How To Dye Pasta – Recipe And Tips To Make The BEST Dyed Pasta

Making dyed pasta is nothing new. After making it a few times, I’ve learned a few tips and tricks to show you how to make the best dyed pasta. This is so easy, even a baby can do it =)

Since my usual sidekick is out with her Grandparents today, I involved the ‘help’ of the little boy. This is a great activity to do with him as it involved a lot of sensory experiences and it’s totally non-messy.

how to dye pasta for kids crafts

Before I went out and bought the pasta, I had an end goal in mind for what the dyed pasta will be used for.

Aside from a general sensory bin, I’d also like the kids to string the pasta (like a necklace), so I bought pasta with holes in it. We’ll also be counting with them so I need pasta that lies flat. Also, since the little guy likes to put things in his mouth, I had to carefully choose the size of the pasta – nothing too small he could choke on.

In the end, I bought a bag of pennetortiglionirotelle, and anellini (which wasn’t my choice since they’re kind of small but the little girl really wanted it).

What You’ll Need To Dye Pasta

how to dye pasta for kids crafts

Since I have about 25 cups of pasta and I wanted to dye it to the colors of the rainbow, I know I’ll be dying 4 cups of each color.

This recipe here is what you’ll need for 1 color of pasta

How To Dye Pasta

To dye the pasta, first I pumped about 2 tablespoons of hand sanitizer into a large zip lock bag. Then I used a toothpick and scooped about 1/2 teaspoon of gel food coloring into the bag. Then I sealed the bag with no air in the bag (make sure it’s sealed!) and let the little boy squish the liquids together.

how to dye pasta with food coloring for crafts

There are 3 reasons why I want to mix the food coloring and hand sanitizer in the bag first:

  • Dilute the color so when the pasta goes in the bag, it’ll have more liquid for coating which will result in evenly colored pasta
  • Break up the clumps of food coloring
  • Test if there is enough food coloring

In the pictures with the blue dye, you could see how dark the mixture is. Don’t be scared! When the pasta is dyed and dried, the color will appear much lighter (like the other pictures)

After the food coloring have been mixed, I scooped about 4 cups of pasta into the bag and sealed it well. You want to make sure this is REALL sealed otherwise you’ll have a big mess on your hands =)

The little boy went to town squishing and moving the pasta in the bag. When he was done, I gave it a few more shakes to make sure all the pasta is coated.

how to dye pasta with food coloring

You want to be gentle with the pasta, especially if you have any shapes that are pokey. We have some slanted penne in the bag and it poked a couple tiny holes through the bag. If this happens, just sandwich the bag in between a hand towel to keep your hands and counter clean.

When the pasta have been coated with color, dump the contents into a tray and spread it out to dry. If you don’t like the smell of hand sanitizer, you could put the trays outside and it’ll dry within a couple hours.

Repeat this process with other colors.

Here’s another tip. If you want to be environmentally friendly and use as little bags as possible, dye a light colour first then use the same bag to dye a darker colour. I did yellow and orange in 1 bag, red in 1 bag (because the bag got little holes in it), green in 1 bag (again it got holes, so be gentle), and purple and blue in 1 bag.

how to dye pasta for kids crafts

Now that the pastas are dyed, I have lots of plans for these guys! I’ll be setting up activities for the little girl to do like colour sorting, counting, stringing into necklaces, playing reversed bingo and of course the tried and true sensory bin.

Be sure to watch out for these posts coming soon =)

how to make coloured riceIf you liked this activity, you might also like to learn how to dye rice. It’s a similar process but involves a jar instead of bags. This is also GREAT for sensory bins.

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Kristen Bobbitt -

Thanks for the tips. We have played with pasta a few times but I haven’t tried dying them yet. Thanks for sharing on Artsy Play Wednesday. Pinned to our group board.

Amber Hutt -

Always used rubbing alcohol, guess sanitizer works too. Good to know

Dianna Kennedy -

I love the bright colors! I’ve used liquid food coloring in the past, but the gel might be better. Mine has been dull … I like yours better!

Stopping by from Thoughtful Spot ….,

Mariel Sunday Wangsgard -

This is great!! I love your photography on this post too… so creative! Pinned.

Afterschooling for Smarty Pants -

Great tips! Baby certainly had a lot of fun with it 🙂 Thanks for sharing with Afterschool!

Stephanie Osborne Landers -

If your child isn’t sensitive to smells, you can also try adding some vanilla extract (or another extract) to add another element to the sensory experience 🙂

Colorful and Fun Activities for Kids + Weekly Kids Co-Op » B-Inspired Mama -

[…] Dyed Pasta Fun (The Connection We Share) […]

Crafty Moms Share -

Looks like a great way to dye it. We will have to give it a try for a craft I have been thinking about. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!

Linda Campbell -

my only concern is with the little one that puts things in his mouth (I have a daycare full of them!) We’re not allowed to use hand sanitizer on the kids as it’s considered toxic. Is there another option for the colouring ’cause it looks awesome!

Sticky Play - Contact Paper Crafts for Toddlers -

[…] well as gathered some things I have around the house like yarn, shredded paper and some small dyed pasta we made a few weeks […]

Simple Mama -

Wonderful method to dye pasta! Yours looks as though they came out very nice and even in color.
I have not tried this before and would like to. Thank you for sharing!

Pasta & Beads on a Stick - Pasta Crafts for Kids -

[…] the pasta that we dyed recently, I wanted to create some really simple crafts and invitations to play for […]

Melody Ishin Hsiao -

Thank you! this is a lot fun! (I mean even for me!!) I was able to do yellow and orange in a bag, and was too greedy to think that I could put red in the same bag too…but it didn’t turn out well, I think I’ll give the red batch a re-do.) Also you can actually wash the zip lock bag if you want. I’m just working with some gel coloring that I have right now, but I’ll look for some gel coloring too! thanks for sharing again!

Teaching Place Value for Preschoolers ⋆ Playground Parkbench -

[…] You can get the complete directions by visiting The Connection We Share. […]

OurHomeof ManyBlessings -

I have tried dyeing pasta before and it went way wrong,lol. I m gonna try this one and see how it goes. I would love for you to come and share your ideas at my Monday of Many Blessings Link Up!!

St Paddy’s Play Date | The Spunky Runner :: Jesus • Sweat • Play -

[…] learned How to Dye Pasta here, but its so easy! All you need is the ingredients […]