How I failed at making rainbow slime and ended up with '80s-themed goop instead

July 18 2012 | offbeatbride

I recently found what I believed would be a SUPER simple tutorial for making your own rainbow slime with glue, liquid starch, and food coloring. I was set to try it out when I realized that not only did I not have liquid starch, I also wasn't totally comfortable letting my kid play with it. Two seconds of googling later I found a recipe for making your own liquid starch and HAPPINESS ENSUED. I progressed onward, made plans with a friend to make the slime, and was set.

You may recall that I'm somewhat DIY challenged, so I must have still been riding the high I achieved last month with my shiny leaf art on Offbeat Home. I was all, "Rainbow slime? I'VE GOT THIS."

…until I didn't. Allegedly you can concoct the whole rainbow shebang in under 10 minutes, so I'm hoping someone out there can learn from my mishap and actually succeed at this. It also doesn't matter if the colors get mixed and matched together (and they will) — be prepared to end up with one big slimy ball of cornstarch and glue goodness. BUT! It'll be a RAINBOW COLORED ball of cornstarch and glue goodness, which makes it better. Here's how I did you're supposed to do it:

How to make your own liquid starch

What you need

1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup COLD water
3 3/4 cups TAP water

How you do it

Boil the tap water. While it's boiling, mix cornstarch and cold water together until cornstarch dissolves. Once the tap water is boiling, add the cornstarch/cold water mixture. Remove, and let it cool.

How to make rainbow slime

What you need

1 1/2 cups CLEAR liquid glue
1 1/2 cups liquid starch
Food coloring

How you do it

Mix the glue and starch together, then pour the mixture into separate bowls. Add food coloring to each bowl, and voila: RAINBOW SLIME FUN TIME!

Where I went wrong

I used white glue and forgot to let the liquid starch mixture cool before combining it with the glue. I'm thinking the latter has something to do with the failure that was my rainbow slime… but my kid (kind of) seemed to love it:

Jonas was not-so-pleased.

MORAL OF THE STORY: even if you fail at rainbow slime like I did, there's a 50/50 shot your kid will like playing with weird, brightly-colored goop anyway.

  1. I've done this thissa way, which uses white glue. Basically, the difference is just whether it turns out sort of clear or opaque.
    I'm guessing you either had an issue with the temperature or the recipe for liquid starch–possibly too much liquid, not enough starch. Still, looks fun to play with!
    As a kid who made this and played with it, I can't recommend it enough. 😀

    • Me too! He reminds me of a very fastidious child I knew once who would thrust his hands at me and say, "DIRTY! Need WASH!!"

  2. I had this as a kid too, pretty sure it was just cornflour mixed with cold water and colouring. Mega-fun times

  3. I've just made a bunch of cool slime stuff with students. You mix one cup glue (they say clear glue but white glue totally works) with 3/4 cup tap water. Then in a separate bowl mix one cup hot water with two and a half teaspoons borax. Pour the borax into the glue, stirring constantly. You end up with this awesome stuff that is squishy and slimy but also that you can roll into a ball and bounce. Oh, and I add food coloring to the glue mixture.

  4. Ah, I made that *exact* recipe from that website (via Pinterest, naturally) and it didn't turn out. I tried whipping it in my Kitchenaid mixer but it morphed into a slow-moving glob that would tear apart when you lifted it.

    The little people still enjoyed it, though!

  5. Why not just use cornflower and water, saves on all the other toxins and still has a really fun texture the kids go NUTS over!

  6. Why not just use cornflower and water? saves on all the other toxins and still has a really fun texture the kids go NUTS over!

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