How to Make Dyed Rice (2024)

Let’s learn how to dye rice! Making your own dyed rice is easy and fun. Kids of all ages will love this sensory and art activity.

You’re going to see exactly how to dye rice in just a few simple steps.

Let’s get started!

Ingredients for Dying Rice

You need a few simple ingredients

Other optional supplies

How to Make Dyed Rice Video

Check out the video below to see exactly how we make dyed rice. But, also see the written directions below for more clarification.

Directions on How to Make Dyed Rice

Here are the 5 easy steps:

Step 1: Add 1 cup of rice into a ziplock bag and squirt some acrylic paint inside.

I don’t have a specific measurement I use; you can always add more if you don’t like the color.

Step 2: Close the bag and shake up the acrylic paint and rice mix so the color gets all over the rice. You will need to use your hands to massage the bag to make sure all the pieces of rice get color on it.

This is where you can check if you like the color. If you need to add more paint, squirt a little bit more in and shake up again.

Step 3: Grab an art tray and line it with parchment paper to dump the rice on to dry. I linked my favorite art trays in the ingredients section. These trays are large and can hold up to two colors spread out.

Placing the dyed rice on the parchment paper will make for an easy clean-up!

Step 4: Dump out the rice onto the parchment paper and spread it out as much as you can. This will help the rice not stick together.

Step 5: Wait a few minutes for the rice to dry. The beauty of this method of dying rice is that it doesn’t take a long time for it to dry.

I typically wait about 5 minutes, and it’s done!

You are now ready to craft or play! Check out some ideas on how to use dyed rice below.

What can you do with dyed rice?

Now that you have learned how to make dyed rice check out all the fun ways it can be used to create and play!

#1: Crafting

We have created some fun crafts using dyed rice. This is one of my favorites! I love seeing all the colors of the rainbow in this craft.

Check out some other ways to craft with dyed rice later in this article.

When crafting with dyed rice, you want to make sure to use cardstock paper. If you are using quite a bit of rice, like you see in rainbow craft, it will be pretty heavy.

Construction paper won’t be able to hold all the rice, and your craft will fall apart. Use the cardstock paper for the best results!

How do you get the rice to stick to the paper?

To get the rice to stick to the paper, we used Elmer’s school glue. Spread a thin layer of glue on the paper, then spread it around with a popsicle stick, and just sprinkle on the rice.

#2: Writing Trays

Looking for a fun way to practice writing? Make a simple sensory tray by spreading some dyed rice on a flat surface.

When using the rice as a writing tray, we use my FREE writing cards so the kids can look at the letter they are making to help guide them.

These letter cards have numbers on them to show the kids the correct way to make each letter.

Click HERE to get your FREE Writing Cards here

Every time we use our dyed rice, we use our tray from my friend Laura from Inspire My Play.

Click HERE to purchase her tray and check out her store for other sensory items.

This is the tray that you see above! It has compartments you can use to put the dyed rice in. You can also take the compartments out and use the large space for the writing tray.

#3: Pouring & Scooping

One practical life skill you can work on using dyed rice is pouring and scooping.

You can use the following tools to help scoop!

Have the kids use these items to practice scooping up the rice and dumping it into bowls or jars.

Place the bowls and jars into the sensory container you are using to catch any rice that doesn’t fall into the bowl/jar.

Keep working on this activity with your kids! It helps their fine motor development. They will get better each time they practice.

#4: Sensory Play

The reason why we make rainbow rice is for sensory play! Just letting the kids put their hands in the rice to feel it is a great sensory activity for them.

We have created bins, as you see below, by just adding a few themed items inside to let the kids play and explore.

I do a lot of activities with my kids, and I am not kidding when I say sensory bins like these are their favorite activities. They could play for hours with these small set-ups, just playing and imagining.

Probably their favorite dyed rice sensory bins involve small animals. Here is one we created with some zoo animals that we have.

Small-world sensory item ideas

You also don’t need a fancy sensory bin to put these items in. You can just use any empty container you have at home.

Other Crafting Ideas for Dyed Rice

#1: Fox Rice Craft

This fox rice craft is the cutest! It’s a perfect animal craft to make with the kids.

This is a fun way to use some of your orange-dyed rice that you made!

How to do this activity

A. Extra materials you need

  • cardstock paper
  • scissors
  • glue stick
  • googly eyes

B. Activity

Create the fox face by making a semi-circle on orange cardstock.

Make a white mouth out of white cardstock paper and paste it at the bottom of the face. Lastly, create two ears for the fox and paste them at the top.

Add your googly eyes on, and create a face for the fox with paint or markers.

Lastly, add a thin layer of glue on the orange cardstock and sprinkle the orange rice on top.

RELATED: Fall Crafts

#2: Rainbow Rice Letter Craft

A fun way to learn the letters of the alphabet is to create crafts for each letter.

For the letter R, we used dyed rice! It was perfect because both rainbow and rice start with the letter R.

letter r collage

How to do this activity

A. Extra materials you need

  • cardstock paper
  • marker
  • art tray
  • glue

B. Activity

Create a bubble letter R on a piece of paper!

Once the rice is dry, add some glue to the letter R. Have the kids sprinkle the rice on the letter! This is such a fun process!

Get my free letter collage book in the link below to make all the letter crafts!

#3: Bat Dyed Rice Craft

This bat rice craft is so colorful and fun! We made this one year during Halloween.

The rice was a fun addition to the bats in this craft.

bat sensory craft

How to do this activity

A. Extra materials you need

View Amazon’s Price

B. Set-up

Draw a bat shape using a pencil on black paper and have the kids paint them using acrylic paint

C. Activity

Have the kids create a face for each of their bats that they have created using googly eyes and paint!

Then, they will spread a thin layer of glue onto the bat’s wings. Finally, they will sprinkle the colored rice on the bat’s wings!

Let it dry, and check out your adorable bats! Have the kids feel the rice on them! It’s great for sensory.

#4: Fall Tree Craft

We made special dyed rice to make some fall crafts! This tree craft is the best!

I love the addition of all the little leaves falling from the tree.

How to do this activity

A. Extra materials you need

  • cardstock paper
  • glue
  • glue stick
  • scissors

B. Activity

Create a tree trunk out of brown cardstock paper. Then paste it onto a white sheet of paper.

Add a thin layer of glue around the top of the paper to make the tree. Use a popsicle stick to spread out the glue.

Sprinkle the dyed rice onto the glue. Then, add a few “leaves” falling from the tree and at the bottom of the page.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long does dyed rice take to dry?

Answer: It takes 5-10 minutes using the acrylic paint method.

2. How can you get rice to stick to stick to paper?

Answer: You can use glue like Elmer’s school glue to attach rice to paper. Just add a thin layer of glue and spread it out with a popsicle stick, and sprinkle the rice on the paper.

3. How long can you keep dyed rice?

Answer: It stays good for a long time! We have kept it for about a year before, then we would make a new batch!

4. Do you have to use vinegar to dye rice?

Answer: Nope! Not with this method; you just need acrylic paint! That’s why I love using this method. It won’t smell like vinegar!

5. Will dyed rice stain my child’s hands?

Answer: Not with this method! Since you don’t use food coloring, it won’t stain their hands at all!

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Once you know how to make dyed rice, there are so many fun crafts and activities that you can that you can do.

Kids of all ages will love learning how to make dyed rice. They will love helping with the process.

I’d love to know if you make any dyed rice crafts using the recipe above! Let me know in the comments how it went.

Happy Crafting!


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