DIY Rainbow Rice

Fantastic for art projects and perfect for sensory tables, rainbow rice is fun and easy to make and best of all, kid LOVE to play with it!

Things you’ll need:
Basmati or other medium to long grain rice
Liquid food coloring
Zip close bags
Rubbing alcohol (surgical spirit)
Paper towels

Things to do:
1. Divide the rice up into baggies, here we used 3/4 cup rice per bag.
2. Fill the bags about half full of rubbing alcohol, enough to almost cover the rice.
3. Add food coloring, varying how much you put in each bag to achieve different colors (hint, you can get a darker red by adding a very small amount of blue, 1 drop blue to 8 drops red! Light blue is achieved with a few drops of blue and one of green!)
4. Zip close the bags, forcing out as much air as possible, and massage the colors around into the rice until you have an even color throughout the bag.
5. Allow the rice to sit for an hour then strain in a colander and dry on a paper towel lined cookie sheet or table.

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  1. …..with older kids the colored rice can be used to make pictures using the same method of glue and glitter.

  2. Althought I used this technique with pasta as a young camp counselor, I have come to be very uncomfortable using food as a craft item. I want to teach the value to feed the hungry and to not waste our resources. I cannot justify making colored rice pictures when there are homeless and hungry in our own towns.

    1. Debi-there is so much waste everywhere that a bag or two of rice wont matter-10 tons of rice wouldnt help either-starving people all over-even here in the USA. My dogs eat better than most of the worlds population-I do know this, that unless you do something about the problem…you are part of the problem. Please give to your local food banks as there are many PEOPLE that could use the help. I DO MONTHLY!!!!

      1. OH also I will be using this idea at my sons wedding-They have a rainbow theme set up. Thanks for the great tip!!!

    2. The reason people are hungry is not because there is not enough food in the world. If that were so, I would not want to use food items for art. But there is an abundance of food, and it is often more affordable than other materials. And it is non-toxic. Love the colored rice idea!

  3. Love this idea – I work in a school so will be great BUT what on earth is rubbing alcohol??

    1. I think for the UK, you call it “surgical spirit” Does this sound correct? It is an ethyl alcohol-isopropyl mixture. Hope this helps!

  4. Im going to use this idea for my upcoming wedding August 17 2013 to color the rice purple put it in the bottom of Mason jars with tea light candles. For decorations ..

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