Fun with Dyed Pasta Beads

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Make Dyed Pasta Beads

Dyed pasta has entered our lives. So fun!

Make Dyed Pasta Beads

How to Dye Pasta

Materials Needed

  • Pasta of various shapes and sizes (tube pasta such as ziti make the best beads)
  • Rubbing alcohol (or white vinegar)
  • Food coloring
  • Freezer bags


  1. Divide pasta into freezer bags. Use one bag for each color, but you can mix and match the pasta shapes.
  2. Working with one bag at a time, add 1 teaspoon of rubbing alcohol to the bag. Close the top and scrunch it around in your hands to distribute the alcohol.
  3. Then add your food coloring to the bag. Again close the top and scrunch it around in your hands to distribute the color.
  4. Spread the dyed pasta out on a cookie sheet (you may want to line yours first with wax paper or aluminum foil) and let dry overnight.
  5. Make as many colors as you like!
  6. Once your dyed pasta is completed, you can string them as beads, glue them in collages, or decorate playdough creations with them.

P.S. This works great for dyed rice as well!

Make Dyed Pasta Beads

We spread them out to dry overnight, then sorted them into jars.

Make Dyed Pasta Beads

Maia and I strung the pasta beads onto yarn for necklaces.

Make Dyed Pasta Beads

And strung some more pasta beads.

Make Dyed Pasta Beads

And kept on stringing. Maia enjoyed it long enough to make two necklaces before moving on. I, on the other hand, became obsessed and made at least a dozen necklaces! What is it with me and preschool crafts?

Make Dyed Pasta Beads

Make Dyed Pasta Beads 

This dyed pasta thing is addictive. I want to buy all kinds of fun pasta shapes and dye them in a rainbow of colors!

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  1. Julie says

    That looks fun. I have thought about trying this myself but I had no idea what rubbing alcohol was so I may try it with vinegar. Last week I finally got round to doing tissue paper ‘painting’ with my toddler group. The parents, and I think the children, really enjoyed it. Thank you as I would never have done it if you hadn’t posted about it.

  2. says

    They look so good though. You could call your obsession with kids craft – finding meditative space in the mayhem of parenting?

  3. says

    What fun! Thanks for sharing! I died a bunch of white rice several months ago, thinking I would make some of those “find-it” bottles…now I have a rainbow of colored rice cluttering my craft shelf! I think we may need to do some colored rice mosaics. Where’s the glue? I’ve gotta make space for dyed pasta!

  4. V says

    This is great. My kids will go crazy for this. I am not sure how the “waiting overnight” aspect will work, but I will certainly try it anyway. Thanks for yet another GREAT idea!

  5. says

    Quick tip: you can do this with great results by simply adding dropperfuls of liquid watercolors to the baggies of pasta/rice…no rubbing alcohol necessary. My students really enjoy adding more than one color to a bag for some really lovely multi-colored results. Once again, Liquid Watercolors to the rescue. The colored rice is gorgeous too, and really fun to add to a big rice tray for sensory play.

  6. Melissa says

    I did this last week with my 3 1/2 year old and used the neon colors of food color and it made the pasta much more vibrant!!-the blue, pink, purple and green! My daughter loved it too, but I think I liked it more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. says

    Funny, I was just going to ask if it could be done with liquid watercolors! Guess I know what we’ll be doing tomorrow. :)

  8. says

    What a brilliant idea! My 5 and 2 year olds could both join in with this…and those necklaces totally remind me of something I wore when I was young (except the “beads” were plastic – not nearly as environmentally friendly or cool looking.) :)
    My brain is spinning with ideas now!
    I LOVE the photos, too…those pigtails are too cute!

  9. says

    The necklaces look great! I had to laugh because I am right there with you on the preschool crafting…I also seem to get carried away with it and continue to sit there creating while my kids have long disappeared from the table.

  10. says

    Another fun project. We made three great necklaces this morning. Everyone thinks I’m supermom or something, but the truth is I just steal all my ideas from you. On this project, I would make a couple recommendations. If vinegar works, use that instead, because rubbing alcohol really stinks. My daughter is very sensitive to bad smells. Also, you had the right idea using all straight pastas for your necklaces. Even oversized macaroni were too hard for a pre-schooler to get yarn through. And the little macaroni were impossible even for me. We’ll use those for collage materials.