Sugar is most often thought of as a sweet substance that makes food taste better, but in fact, it can also make for some really stunning artwork. Whether you layer various colors of sugar in a bottle, glue it to a piece of poster board, or use it to create bowls of rainbow color that you only display short-term, sugar can be a beautiful art medium. And while you can buy colored sugar to use in these art projects, it's actually pretty simple to make your own. Here's how — along with some troubleshooting tips.
How to Make Colored Sugar
Step 1: Pour sugar into baggies.
Decide how many different colors of sugar you would like. Then, count out that number of resealable bags. Place sugar into the bags in 1/4 cup increments. For example, you could place 1/4 cup, 1/2 cup, or 3/4 cup of sugar in each bag — but not 1/3 cup. This measurement will be important in the next step when you determine how much food dye to add.
Step 2: Add the food dye.
For this project, you will use liquid food dye. The gel and paste varieties will not work. Add one drop of food dye per 1/4 cup of sugar in each bag. Make sure you add the drop of dye in the center of the pile of sugar and then push some more sugar over time of it so the dye is completely covered and does not come directly into contact with the bag's sides.
Step 3. Mash it around.
With the sugar and the dye in the bag, seal the bag shut, and then use your fingers and hands to mash the bag around, distributing the dye through the sugar. Keep going until the sugar is uniformly colored; this may take 5 minutes or more.
If your sugar is sticking together
You may have this problem on a humid day when the sugar is already a touch moist before you add dye. Remedy the problem by pouring your dyed sugar into a baking pan. Place it in a 170 degree F oven for about 10 minutes. Then, place it back in a bag, and squish it around again.
If your dye is not distributing evenly
If your sugar looks splotchy even after about 5 minutes of squishing, you may be using a food coloring that is too thick. Switch to a thinner version. The liquid that comes in squeezable bottles works best.
Now that you have nice, colored sugar, get started on creating those works of art. Enjoy.
For more information about sugar art, contact a company like Truly Mad Plastics LLC.