How To Make Homemade Gak (Borax Free!)

Make Homemade Gak For Under $5!

Gak Main

Did you ever play with Gak as a kid?

I did! It was lots of ooey-gooey fun as well as an excellent sensory activity! I decided to make it for my kiddos this week and they LOVED it! I found several Gak recipes around the blog-o-sphere that use Borax as one of the ingredients. I’ve read a lot of mixed information about the safety of using Borax around kids so I was happy to find this recipe that doesn’t call for it. I made a few adjustments and it turned out great!

Gak Supplies


  • 2 (4 oz.) bottles of Elmer’s Glue (About $.75 each at Walmart in the school supply aisle) 
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup liquid starch (About $3 at Walmart in the laundry aisle)
  • Food Coloring (I had on hand) 

You will also need:

  • glass or plastic bowl
  • spoon
  • measuring cup
  • Something to protect your work surface (table cloth, cutting board, baking sheet ect..)

Gak Glue

Empty all of the glue into your bowl.

Gak Food Coloring

Add your food coloring and stir together until blended. I only used a little bit (4 drops I think) of food coloring so it wouldn’t stain our hands when playing with it.

Gak add starch

Gradually add the starch, A LITTLE AT A TIME, while stirring with the spoon or kneading with your fingers as the mixture thickens. The original recipe calls for a whole cup of starch but I tried that and it turned out really soupy. I made another batch with only 1/2 to 3/4 cup starch and it was just right!

Gak Mix Together

Keep stirring!

Gak Knead

You might need to get your hands in there and knead it to mix in the rest of the starch. You may not even need the entire 3/4 cup. It should look like this when you’re done!

Gak Play Purple

The fun begins!

Gak Play Blue

When your kiddos are done playing, simply store the Gak in an air tight container or Ziploc bag. I’ve been storing mine in the fridge but I don’t think you have to… My total cost to make two batches was $6. I still have lots of liquid starch left so I would only need to buy more glue next time. It was definitely more fun to make it than buy it!

Have YOU ever made Gak? Do you have any tips or tricks?



  • Peggy

    Most starches don’t contain the borax anymore so if your does not, just buy a box of borax in the laundry isle. Elmer’s glue works best, don’t know why, just does. Dissolve 2 tablespoons of borax in one cups of HOT water. Mix in cups of glue and color. It will pull together. If it gets on clothes DO NOT wash. First scrape off with metal cookie cutter or butter knife. Try balling some up and using a straw. You can blow a bubble in it. Have fun.

  • Toshia M

    OMGOSH!!! I am SOO making this maybe tonight… or tomorrow for my kids! They’re gonna flip!! Thank you for sharing this 🙂


    Gosh I used to make something like this with my kids back in the day. I had the recipe for years but God only knows where that is. It seems the concoction had cornstarch in it. Does that sound familiar to anyone?

    • Bente

      Back in the early 90’s I volunteered at a childcare and we used to make a similar recipe called Glurch. I wonder if that was it?


    That starch contains sodium tetraborate, which is Borax.

    • Lorie

      Yes, I made a trip to the store and purchase the exact items shown in the picture only to be disappointed when my son pointed out that Sta-flo contains borax…

      • That’s such a bummer! They must have changed the recipe, because the ingredients on my bottle say: Water, corn starch, cyclocarboxyproploleic acid & sodium hydroxide (soap), sodium tetra or are (builder), tetrasodium EDTA (chelator), castor oil, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate (chelator), dimethicone (film former), sodium metabisulfate (builder), fragrance

  • Shay

    So much fun, and so easy to make! My 9 year old and 3 year old love it, definitely a winner, thank you!

  • Nichole

    I am having a sleepover and my friends will love it.

  • Dee

    Call me stupid, but exactly what is wrong with borax. I’ve used it for years in my laundry.

    • Sheyanne Petrovich

      Borax is extremely alkaline which can end up irritating your skin! Also, that will get on your skin and go into your bloodstream. It is not SUPER CRAZY hazardous, but why not avoid it if it can cause an issue with your skin and/or get chemicals into your body? So, to answer your question, you aren’t in the wrong to be using borax! You could probably continue living your whole life doing laundry that way, but if you want to be more safe and avoid those chemicals, borax free is the way to go! Thanks for your question!

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