This creative project will be one of the crafts booths at a children’s carnival this Saturday. (My sister’s library is hosting a carnival to celebrate their kids’ Summer reading program.) Who knew that you can create beads out of pasta by dyeing them in pretty colors?!
Here’s what you need:
* Rubbing alcohol
* Food coloring (as many colors as you want)
* Fun-shaped dry pasta (that have holes you can put a string through. Do not cook the pasta!)
* Apron (to protect your clothing)
* Newspaper (to line the work surface)
* Plates or trays (lined with plastic wrap on the bottom, then a layer of paper towels on top) to dry the pasta
* String (fish lines or hemp cord, etc.)
* Slotted spoon (or a regular spoon, to scoop out the pasta from bowl)
* (OPTIONAL) Colorful straws and plastic beads
(Make the pasta beads ahead of time. Pasta will need to dry overnight.)
1. Prepare a bath of rubbing alcohol and food coloring. Fill a bowl 3/4 with rubbing alcohol. Add drops of food coloring of your choice. You can eyeball how much food color to put in, keeping in mind that the dried pasta will be a little lighter than the alcohol bath. We got some fantastic Neon colors for this project too! NEON food coloring?? SO cool!! Stir the liquid until well-mixed.
2. Gently drop in the pasta into the bowl. Stir them around to submerge them in the liquid. Soak until your desired color sets in. Periodically lift out the pasta with a spoon to check on the color. For reddish colors, it took about 30 minutes to dye. For the neon green, about 2 hours. But do not leave the pasta soaking overnight or longer than 3 hours, since that will make the pasta chalky when it dries.
3. Scoop out the pasta, draining as much liquid as you can. Lay them out flat on a platter lined with paper towels (to soak in the extra liquid) and dry overnight. Line the bottom of the tray/plate if you want to protect it. They should be completely dry in the morning. Here’s a sampling of the different colors we used:
5. Measure how long you want the necklace to be, but cut the string a little longer, so that you have some slack. String your beads in any pattern you want and tie the ends tightly with a triple knot when done. Cut the extra ends but not too close to the knot. Be creative and experimental! The pastas we used are Fiori (flower-shaped), tennis racket and Ziti (long tubes). You can search on Google Images for “fun-shaped pastas” for some ideas.
Hope this becomes a delightful afternoon of art project with your kids!
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