How to color rice

I should probably address this here.

Mix a few drops of food coloring, (you really don’t want to use too much since it needs to dry and stick onto the rice, not stay wet and rub off on your hands,) with a couple of teaspons of rubbing alcohol in a large ziploc bag.

Take a couple of cups of dry UNCOOKED white rice and toss it into the bag with the food coloring mixture.

Shake the bag up (the kids like doing this, just make sure they don’t puncture the bag, unless you want food coloring everywhere)

Pour the rice out onto a tinfoil lined baking pan and let it dry. Plan for it to take half a day to dry. Of course this varies based on the tempertaure and humifity in your house.

After it dries I mix in a couple of more cups of white rice to have color variation. To be honest I think this initially happened because I didn’t have enough colored rice to fill the plastic tub and didn’t want to make more. But it works.

Store in an tupperware.

Even though it seems like it might be a pain to make, it lasts forever. I still have the same batch I made at least five years ago.

10 Responses to “How to color rice”

  1. thia Says:

    Does the coloring come off onto their hands?

  2. Shelly Says:

    I just made this yesterday, except instead of letting it sit out, I baked at 200 degrees for 20 minutes…I also mixed in some dried lentels that we had. My almost three year old loves it!!!!

  3. chris Says:


    That is good to know. I wondered if you could just put it in the oven. I thought that it would be fine, but didnn’t want to write something that I hadn’t actually tried.

    And the coloring doesn’t come off onto their hands. You really need very little food coloring

  4. Jeana Says:

    Thank you!

  5. kate Says:

    I used to run a craft camp for kids. I colored rice for a project, but I just used tempera paint and mixed it around. It dries pretty fast too. The food coloring probably keeps the color on there better.

  6. Angel Says:

    You can also use this same technique for coloring pasta. I like to color different tube pasta for necklaces and little alphabet pasta or orzo for shakers.

    The colored rice is also nice for texture pictures. Slather construction paper or cardboard with glue (I like to use glue sticks to reduce the mess, but your mileage may vary) and sprinkle the rice on top.

  7. cole Says:

    This is a great idea and would make a nice cheap bday present to some friends along with some homemade playdough. OR you could give the colored pasta, some ribbon as a kit to make your own necklace for a craft for a party for kids. Lovely and helpful ideas.

    I would like to suggest to not forget about sewing and needle point for older kids, like around 5ish or older. Use a big needle, get a hoop and let them stitch away. For older kids let them draw something with marker and then trace it with stitches. make certain it does not turn into jousting or stabbing, just sewing. ha.

    I would like to suggest another one good for this time of year whens spring seems very, very, very far away. Get some seeds, something simple like zinnia’s or mums or something…and use your leftover plastic salad box (I get big boxes of spring mix for salads and we just save them up) and you can make mini green houses. Make sure you get the ones that are solid and not open on the bottom…messy, messy. Get some dirt and put the lid on loosely and place in a sunny window. Instant green house. Herbs are a good thing to do this with as they like it dry and sunny. You can also do lettuces, the baby varieties, like this. You can get some big tubs from the hardware store or a thrift store and replant them when they get too big. Seeds and dirt are cheap and the kids like to watch them sprout. Nice tie in to science lesson for older kids.

    Just some thoughts.

  8. KhristaLee Says:

    Okay, what do you do with the coloured rice other than glue it onto paper? Make Sand (rice) art in jars? Put it in a big Tupperware thing with some spoons and dishes and cups for them to play with and hopefully not eat?

  9. KhristaLee Says:

    ah, I get so ahead of myself, I thought you just liked to colour rice! haha, j/k, have you ever made coloured sugar? it’s a long process as well…

  10. bob Says: