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How To Dye Pasta For Toddler Crafts

Kids love to do crafts.  I think kids like to do crafts almost as much, or more, than playing with toys.

My kids are always asking me to do arts and crafts and projects, and to be honest, I am not a very crafty type of mama, so I really struggle with how to do crafts with them.

I find myself either lacking creative ideas beyond paper and crayons, or I just envision the mess that a craft will make and that stops me before I even start.

But, I want to be better about doing creative things in our home, both for myself and with my kids, so I’ve decided to make an effort to do new crafts with them on a regular basis, and I want to share those attempts with you here. 

Remember, I am not a crafty blogger.  I don’t take beautiful pictures, or end up with these stunningly beautiful creations.  I’m hoping that there are some other un-crafty mamas out there that can sympathize with me, and I hope that I can encourage you that even if you feel like you have a negative creativity level like I do, we can still help our kids to develop their creative sides and have fun doing it at the same time.

Last week we dyed pasta at our house to use for crafts.  While this is not really an activity that your kids can do with you, my kids liked to watch and help as they could.

My kids loved to use the brightly colored pasta to make necklaces and more, once the pasta was finished.  Dyed pasta is a fun way to add some color to a simple craft like stringing noodles.

Here’s a step by step guide for dying pasta to use for toddler crafts.

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  • 1. Gather Your Materials 1 of 7
    1. Gather Your Materials
    You will need pasta, (whatever type and shape you choose, we used rigatoni and mostaccioli because I wanted the kids to string the noodles), rubbing alcohol, food coloring and plastic ziplock bags.
  • 2. Add the Alcohol and Food Coloring to the Plastic Bags 2 of 7
    2. Add the Alcohol and Food Coloring to the Plastic Bags
    I used sandwich size bags and added about 1/3 cup of rubbing alcohol and 15-20 drops of food coloring to each bag.
  • 3. Add Pasta to the Baggies 3 of 7
    3. Add Pasta to the Baggies
    Then fill the baggie about halfway with pasta. Don't overfill it because you want the dye solution to be able to cover all around the pasta. I also double bagged the pasta to help prevent leaks.
  • 4. Let the Pasta Set 4 of 7
    4. Let the Pasta Set
    I set my baggies on cookie sheets and let them set overnight. Or you could do it for 4-8 hours during the day. The longer they set, the deeper the color will be. Turning the bags every hour, or so, will help the color to distribute more evenly, but obviously you can't turn them overnight. I just turned them a couple times before I went to bed, and then flipped them in the morning and let them sit for another hour or so.
  • 5. Let the Pasta Dry 5 of 7
    5. Let the Pasta Dry
    Dump the food coloring out into the sink and then pour the pasta onto a newspaper lined cookie sheet to dry. You need to let it dry either overnight, or for 4-8 hours during the day, before it will be ready to use.
  • 6. Make Your Craft 6 of 7
    6. Make Your Craft
    Use your brightly colored pasta to make beautiful creations like bracelets and necklaces by stringing them onto a shoestring, or glue them onto paper for 3D art, or whatever fun uses you can think of!
  • 7. Get Creatvie 7 of 7
    7. Get Creatvie
    My son actually made his into a snake, we just tied both ends off, and he loved to take his snake for a "walk" around the house! Beware though, when stepped on the pasta crumbles and can make quite a mess on the floor!

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