give amounts used. Did you just mix them until it seemed right?

Anonymous said...

He said equal amounts

Anonymous said...

I wonder what would be the best way to store this???

Darcee O'Hearn said...

same way as regular silly putty...I store mine in plastic Easter egg containers!


What a great craft!!! I loved silly putty as a kid. Who knew it was so easy!!!

Anonymous said...

Does the home made silly putty feel like the store bought silly putty? I tried making it and it doesn't feel quite right and doesn't pull like the store bought kind.

Anonymous said...

It looks fun. But what do you use it for? Does it dry up and can it be used as a kind of play doe?

citysuz said...

When I use to run a toddlers group I use to make my own dough with a quantity of plain or self raising flour then add a cup of washing powder but liquid bold or any other clothes washing liquid this is if child got some doe on clothes it will come off good then add a bit of cooking oil or hand cream to make it lovely to work with then so much water and food colouring already stirred tip water in flour bit by bit to make a lovely dough to play with

Erin said...

How totally cool is this! We'll be making this this weekend! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Didn't work for me. I used equal parts of the exact ingredients you used and I ended up with blue liquid. It didn't congeal at all. Weird.

Pat Wolf said...

Nope, didn't work with generic glue at all, But I kept adding StaFlo till it was more blob like.. then I got an idea..6 yr old grandson and I went on puter and found trailers of the OLD Blob with Steve McQueen and watched all 7 trailers which was the whole movie. He loved it so we took his plastic men and our Blob devoured them EXCEPT the firefighters with fire extingers who saved the day!

Kim said...

I tried this tonight with my girl scout troop and they all LOVED it! I used 1/2 cup of the Elmer's Glue All and a 1/2 cup Sta Flo to a silo plastic cup. My girls mixed that with a plastic spoon until it started coming together and put it on some paper towels to "dry" a bit. Once the girls started working it for a few minutes, it actually looked like silly putty. We did add our food coloring to the glue before adding the starch. So easy and so much fun! Thanks