September 7, 2012

Silly Sludge

Hi Sugar Bee Readers! I’m Shatzi from Love and Laundry. I’m a mom of three kiddos and I love crafting, cooking, sewing, and especially playing with my kids. (I don’t really love laundry, though. That’s kind of a joke!) My kids love to do all kinds of arts and crafts! I’m not much of an artist, so I just let them handle that part. But the crafts I can do! The other day, we made a fun craft that we like to call Silly Sludge!

silly sludge

Silly Sludge is goopy and droopy. But not at all slimy.

silly sludge 2

Plus, it kind of acts like Silly Putty and copies things from the newspaper!

silly sludge newspaper

I love it because it’s not as messy as Play Dough. Even if it gets on the carpet, it just picks right up. And if it get’s left out on the counter for a few hours – no problem! It doesn’t dry up very quickly. Plus, it’s super easy to make!

Here’s what you need:

silly sludge ingredients

For one small batch:
1/2 bottle of glue (or 1/4 cup)
a little less than 1/4 cup of water + 1/4 cup hot water
1/2 teaspoon borax
Food Coloring

Borax is so easy to find! And it’s cheap. Just look in the laundry section of the store. One box is enough to make about a million batches of Silly Sludge.

To make Silly Sludge, first start by measuring and pouring the glue into a glass bowl. It doesn’t have to be glass, but it will be easier to clean if it is.

silly sludge step 1

Then add a little less than 1/4 cup of water and stir it until it’s mixed up pretty well. The amount of water doesn’t need to be exact at all!

silly sludge step 2

Add in a tiny bit of food coloring. Like even one drop if you can.  If you add too much, you may get some on your hands when you play with it. Mix it up until the color is combined.

silly sludge step 3

Set that bowl aside. Now measure out 1/4 cup of hot water and stir in 1/2 teaspoon of Borax. Mix it around until the Borax dissolves. It may not all dissolve, but mostly is okay. The hot water really helps.

silly sludge step 4

Now comes the fun (and educational) part! Pour the Borax mixture into the glue mixture and stir.

silly sludge step 5

Almost immediately, the Borax causes the glue to make a polymer chain (which means, it makes the glue’s molecules stick together). It’s pretty cool!

silly sludge step 6

If all of the water doesn’t absorb into the Silly Sludge, it’s no big deal!  Move the Silly Sludge out of the bowl and play with it! The more you play with it, the better it gets. You can store it in a small zip lock bag.

silly sludge 4

silly sludge 3

Thanks for reading! For more fun kid’s crafts, you can follow me at Love and Laundry or you can find me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!


About Author:

Mandy is a craft blogger who loves to blog and enjoys all things crafty, sewing, and DIY - she feels that if she can do something, you can too, and provides tutorials to help you along the way. She loves being a mom to 4 awesome kiddos and blogs from the Kansas City Area. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter or Google +

29 Fabulous Comments:

Looks so easy and fun. Pinning for later!


This looks amazing! I love making my own play dough, but it is messy and when I have to take it to places that have carpet, it's risky too! I love the look of this and the colours you've used. I'm wondering what Borax is, it seems to be really popular in the US but we don't have it in the UK as far as I know.

Mom made this for us when we were kids! We called it gloop though. Just a warning, it never comes out of carpet :)

This comment has been removed by the author.

This looks fun, but I have a the list of ingredients it says 1/2 cup of hot water, but then in the written instructions it says a 1/4 hot water...which would be the best measurement to use?

Oops! It should be 1/4 cup of hot water. I think I combined the two measurements. Sorry about that!

Also does not come out of clothes. Sad experience with that.

I'm going to do this tomorrow. How fun!

What a fun recipe and craft1 Gonna have to make this one!


White vinegar gets it out of clothes

White vinegar gets it out of clothes

White vinegar gets it out of clothes

I have these ingredients thanks to buying Borax for a pinterest fail; however, I'm confident this project will be a huge hit, so I'm pinning it to do on a rainy day. Thanks!!!

Bonny @

What a great project! You should link this up over at the Activity Corner Link Up! :)

I made this today with my kiddies! They love it! Yes I admit it I love it too :D :D Thank you for that :D

Yes... vinegar takes it out of clothing and carpet etc. And if you use liquid watercolor for the coloring rather than food coloring, you won't have stained skin.

We call it flubber where I work... I make it for 'my' kids about once a month or so.

Wow - I am so glad to have found your blog. A Christ follower and a crafty girl. Wonderful. Please check out my website - I will be featuring ideas for children and hope to give links to your blog.
Janis Author of Tadeo Turtle

I keep hearing borax is bad for children. Have you heard about this? Would love to try this with my son!

I keep hearing borax is bad for children. Have you heard about this? Would love to try this with my son!

i had a total epic fail wit this everytime i tried my kids couldnt play wit it. It literally jus broke up into pieces can u tell me wat u think i did wrong

Hi, if we don't have borax (in france or canada) what can I use instead ? thank you

Mine won't stick together, it falls apart in clumps. What did I do wrong?

Just made this with my 7yo daughter and it was a hit!! It was all gloopy and falling apart when we first took it out of the bowl, but with her continuing to play with it it turned out right. :-D Thank you!!

Just made this with my 7yo daughter and it was a hit!! It was all gloopy and falling apart when we first took it out of the bowl, but with her continuing to play with it it turned out right. :-D Thank you!!

Borax is the common name for sodium tetraborate: a naturally occurring substance produced by the repeated evaporation of seasonal lakes.

20 Mule Team® Borax is 100% natural, and 99.5% pure (there is about a half of 1% of naturally occurring trace minerals). Once removed from the ground it is washed, dried, and boxed for consumers.

Can i use laundry powder instead of borax?? the laundry powder mum buys is "Supreme Stain Removal Laundry Powder", i can use that? thx.

Sodium borate at your local chemist or in the laundry section of the supermarket.

If it falls apart in clumps you used too much Borax; No you cannot just use laundry powder, as it has a lot of other ingredients in it and you would not get the same chemical reaction. As far as safety -- I have yet to see any good research. Most studies use borax or boric acid interchangeably, which is not the same thing (borax + another acid like hydrochloric acid = boric acid). It is toxic if large amounts are ingested and mildly irritating to skin, but in a very similar way to baking soda.

My son ate some silly putty made with borax and threw up for 3 days straight. It is highly toxic to young children and small pets. Please do your research before brining this product into your home, much less letting small kids play with this. I had to learn the VERY hard way. :(

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