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How to Dye Pasta Beads for Jewelry, Collage, and Crafts

by Jean Van't Hul
March 2, 2010

How to Dye Pasta Beads with one simple trickDyed pasta has entered our lives.

So fun!

We’ve done this before but missed the crucial step and they all turned out soggy.

So this time, I asked my friend Manjula what the trick was for how to dye pasta and she told me:

Rubbing alcohol

Who knew?!

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 worked like a charm!

Here’s the tutorial for how to dye pasta beads ::

Just a warning though—this is a tad addictive. 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.

Just go with it.

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 pasta dyeing technique works great to dye rice as well!

Make Dyed Pasta Beads

We spread the dyed pasta 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.

Kid Craft - Make Jewelry from Dyed Pasta Beads

Maia enjoyed it long enough to make two pasta bead necklaces before moving on.

How to Dye Pasta Beads for Jewelry and Kids Crafts

I, on the other hand, became obsessed and made at least a dozen necklaces! What is it with me and preschool crafts?

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

Have you been wondering how to dye pasta? Well now you know!

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