Grab a box of pasta and some food coloring to make custom-colored noodles for your upcoming craft projects. Pasta comes in a variety of sizes and shapes, giving you many options for the artwork.
Tinting the Pasta
The first step is the dye your pasta in the colors you want. This is a messy job. The food coloring will stain any surfaces it touches, so protect the work area.
The easiest option is to use a large glass container with a lid. The glass won’t stain, and the lid keeps the food coloring contained. If you choose plastic baggies as your containers, use two — one inside the other — in case the inner bag leaks. The pasta sometimes pokes holes in the bag and the zip top doesn’t always seal tightly.
Measure out a few teaspoons of rubbing alcohol. Add food coloring until you get the desired color. Stir the two together. Add your pasta. Shake and mix the pasta around to cover it with the liquid. It doesn’t have to be completely submerged. Shake the container every few minutes to redistribute the coloring.
When the pasta gets as dark as you want it, scoop it out on a piece of plastic or wax paper to dry. I let mine dry in the garage so we didn’t have to smell the rubbing alcohol in the house.
The tinted pasta pieces work well for making textured pictures. Let your child glue the pasta to a piece of paper or cardboard. If she wants to make a particular design, help her draw the outline first. She can then fill in the shape with the corresponding colors of noodles. Use different colors and different shapes of pasta to make different parts of the picture.
Any pasta with a hole through it works for making pasta bracelets. Try penne, macaroni or wagon wheel pastas. Cut a length of string for your child. She puts the pasta onto the string in the desired pattern to complete the jewelry piece.
For something different, build up with the pasta instead of just making flat pictures. Larger pasta pieces, such as lasagna noodles or manicotti, work well for these projects. The larger noodles work well as the base, while smaller pasta pieces create the details. For example, the child might use a manicotti noodle as the main part of a train engine with wagon wheel pasta as the wheels and penne as the smokestack.
Cook Up Creativity
Tinted pasta gives you flexibility with kids’ crafts. Let the kids get creative with how they use the colored noodles.