October 13, 2011

DIY Colored Sand {Tutorial}


Not too long ago, we needed some colored sand for an art project. So, we decided to try to make our own! This is a easy tutorial in case you would like to make your own colored sand as well!

Colored Sand Recipe


  • food coloring
  • bowls
  • aluminum foil
  • water
  • clean sand (Below is a photo of the sand that I found at the Dollar Tree.)



1) Pour some sand into a bowl.


2) Add enough water to the bowl to just barely cover the sand.


3) Add food coloring. The more you add, the darker the color.


4) Stir and let the mixture sit for an hour or two.


5) Carefully strain out the excess water and scoop the remaining pasty mixture onto aluminum foil. (I used a separate piece of aluminum for each color and then placed them on a baking sheet.)


6) Bake at 200 degrees until the sand is dry.


7) Once the sand is dry, allow it to cool and then store it in plastic baggies or containers until you are ready to make a masterpiece with your colored sand!

Colored Sand Recipe

DISCLAIMER: Yes, these are old Gerber baby food containers. Yes, my youngest are 4 years old. No, they do not still eat baby food. Yes, I have had these containers for a LONG time! Yes, I save just about everything if there is a possibility of re-purposing it!!  LOL!!!

NOTE: I did try allowing the sand to air dry on paper towels in the sun. This did NOT work! As the sand dried, the paper towels soaked up the excess moisture AND the color!!! I ended up with colorful paper towels and very bland looking sand. I probably should have known this would happen…but I didn’t think about it…until it happened! Maybe you can learn from my mistake!!  :-)

ART IDEAS: I will soon be sharing how we used the colored sand.  However, in the meantime, you can grab some glue and create wonderful art projects by simply “drawing” with the glue and then sprinkling the sand over the glue! Allow to dry and enjoy your artwork!

Want to make colored rice? I have a tutorial for that too!


Like it? Share it!

  • Shelly

    Awesome! Thanks for sharing this tutorial!! I’m definitely going to have to try this!

  • http://twitter.com/TheArrowoodZoo Kayla Arrowood

    We colored rice a few months back and it was so easy and fun!!! Thanks for this craft idea!

  • http://no-idle-bread.blogspot.com/ Stacie

    I really like this idea!! Sand at the dollar store??? Who knew! So now I’ll have to make a little trip on over to the dollar store soon–LOL! I haven’t been since Aug. and it was “back-to-school” time and I tell, you it was so crowded in there, I could barely think! LOL Anyway, back to the post. . .this is great! I will have to try it out.

    I have to admit, I recognized those baby food containers from the start! I use them to store beads for my daughters’ hair!! LOL Thanks for posts like these because it really helps Mamas like me who struggle with being creative!!

  • Debbie Stanton

    I have a few of those same containers left and my son is almost 5!!! lol

  • Deebi27

    Fabulous idea… for a pre-k class activity, they would have a blast mixing colors prior to baking. I can see fall leaves using leaf cookies cutters for patterns!

  • http://www.mama-jenn.blogspot.com/ Mama Jenn

    I LOVE the leaf idea! I may have to try that!!!

  • http://www.mama-jenn.blogspot.com/ Mama Jenn

    I knew I wasn’t the only one!!! LOL!!!

  • JuRita

    good job Jenn! I was amazed when I saw the baby food containers. My first thought was you just bought some and threw it out… amazed you saved them that long! My girls would have found ours and used them for some girly purpose or painting without me asking. Miss everyone! We send our love 😉

  • van

    hi. What if i used this homemade colored sand and put in a vial with water, is the color will fade? Thanks

  • http://www.mama-jenn.blogspot.com/ Mama Jenn

    Sorry, I’m not sure if it would hold the color or not. I would imagine it would probably fade. If you do decide to try it, please let me know how it goes.

  • http://www.MamaJenn.com/blog Mama Jenn

    You are very welcome!!!

  • Gina Bena

    that is just brilliant and my kids will enjoy the process as much as the art.

    • http://www.MamaJenn.com/blog Mama Jenn

      Thanks Gina! Hope you guys have a blast!!!

  • Heather Leigh Honeyman

    I made some of this last night, and my food coloring is gel and very very concentrated, so I didn’t let it sit very long I only added enough water to mix the color in. I also added Pumpkin pie spice to the orange and vanilla extract to the black. Turned out amazing :)

    • http://www.MamaJenn.com/blog Mama Jenn

      So glad the recipe worked for you! I LOVE the idea of adding pumpkin spice and vanilla!!!