Homemade Silly Putty Recipe Just Two Ingredients

Our homemade silly putty recipe was originally posted in February 2016. I’m updating the post in August of 2020 with step by step photos, additional tips and instructions, and a second recipe for a larger batch of silkier colorful silly putty.

This homemade silly putty recipe uses only two ingredients that you probably already have at home! With corn starch and dish soap, you can make a fun easy silly putty that’s great for sensory play and stress relief.

This homemade silly putty recipe uses only two ingredients that you probably already have at home. The perfect craft for boys who don't usually sit still. Part of #MiniChefMondays on EatingRichly.com

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Science Experiments and Non-Edible Recipes

Some of our favorite recipes to make are actually not for eating. This homemade silly putty recipe is a great example. I think it’s something my mother instilled in me when I was a kid.

This homemade silly putty recipe uses only two ingredients that you probably already have at home. The perfect craft for boys who don't usually sit still. Part of #MiniChefMondays on EatingRichly.com

Back before the days of Pinterest, my mom had a big book of science experiments that I would pore over trying to decide which ones looked the most fun and exciting. In addition to doing experiments from the book I would often come up with my own, trying to find the right combination of ingredients.

I remember one specific experiment when I was so excited to have
found the right ratio of flour and water to turn strips of toilet paper into a make believe cast.

Child playing with silly putty on wooden table

My poor mother must have thought I was in some major digestive distress when I locked myself in the bathroom for an hour waiting for it to dry and harden, claiming I just wasn’t done going to the bathroom yet.

It’s been a lot of fun seeing my son gain that same excitement for science, which will hopefully give him the same confidence to experiment in the kitchen as it did for me.

This homemade silly putty recipe uses only two ingredients that you probably already have at home. The perfect craft for boys who don't usually sit still. Part of #MiniChefMondays on EatingRichly.com

Homemade Silly Putty Recipe

Last week I wanted to get some good playtime in with Corban, but I also wanted to get some work done on my huge undertaking of completely reorganizing our whole house.

So I jumped onto my Kid Crafts and Activities Pinterest board, and looked for a fun recipe type craft. I wanted an activity that would give us some interacting time, then keep him busy playing while I worked.

This homemade silly putty recipe uses only two ingredients that you probably already have at home. The perfect craft for boys who don't usually sit still. Part of #MiniChefMondays on EatingRichly.com

This goop recipe is a lot of fun, but I thought it might be too messy unsupervised.

Fluffy slime is always a hit but uses liquid starch, which we didn’t have.

Then I spotted a two ingredient silly putty recipe, and was so excited to see it just used corn starch and dish soap, which we always have on hand. So we got out the ingredients and supplies, and Corban helped me measure what we needed.

This homemade silly putty recipe uses only two ingredients that you probably already have at home. The perfect craft for boys who don't usually sit still. Part of #MiniChefMondays on EatingRichly.com

It was delightful watching him intently measure and stir, then seeing his eyes light up as he kneaded the ingredients by hand and felt their texture change between his little fingers.

We played with the silly putty together for a little while, then I headed into the guest bedroom/dumping ground to continue sorting through stuff to get rid of.

It was 35 minutes before he called for me saying he was done playing. That’s like 8 years in 3 year old boy strapped into a booster seat time!

This homemade silly putty recipe uses only two ingredients that you probably already have at home. The perfect craft for boys who don't usually sit still. Part of #MiniChefMondays on EatingRichly.com

How to Make Silly Putty

I introduced Larkin to homemade silly putty at the same age Corban was when he first made it. We also upped our silly putty recipe game a bit with adding color and making it a little silkier.

Here’s step by step photos from Larkin showing you how to make silly putty at home.

Girl with cornstarch, dish soap, and food coloring for silly putty recipe

Silly Putty Ingredients

This homemade silly putty recipe only requires 2 ingredients: corn starch and dish soap. But there are a couple optional ingredients to add.

If you want to make your silly putty colorful, you will also want to mix in some food coloring. And if you’re looking to make a silkier silly putty, you can also add a bit of baby oil.

CORN STARCH – I like to get corn starch in large quantities to use for crafts and sensory activities like goop or bath paints.

DISH SOAP – For making putty I just use our normal dish soap we wash dishes with. We prefer an environmentally friendly dish soap free of fragrances and dyes.

FOOD COLORING – We used this neon purple for Larkin’s silly putty recipe.

Buy Neon Food Dye on Amazon

BABY OIL – We really only use baby oil for projects like this and our kinetic sand. We use Johnson and Johnson but any brand will work.

Buy Baby Oil on Amazon

Instructions

Start by dumping cornstarch into a large bowl. If you want to measure you can use one cup of cornstarch for this larger batch silly putty recipe. I let her just dump cornstarch in and eyeballed the amounts.

Little girl dumping cornstarch into a bowl

Next you need to add half the amount of dish soap. So in this case about 1/2 cup.

Little girl squirting dish soap into cornstarch to make silly putty

Begin mixing the cornstarch and dish soap together. You can use a fork, or a small silicone spatula.

Little girl mixing cornstarch and dish soap for silly putty

The putty won’t form together just by mixing, and that’s okay.

homemade silly putty being mixed in a bowl

Add about a tablespoon of baby oil. You can also use a cooking oil like avocado oil or canola oil.

Adding baby oil to homemade silly putty

If you would like to dye your homemade silly putty recipe, add in a few drops of food coloring. Then mix everything as well as you can with your fork or spatula.

Girl adding food dye to homemade silly putty

Once everything is mixed as well as possible with the fork (or spatula), start kneading the putty with your hands until it is smooth and evenly colored.

Girl looking at purple homemade silly putty in a bowl

You may get food dye on your hands but we found that the soap and oil in the homemade silly putty recipe help make the color easy to wash off with soap and water.

Girl pressing on homemade silly putty with a spatula

This homemade silly putty recipe is not one that you save to play with again, as it does begin to dry out after an hour or so. But making silly putty is half the fun!

Girl smiling with purple silly putty

If you’d like to save some you can choose to play with just 1/4 to 1/2 of the batch, and seal the rest up in a really airtight container for future sensory play.

Little Girl playing with purple homemade silly putty

Homemade Silly Putty Recipes

This homemade silly putty recipe uses only two ingredients that you probably already have at home. The perfect craft for boys who don't usually sit still. Part of #MiniChefMondays on EatingRichly.com

Do you have a favorite homemade silly putty recipe for us to try next? Feel free to leave it (or a link to it) in the comments below!

You can also click here to save the two ingredient recipe to Pinterest, then leave a photo in the comments of the pin when you give it a try.

Toddler Playing with Two Ingredient Homemade Silly Putty
Yield: 3 tablespoons

Two Ingredient Homemade Silly Putty Recipe

Two Ingredient Homemade Silly Putty Recipe

This two ingredient homemade silly putty recipe is so easy to make! You can expect about an hour of fun play time before it begins to dry out.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons liquid dish soap

Instructions

  1. Measure the two ingredients into a bowl, and use a fork to mix them together. They won't really mix very well yet, don't panic!
  2. Now use your hands to began squeezing and kneading them together for a few minutes, until they magically begin to combine and form your silly putty. SCIENCE!

Click here to save the large batch silky recipe to Pinterest. Don’t forget to leave a picture in the pin comments. We love seeing your creations!

Homemade Silly Putty Recipe
Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Silky Homemade Silly Putty

silky homemade silly putty

This silly putty recipe adds baby oil and food dye to the typical two ingredient dish soap silly putty for a large batch of colorful silky sensory putty.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup dish soap
  • 1 tablespoon baby oil
  • 3 drops food dye

Instructions

  1. Use a fork to mix the cornstarch and dish soap in a large bowl.
  2. Add baby oil and food dye and mix as much as possible with the fork.
  3. Then use your hands to knead the putty until it is smooth.

Notes

  • You will get some food dye on your hands when kneading the putty, but the oil and dish soap in the recipe make it easy to wash the color off with soap and water.
  • This putty begins to dry out within an hour of play. Since this is a big batch, you could store half or more of it in an airtight container for later, and play with smaller batches at a time.


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