How to Make Colored Sand

    by Craig Brewer

    About the Author

    Craig Brewer, a graduate of the University of Texas, has been a freelance writer for 12 years, while also working as a software engineer and video game tester. He has published articles in a number of regional magazines, as well as all over the internet.


    Making your own colored sand allows you to create a colorful supply of materials for various crafts, including sand bottles, mosaics and garden decorations. Coloring sand is also an enjoyable way for children to learn about mixing colors, since they can mix red, yellow and blue food coloring to create a rainbow of sand colors.

    Things You'll Need

    • Sand
    • Small bowls
    • Food coloring
    • Spoon
    • Water

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    Divide your sand equally among the bowls. Use one bowl for every color you want to make.

    Add water to each bowl until the sand is submerged.

    Add food coloring to each bowl. It is always best to add a smaller amount of food coloring than what you think is necessary. Add a few drops at a time. Stir the mixture and check the color before deciding if more food coloring is necessary.

    Allow the mixture to sit for at least one hour to absorb the color. Allowing the mixture to sit for a longer time will result in a darker color.

    Pour out the water and spread the sand on a flat surface to dry. You can bake the sand in the oven at 200 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes to help speed up the drying process, if desired. Do not bake the sand completely in the oven, however. This will cause the color to fade.

    • Dry tempura paint powder creates a brighter color for the sand.
    • To use natural dyes, mix equal parts water with colored foodstuffs, such as spinach or blueberries. Boil the mixture for half an hour to an hour and strain before adding to the sand.
    • Store your sand in airtight containers.
    • Food coloring may stain skin, clothing, carpets and furniture.