Unique Uses For Common Household Products: Food Coloring

This article discusses some uses for food coloring besides tinting food.

We see the results of food coloring every day "" usually to enhance the appearance of certain foods, making them look more appetizing. However, food coloring also has a number of other uses which offer options for crafts and decorating projects.

One of the most common uses for food coloring is to dye Easter eggs. Home food coloring gives eggs a softer, more pastel look than the kits and those dyeing the eggs can "layer" the color on the eggs for more depth.

Another interesting use for food coloring is to dye modeling clay. Homemade modeling clay is a great kids craft and with some flour, water, salt and heat, an adult can make up enough clay to satisfy the most ardent junior sculptor. Primary colors can be blended to produce other brilliant colors like pink, green and purple.

Food color also finds uses in flower arranging. White flowers can actually be easily dyed with food coloring. One good candidate for this technique is the wildflower Queen Anne's lace. All the flower arranger needs to do is to fill a jar with water, add four or five drops of the desired color and put the flowers in the water. They will take in the colored water and will take on the color in the petals. Flowers dyed in this way can be used to coordinate in bridal bouquets and other decorative centerpieces. Daisies will also work with this method. In fact, almost any white cut flower will change color if the water has food coloring in it. Some florists use colored water in clear vases to enhance the appearance of their arrangements, also.

Red food coloring in a sugar solution also attracts hummingbirds. The red liquid in a hummingbird feeder signals to the birds that a food source is nearby and they will congregate around the feeder.

The classic "crystal garden" science project is also aided by the use of food coloring. Ordinary household products such as charcoal, water, non-iodized salt, bluing and ammonia form the basis of the "garden" and recipes and instructions for this fascinating project abound on the Internet. Food coloring is used to tint the crystals, so they will not all be white. This is an attractive and interesting project that is also very easy to put together.



Take some Epsom salts, fragrance and food coloring, and get perfumed bath salts! This easy project mixes quickly in a baby food jar and is pretty well goof-proof. Children love making these little crafts for their teachers.

Cornstarch, water and food coloring mix up for fine finger paints that can be blended and mixed on the paper for young artists.

Food coloring can also be used to tint glue, for use in construction paper and glitter projects, where extra color is desired.

Salt, sugar and pasta can all also be dyed with food coloring to create colorful projects such as macaroni necklaces, or shell-covered jewelry boxes or purses.

Some brave souls have been known to attempt dyeing their own hair with food coloring, but this is definitely a do-it-at-your-own-risk project. The results could be unpredictable, to say the least.

Some types of fabric may be dyed with food coloring for craft projects. Cotton is the best candidate for this kind of work. Fabric may be dipped in a color bath until the desired depth of shade has been reached.

With all these uses for humble food coloring, there is always an option to make a craft project more colorful and eye-catching. Whether for children's projects or adults', food coloring can help it shine.

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