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Topic: Pretty pasta  (Read 11848 times)
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beara0034
« on: October 05, 2004 03:05:30 PM »

I'm working on my degree in Elementary Education, and today in my math methods course we made this really cool stuff that you can use to help you teach kids math, but I thought all the smart people here on Craftster could find tons of other uses for it!  


Isn't it pretty?  Grin  It's just different kinds of macaroni dyed with rubbing alcohol and food coloring.  It's cheap, quick, and easy to do!

Here's what you need:
Different types of macaroni/pasta
Rubbing alcohol
Food coloring
Gallon-size ziplock bags
Old newspaper


Here's what you do:
1.  Pour some rubbing alcohol into your ziplock bag.  About 1/3 of a pint will color two big handfuls of macaroni.

2.  Add in your food coloring.  For most colors, about 1/3 to 1/2 of those little bottles that come in four-packs will do the job.  For some colors, like blue or purple, you may need to use a lot more - even the whole bottle.  If you use paste or gel food coloring, add enough so that the colors will be deep.

3.  Fill up your zip lock bag with a couple big handfuls of macaroni.  It should be about half full.

4.  Knead your bag carefully until the pasta is deeply colored.  (Be careful about poking a hole in your bag with sharp pieces of pasta!)

5.  When you are satisfied with your color, drain the ziplock bag by cutting a small piece off of the corner.  Careful, it comes out quick!  My professor said it was okay to put it down the sink, just run some water to make sure you don't dye your sink!

6.  Place the macaroni on layers of newspapers to dry.  If you do this outside, be sure the macaroni is drained well, because if the alcohol seeps through the newspaper, it will kill the grass!  

And that's it!  For our class, everyone brought two different kinds of pasta and we mixed it all up together.  Everyone did one color, and then we mixed it all back up again.  That way, we got lots of different colors and different shapes.  Here's a close up of some of the different shapes and colors we got:


Kids can learn sorting, colors, shapes, graphing skills, and anything else you can use counters for with these.  I thought they'd also be great for a myriad of craft projects.  Hope you have fun!   Cheesy
« Last Edit: December 21, 2009 02:17:19 PM by rackycoo » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2004 03:38:16 PM »

Ooh, that is pretty. Now I want pasta for dinner. Hahaha.
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« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2004 04:01:05 PM »

its so pretty!! *off to dye some ronis*
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« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2004 04:04:03 PM »

Pasta crafts always make me think of Kramer's macoroni people on Seinfeld, hehe.

Back to the actual topic, your pasta is so bright! I don't think I ever dyed it like that when I was little. I know I colored pasta with markers, but it didn't look nearly as nice. Cheesy
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« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2004 04:10:10 PM »

ha ha that seinfeld was on just last night.
just wanted to say that im liken this pasta...what would you make out of it though besides fuscilli jeri lol
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« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2004 05:19:24 PM »

Pasta crafts always make me think of Kramer's macoroni people on Seinfeld, hehe.

LOL .. I totally remember this..
Thats a neat idea.. I have kids and I think maybe this can have a spin put on it..
like those lost and found jars ..for kids ..
you put rice and little things in it for them to "find" when they shake it up..
if they find so many items they get points etc..
kind of like a travel game..
Im thinking these would be cute for a like tic tac toe game ina  baby food jar that has been decorated  or soemthing..
like tic tac toe on the go or somethign LOL ..
Brainstorming here.. kat
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Cassiopia1
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2004 07:11:50 PM »

Oh my GOD. So cool.

I really covet them. I feel a pasta jewelry day coming on Cheesy
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beara0034
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2004 07:34:39 PM »

Thats a neat idea.. I have kids and I think maybe this can have a spin put on it..
like those lost and found jars ..for kids ..
you put rice and little things in it for them to "find" when they shake it up..
if they find so many items they get points etc..
kind of like a travel game..
Im thinking these would be cute for a like tic tac toe game ina  baby food jar that has been decorated  or soemthing..
like tic tac toe on the go or somethign LOL ..
Brainstorming here.. kat

I've never heard of those lost & found jars, but that's a really neat idea!  Tic tac toe in a jar too... games to go are always good.   Smiley

Maybe I'm weird, but I think it would be cool to just put this stuff in a clear vase or jar and display it.  I know people have normal pasta out in jars on their kitchen counters quite often, but having funky blue pasta might be a cool twist.  You could use colors to match your room, or just do one color but all different kinds of pasta.  Very textural.
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The_Real_Kittygirl
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2004 02:04:36 AM »

Quote
Maybe I'm weird, but I think it would be cool to just put this stuff in a clear vase or jar and display it.  I know people have normal pasta out in jars on their kitchen counters quite often, but having funky blue pasta might be a cool twist.  You could use colors to match your room, or just do one color but all different kinds of pasta.  Very textural.

I love that idea!! I also love the colorful pasta! I have one problem, though. I have no idea what rubbing alcohol is...any substitutes? I live in Finland, I think we don't have it here.
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fizzysister
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2004 03:25:00 AM »

That's sooooo pretty!
It made me think though, anyone who makes their own pasta (it's really easy!) could put food coloring in when they make it and have the best coloured dinner!

Also, I think that rubbing alcohol is known as Surgical Spirit here in the UK, I don't know if that helps you out in Fnland.
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« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2004 07:50:02 AM »

does the alcohol evaporate, or is it still toxic?  you know how little kids love to stuff things in their mouths...
:O
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« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2004 08:43:46 AM »

I imagine that most of it would evaporate, and it would probably taste pretty icky anyway.
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ollyollyoxenfree
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2004 08:52:12 AM »

Pasta crafts always make me think of Kramer's macoroni people on Seinfeld, hehe.

"It's Fusilli Jerry! 'Cause you're silly, get it?"
Haha, always cracks me up.

That pasta looks so fun. I feel a craft project coming on.
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beara0034
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2004 09:10:41 PM »

I love that idea!! I also love the colorful pasta! I have one problem, though. I have no idea what rubbing alcohol is...any substitutes? I live in Finland, I think we don't have it here.

The chemical name for it is Isopropyl Alcohol. It comes in different percentage concentrations--I know there is 70%, maybe I've seen around 50% too.  (I don't know what difference using a different concentration would make, I think 70% is most common and what I used.)  You may be able to find it at a drug store or in the beauty section.  It's often used as an antiseptic or a sanitizer.  It's called rubbing alcohol because you can also use it to relieve minor muscle aches by rubbing it on your skin.  You might be able to use some other type of alcohol as a substitute, I'm not sure!  The main point of it is that the pasta remains hard, not soggy--so water won't work!

As for safety concerns with kids ingesting it... I read the warnings on the bottle, and the label says that it will "produce serious gastric disturbances" if you drink it - so don't do that!  Shocked  BUT I am pretty sure that after the pasta dries out a little and the dye sets, most of the alcohol evaporates. I inspected my pasta, and it doesn't even smell remotely like the alcohol anymore.  If you have ever spilled a little bit of this stuff, you might notice that if you leave it there, it will evaporate away on its own after like 10 minutes.  If a kid was to put the pasta in their mouth, it would probabably not hurt them as long as they didn't eat a whole bag.

The label on the alcohol bottle also says to use it in a well ventilated area because of fumes.  It's true, the stuff is pretty stinky!  Before you store the finished pasta away in some closed container, you may want to let it air out a bit.  I put mine into a plastic bag right after it was dry, and when I got it home and opened it up... WHEW!  But I let the bag sit open for like 10 minutes, and now it has no odor at all.
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« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2004 09:22:49 PM »

those would be excellent poker chips!
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« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2004 07:05:24 AM »

Pasta crafts always make me think of Kramer's macoroni people on Seinfeld, hehe.

LOL .. I totally remember this..
Thats a neat idea.. I have kids and I think maybe this can have a spin put on it..
like those lost and found jars ..for kids ..
you put rice and little things in it for them to "find" when they shake it up..
if they find so many items they get points etc..
kind of like a travel game..
Im thinking these would be cute for a like tic tac toe game ina  baby food jar that has been decorated  or soemthing..
like tic tac toe on the go or somethign LOL ..
Brainstorming here.. kat


i saw that in a recent issue of family fun magazine. lost and found jars are a good thing for kids. keeps them busy
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« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2004 04:21:21 PM »

those colours are so bright! very impressive.

the alcohol will definitely evaporate. i'd be more concerned about kids eating a bunch of dried pasta without chewing properly (it's sharp to start with, and then it expands).
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VaxGirl
« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2004 12:18:33 PM »

Oh, I love those!  I can picture some "love bead" type bead curtains made from them.  Maybe strung together with nylon thread or fishing line.

In college I sat next to an early childhood ed major in English class.  She always pulled the neatest things out of her bag, like home made play dough!
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disjectamembra
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2004 04:35:24 PM »

those would be excellent poker chips!
 
OMG, I thought that too!!  If I were a teacher, I'd get in trouble for teaching the kids to play Blackjack.
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« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2004 07:09:11 AM »

those would be excellent poker chips!
 
OMG, I thought that too!!  If I were a teacher, I'd get in trouble for teaching the kids to play Blackjack.

Great minds think alike. heh. I work in the education department of a museum, and we do stuff like that all the time with kids, anything to make them think art is fun. I don't think you'd get in trouble for teaching Blackjack, so long as you stressed the importance of the double-down.
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« Reply #20 on: October 31, 2004 08:24:13 AM »

Maybe I'm weird, but I think it would be cool to just put this stuff in a clear vase or jar and display it.  I know people have normal pasta out in jars on their kitchen counters quite often, but having funky blue pasta might be a cool twist.  You could use colors to match your room, or just do one color but all different kinds of pasta.  Very textural.


That's an awesome idea!I think I might do that when I get some extra monry  Cheesy
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snoozle
« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2004 10:06:08 AM »

hey this is an awesome idea and just in time coz we are re-designing our kitchen  Grin

i didn't have any rubbing alcohol so i just used the food colour (it was liquid) and a brush and the pasta turned out well - so what would the difference be if i use alcohol next time? Smiley

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rabbitrabbit
« Reply #22 on: November 01, 2004 02:26:27 PM »

Aw man, you just brought me back to my younger days! When I was in kindergarten I remember making bracelets out of electric blue penne, it was awesome!

And this isn't necessarily related to the coloring method here, but when I was in elementary school we drew self portraits in art class. For a frame, we had a piece of cardboard on which we glued macaroni in patterns, and after it dried our teacher spray painted them all gold. The idea was to emulate a fancy sort of gold frame. It was really cute.
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disjectamembra
« Reply #23 on: November 04, 2004 05:33:05 AM »

those would be excellent poker chips!
 
OMG, I thought that too!!  If I were a teacher, I'd get in trouble for teaching the kids to play Blackjack.

Great minds think alike. heh. I work in the education department of a museum, and we do stuff like that all the time with kids, anything to make them think art is fun. I don't think you'd get in trouble for teaching Blackjack, so long as you stressed the importance of the double-down.
Send children into a casino without knowing when to double-down?!?!  I am not a monster!    Wink
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Cherrymonkett
« Reply #24 on: November 07, 2004 01:48:11 PM »

If you cook them and drain them can you eat them?Huh Smiley
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flyinpurplemunkiez
« Reply #25 on: November 08, 2004 12:33:42 PM »

If you cook them and drain them can you eat them?Huh Smiley
I'm thinking it might not be a good idea since there is rubbing alcohol used. If you make the it w/o the rubbing alcohol (which someone already said they did and it worked) then you'll be fine.
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teenage_moth
« Reply #26 on: December 06, 2004 10:15:01 AM »

my sister and i used to make really pretty (grown-up hehe) necklaces,  chokers,earrings and bracelets out of tiny pastas. The best kind are stellini (little stars), tubettini (little tubes), other small pastas with holes. 




or to see for bigger pastas and pretty curlicues: http://www.culinarycafe.com/Pasta/Tube_Pasta.html

We would dye ththem earthier colors (like maroon, sienna, periwinkle, etc) and you could even use a marker or something to make little designs. with the right colors (we would soak them in food coloring/vinegar/cold water solutions, like egg dying) you can get absolutely beautiful beads. after a while of soaking in the dyes, we would fish them out, and lay them out in the sun (or just in your house) on a tray to dry. to be honest, i know there was some problem with the wet pasta sticking to the tray, but i cant remember what we did to fix that. maybe shake them up a bit after they dried a little but not completely? 

we then sprayed them with a shellac so the dye would stay and if you got it wet it woudlnt bleed (but still be careful about wearing these over nice clothese if theres the potential of water hitting you, just to be safe) anyway, they can look really pretty, like shells or wooden beads and you can find neat shapes. sometimes we would take one bigger piece of pasta, dye it, shellac it and string it on some cord and it looked really pretty. pasta come in really beautiful shapes! 
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PpCakes
« Reply #27 on: January 15, 2005 06:03:44 AM »

your pasta is pretty, but can you eat it  Huh
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PpCakes
« Reply #28 on: January 15, 2005 09:25:30 PM »

whoops my question has been answered, im slow next time i will read before i post!!!
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« Reply #29 on: January 23, 2005 03:37:09 PM »

I work in a juvenile detention center and was sitting here thinking that dyed macaronis might be a fun thing to give my kids.  They get play money as a positive behavior incentive- I was thinking that the 'ronis would be more tangible.  Anyone?  Does this sound ridiculous? 
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« Reply #30 on: January 24, 2005 02:36:27 AM »

This is so great, imagine all the beautiful earrings made out of colorful pasta...
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