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How to Dye Pasta for Crafts

by Jean Van't Hul
May 2, 2022
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How to dye pasta using a few simple ingredients. Dyed pasta is perfect to use for jewelry, collage, and other kids’ crafts.

Updated June 2022

Have you ever tried dyeing pasta for crafts?

We’ve done this before but missed a crucial step and they all turned out soggy. Turns out rubbing alcohol is the key to dyeing pasta perfectly.

A tiny amount of rubbing alchohol will distribute the food coloring quickly and easily throughout the pasta and will then evaporate, leaving the pasta to simple soak in the dye without any extra liquid.

It works like a charm!

Just a warning: this is a tad addictive. Once you’ve done it, you’re going to want to head back to the grocery store for more pasta shapes and will end up making enough dyed pasta for a neighborhood of kids to string necklaces.

dyed pasta pinterest
Photo by Andrea Martelle

How to Dye Pasta for Crafts

MATERIALS

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

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Divide the pasta

    Divide and pour the pasta into freezer bags. Use one bag for each color, but you can mix and match the pasta shapes.

    pasta in bags

  2. Add rubbing alcohol

    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. Add the color

    Then add your food coloring to the bag. Again close the top and scrunch it around in your hands to distribute the color.

    pasta dyed blue in a bag

  4. Let dry

    Spread the dyed pasta out on a cookie sheet (we lined ours with parchment paper first) and let dry overnight.

    dyed pasta drying

  5. Repeat!

    Make as many colors as you like!

    pasta dyed different colors

Once your dyed pasta is dry, the crafting opportunities are endless! You can string them as beads, glue them in collages, or decorate playdough creations with them.

playdough and pasta
Photo by Andrea Martelle

And this pasta dyeing technique works great to dye rice as well!

More Crafts for Kids

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How to Dye Pasta for Crafts

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