How to Make Pasta Necklaces

Unlike the summer-camp stuff you inflicted on Mom, these chunky creations are pretty chic. The trick to a sophisticated strand? Use fancy pasta shapes and gel-based or liquid food coloring in neon (available at craft stores) to create eye-catching hues.

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What You Need

  • Large plastic bags or glass jars; isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol); food coloring in various colors (liquid or gel); dry pasta in various shapes (we used ditalini
    fiori
    mezze penne
    mezze rigatoni
    and ziti); paper towels; string
    yarn
    thin rope
    or
  1. To a plastic bag or glass jar, add 1 tablespoon alcohol and the food coloring (about 10 to 15 drops of liquid or one good squirt of gel). Shake until mixed.

  2. Add the pasta. (Our penne necklace has a total of 35 pieces of pasta; the longest ditalini and fiori strands used 120 each.) Don’t fill the bag completely; you should leave some room so that you can easily shake the pasta and coloring together.

  3. Shake the bag until all the pasta is covered.

  4. Let the pasta sit until it reaches the desired color, 3 to 10 minutes. (For extra-dark colors, you can leave the pasta in the coloring in a glass jar—not a bag—for up to 8 hours.) Shake the bag every few minutes to keep the alcohol and coloring mixed.

  5. Once you have your color, remove the pasta and place it on a paper towel to dry. The pasta will dry quickly (in about 5 minutes).

  6. Repeat with other pasta shapes and colors.

  7. Now it’s time to string. First knot one end of the string around a small piece of pasta to avoid losing the pasta as you add each piece. Wrap the other end of the string with a piece of tape to make it easier to get the string through the pasta pieces.

  8. Once you’ve strung to the length you want, tie the ends together. Molto adorable.

  9. Warning: Food coloring can stain countertops, clothes, and little (and big) fingers. Paper towels, aprons, and rubber gloves are all wise precautionary measures.