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How to dye rice with food coloring

Updated February 21, 2017

Rice dyed with food colouring is a safe and nontoxic alternative to coloured sand and glitter. It can be used similarly in craft projects, and easily adheres with all-purpose glue or paste. This recipe yields approximately 113gr, or 1/2 cup, of dyed rice. However, it can be repeated as many times as necessary to make as many different colours as you desire.

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  1. Pour 1/4 cup of undiluted white vinegar into a clean, empty wide-mouth jar. Add three or four drops of the food colouring of your choice, and stir to combine.

  2. Pour 1/2 cup of uncooked white rice into the jar containing the coloured vinegar. Seal the lid as tightly as possible.

  3. Shake the jar vigorously until all of the rice appears to be dyed evenly. Place the jar on a flat surface, and allow it to sit undisturbed for about five minutes.

  4. Pour the contents of the jar through a fine sieve over the sink to drain out the coloured water. Spread the rice in a single layer on large sheets of old newspaper. Place it in a sunny location to dry for at least 30 minutes, or until no more moisture remains.

  5. Store the dry dyed rice in a zipper lock sandwich bag or an airtight plastic container. Repeat the process to make additional colours. Use the dyed rice in craft projects.

  6. Tip

    You can combine primary food colouring colours to create new colours, if desired. Simply add two drops of each colour to the vinegar, instead of three or four drops of one colour. For example, red and yellow will make orange, red and blue will make purple, and blue and yellow will make green.

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Things You'll Need

  • White vinegar
  • Jar
  • Liquid food colouring
  • Uncooked white rice
  • Fine sieve
  • Old newspaper
  • Sandwich bag or container

About the Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including

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