Across every Dollarama, Staples, and Walmart, an empty space exists where glue once resided.
Now it’s in the homes of “slimers,” or slime makers. They store it in their homes by the litre — and sometimes more — and use it as the main ingredient in their gooey experiments.
Slime has invaded the tidied, refined, and sophisticated world of adulthood.
It rose to fame in 2017, when children embraced it and dubbed it a creative art form. YouTube and Instagram videos of children experimenting with fluffy, crunchy, glitter, cloud, and butter slime recipes went viral.
The craze was initially thought to be a fad, but homemade slime has become a big business for tweens and teens. Now there’s also a market for adults who squish it between their fingers to reduce stress. Others make their own as a creative pursuit. They add glitter, sequins and more to their concoctions.
Watch this video to learn how to make your own slime:
In April of 2017, Melissa Liznick, 33, launched an online store called SquishyShop.ca, which sells slime supplies, among other things.
“I wasn’t a slime enthusiast at first because I was so frustrated trying to make it,” said Liznick.
“Once I started creating good batches of slime and created the ultimate recipe that I use for all my slimes, I was really enthusiastic about it.”
This isn’t the first time many adults have played with slime. For many, it’s a nostalgic throwback.
Liznick was first introduced to it at the age of seven or eight when her aunt taught her how to create it. Back then it was known as “oobleck” and “Gak,” a Nickelodeon brand.
“In the past it was mostly just a science experiment and there was no creativity around it,” said Liznick.
Social media helped to popularize slime when it was reintroduced in 2017. Slimers like Karina Garcia, who boasts an impressive 8.6 million subscribers on her YouTube channel, encouraged youths and adults to embrace it.
Liznick said, “when I was a kid all my friends seemed to know about (slime) but there wasn’t this mass excitement about it because I don’t think anyone could share at the level that they do right now.”
While many have thought it to be childish, in recent times adults have taken an interest in slime. Based on feedback from customers, Liznick has observed this budding adult enthusiasm for slime.
“Slime is therapeutic for adults,” she said. “Any time you take a bunch of stuff and throw it into a bowl and work at it, especially work as hard as you do to make slime, and it turns out, it makes you feel good.”
Many adult DIY slimers are selling slime products at craft shows and online. A two-ounce container of slime typically sells for about $10, while a four-ounce container can near $20. Slime customers are largely based in North America, however, it is not uncommon for slimers to ship products around the world. Some artists have taken to offering workshops for slime lovers.
Tasnim Noman, a Scarborough Arts workshop facilitator, and Roxane Tracey, the founder and artist in residence at Fresh Paint Studio and Café, both agree with the notion of a soothing element to slime.
“People are always looking for ways to unwind with art,” said Noman, 26.
“I think slime is one of the ways that is easy, inexpensive, tactile, and relaxing.”
Tracey, 43, who has hosted a slime workshop for children in the past, relishes creating something from nothing.
“I’ve always been fascinated by this idea of starting from a blank canvas or a piece of paper and creating something beautiful from it,” said Tracey.
“Just creating something with my hands.”
Tracey believes slime consists of the idea of “doing something that’s tactile and sort of in the line of stress relief and creativity all at the same time.”
For Liznick, the most significant detail about adult slime fanatics is that “adults realize they don’t have to do adult things.”
“You don’t have to have a serious or boring hobby. You are allowed to do whatever you want as long as it makes you feel good.”
Watch an artist explain why adults gravitate to slime: