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How to Dye Food Sensory Filler

Ever wanted to dye rice only to realize you are out of whatever paint you normally use? If you've got tempera paint, liquid watercolors, acrylic paint, OR food coloring you can still make the rice dying adventure happen.


Supplies & Instructions

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rice, pasta, or beans

ziploc bag

acrylic paint

tempera paint

liquid watercolor

food coloring


Pour rice, pasta, or beans into a ziploc bag, add paint (acrylic, tempera, liquid watercolor, or food coloring), and shake until it’s mixed. I usually leave mine in the bag for a little bit to dry first before drying on parchment paper. Use fluorescent paint to dye your filler for a black light glow!


When it comes to picking your paint...


Acrylic Paint works great for all the things (rice, pasta, chickpeas, beans) and dries super fast.


Tempera paint takes the longest to dry, and you'll end up with some small clumped pieces; still totally usable.


Food coloring is my least favorite because you're limited to only a few colors, but it's also a super cheap way to dye rice and makes it "taste safe". If you're going to use it, opt for the liquid version not the gel. I haven't had any issues with food coloring rice or pasta, but my beans always turn out spotty.


Liquid watercolors work great for rice and pasta, and the result is similar to food coloring, but there are more color options. I don't recommend it for coloring beans as they also turn out spotty in my experience.



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