How to Dye Sand for Sand Art

    by M.G. Kidd

    About the Author

    Melissa Kidd has been a gifted writer from an early age and highly enjoys it. At 19 she landed an entry level corporate position at Timex Corporation. She's been an administrative professional at a variety of companies for 10 years. She attended Central Connecticut State University, and she's a psychology major at Grand Canyon University.


    Sand art creations in jars have dyed sand, making distinctive and decorative displays. By mixing molding materials such as sand in with the sand, you can even form sand art paintings suitable for framing. Dyeing sand is simple, but the process can take up to 24 hours to complete. By dyeing extra sand, you might store the colored sand to use for future spontaneous sand art creativity.

    Things You'll Need

    • Sand (from beach or purchased)
    • Containers with covers (one for each sand color)
    • Flour (optional)
    • Clear mixing bowls
    • Food coloring
    • Liquid fabric dye
    • Water

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    Distribute the sand evenly between the containers. Mix half sand and half flour if you will be using the colored sand for molded and sculpted sand art. Use only sand for sand art jars. Do not fill the containers completely; leave at least one-third of the space empty for mixing.

    Mix food coloring, liquid fabric dye or any other natural coloring agent into enough water that will submerge the amount of sand you are dyeing in a separate container. The sand will always dry several shades lighter than the liquid mixture. For deeper colors, add enough coloring agent to the water to make it as dark as possible.

    Pour each colored liquid into the sand container, adding enough liquid to just cover the sand. Do not allow the liquid to rise above the sand in the container. Set the containers aside to sit for at least eight hours or overnight. The sand will absorb the moisture and dye.

    Set the containers outside in direct sun for a few hours to completely dry the dyed sand. Drying is beneficial for sand art jars, but for sculpted sand art, this step may be unnecessary.

    Photo Credits

    • Nicholas Cope/Lifesize/Getty Images