Pasta Patterns


Back in 1957, the BBC broadcast a brilliant April Fool’s Day hoax about spaghetti growing on trees, and showed footage of the harvest taking place in a small town in Switzerland. It was so well made that my daughter, who was quite young when she watched it, totally fell for it. We played along because, well, it was hilarious. She’s since found it in her heart to forgive us. If you’re curious about the story, you can view the video on YouTube, then grab some wagon wheels and sea shells, and prepare to make some fabulous pasta patterns.


  • variety of pasta shapes
  • food colouring
  • rubbing alcohol
  • plastic baggies/ziplocs
  • trays eg. cookie sheets
  • newspapers or paper towels
  • aluminum foil
  • cardboard or canvas boards
  • white glue



1. Select a variety of pasta shapes to colour. Place the pasta into small plastic baggies, and add enough rubbing alcohol to cover the pasta. I used about 1/4 cup for each bag. Add about 10 – 15 drops of food colouring, seal and mix well so all the pasta is well coated. Cover cookie sheets with aluminum foil to protect against leaks, and lay the bags on top. Make sure to turn the bags over often, so all sides of the pasta are well covered. We left ours overnight, and the colours looked great by morning. One type of pasta resisted the dye, but all the others worked out well.


2. Drain the liquid out of the bags by opening up a small corner. Once drained, empty the contents onto a cookie sheet lined with newspapers or paper towels. Spread out and allow to dry.


3. Use the pasta to create patterns  on a cardboard or canvas board base. Once the design is complete, you can use white glue to keep everything in place.

All this pasta reminds me of a wonderful children’s book called Strega Nona. It’s a really fun story about a grandma witch, her magic pasta pot, and her naughty helper. My kids and I loved it, and probably read it a zillion times, using our best Italian accents, of course.







Filed under pasta crafts

51 responses to “Pasta Patterns

  1. I’d forgotten the spaghetti tree — thanks for the reminder. Made me smile! These colored pastas would be great for a busy bag — kids could make designs, string them, etc.

  2. These photographs of the pasta would make a great background! I love the leaf looking pasta the best!

  3. By the way, did you just change your theme back to the normal one?

  4. Wow! I never knew you could die pasta such vibrant colors. Thanks for linking up to An Oldie but a Goodie party!

  5. The colours of the pasta are amazing! I had a good giggle at the Spaghetti Harvest Hoax. Oh, how I love the BBC!

  6. Diana Rambles

    Love it!

  7. Ana

    I had never seen that video before; it’s hilarious! I love the pasta colors and patterns you came up with; lovely!

  8. I am so excited to try this with my children! They already love playing with the non-coloured versions, I am sure these would get them even more excited! 🙂 Thank you.

  9. The video was wonderful! Have never heard of it, but might have been fooled 🙂 if you hadn’t tipped us off – it was that good! Of course your pasta project is brilliant – the colors, the designs – everything!
    I read Strega Nona to my kids and the grandsons have the pop-up version of it. Cute story that never grows old!

  10. How fun! The colors are so brilliant!

  11. I just left a long comment, but did something wrong (a wordpress sign-in popped up and I lost it). I’ll try again. LOVE this! So colorful and fun. I’m not good at coming up with things like this, so love it when people share.

    • Oh yes, I’ve had that happen to me, where I’ve left a nice long winded comment, and pouf, it’s gone! Thanks so much for dropping by, and giving your comment a second try 🙂

  12. Beautiful pasta art!! I always wondered how to dye pasta!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  13. colored pasta and rices are so much fun. would love if you came by and shared this on our #kidsinthekitchen linky. it’s about more than just eating food 🙂

  14. This is so fun! The colors are GREAT!

  15. What a great idea. Your designs are lovely. I am going to try this with my children.

  16. This is awesome. I can see already how to paint a pictures using these shapes. Following you from Crafty Showcase.
    Janis Cox – Author Tadeo Turtle

  17. These look so fun! We have rainbow pasta that I made last year, and now I have another activity for it! Thanks!

  18. So beautiful! Thanks for sharing at Share it Saturday!

  19. Lau

    Such a fun idea and the result looks so cool!

  20. Wow, your photos of all the pasta patterns are gorgeous! And I love the maple leaf pasta! I definitely would have picked up some of that if it was an option! So great that we had the same inspiration!

    Debbie @

  21. So simple, yet these are absolutely gorgeous!!!! What a great idea. I would LOVE to do this with my kids. I think I will be stocking up on pasta for this weekend. Just awesome! Thanks for sharing at For the Kids Friday! I am featuring this post at this week’s party!!! Love having you share with us at SunScholars!!

  22. The pictures are gorgeous. I love the bright colors of the pasta.

  23. BEAUTIFUL! Love the colors you used and patterns you created! I added it to buffer to share on 123homeschool4me’s social media this week!

    Thanks for linking up to TGIF! I hope to see you linked up soon! Have a great week,
    Beth =)

  24. Oh, how fun!! I love all the colors as well. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!

  25. These are so awesome and fun! What a great colorful project. Thank you so much for sharing at A Bouquet of Talent this week. So thrilled to have you join the party. Have a wonderful weekend. 🙂

  26. Anonymous

    I love this project, easy and quick to do with younger children, we are now gluten free, so we can use our left over wheat pasta to do a craft!

  27. Cindy deRosier

    I’m the Editor of Fun Family Crafts and wanted to let you know that we have featured your pasta project! You can see it here:

    If you have other kid-friendly craft tutorials, we’d love for you to submit them. Thanks for a great project idea!

  28. Pingback: Macaroni Art: 25+ Pasta Crafts Kids will Love! - Shoppersster

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