How to Make DIY Colored Sand

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Have you ever seen anything prettier? This DIY Colored Sand is made with just simple beach sand! It’s the perfect DIY for a day at the beach or anytime.

This DIY Colored Sand would make the prettiest sandcastle or you could use it in a Terrarium too! This would make the most magical sand box and is super kid friendly.


The good news is you don’t need many supplies to make this DIY Colored Sand. All you need are a few simple ingredients. We used beach sand but you could also use sand from the hardware store. Both work great!



Food Coloring
Plastic Bags (Or Any Container for Mixing)



First, fill you bag plastic bag about halfway full with sand. Next add a small amount of color. Measurements will vary depending on how bright and vivid you want your color to be. You can always start with a small amount and add more.

Be careful to keep the dye away from your hands and your clothes! Although food dye will eventually wear away, if you get it on your skin it will stain for several days. On clothing it may be permanent. BTW – we have lots of other DIYs with food color like this or like this.



Next add a small amount of water to your bag of sand and dye – just enough to moisten both the sand and dye.

Now, seal the bag and move and swish the sand around until it’s thoroughly blended. You can blend colors, you can order cool colors of food dye online and make a unique palette as pretty as this!


If you need to add more color, you can! If your color is too bright, just add a bit more sand. If you need it to blend more thoroughly try adding a bit more water. This DIY is super adaptable so have fun with it!


This DIY Colored Sand is all about making a gorgeous palette! So get creative with your colors and make something gorgeous!


Now what should you do with your DIY Colored Sand? How about these:

Sand + Candle Holders
DIY Kinetic Sand
Colored Sand Terrarium
Stylish Sand Art
Colored Sand Castle

So what are you going to do with your DIY Colored Sand? Tell us in the comments!


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4 thoughts on “How to Make DIY Colored Sand

    • Brittany Bly says:

      Hi Jennifer! That’s a really great question. The dye does dry with the sand. The water is the ingredient that activates the dye. The issue is, when you leave it in a bag like we did in our tutorial, the sand will stay moist. I just opened up these bags of sand – the exact ones from the tutorial – it’s been about 2 weeks since we created this tutorial. And the dye is still ever so slightly active. A trick would be to set the sand on a surface – like on a sheet of paper towels or wax paper to dry completely before use.

  1. Mose says:

    If I used this in a terrarium and then watered the plants wouldn’t it become runny? Is there a way to make sure that the sand is colorfast? Like a sealant maybe? Thanks!

    • Brittany Bly says:

      Great question! I want to test it to try. I would not recommend any kind of sealant because it could hurt the plants. I think it’s a matter of letting the the colored sand cure for a length of time before using it. Or perhaps even using a different dyeing method. Let’s test it and report back?

      Also, if you use sand in a terrarium, make sure you use it at the bottom. Every time you water it the sand will start to move downward because the particles are so small. So you will lose your colored effect if you have the sand at the top.

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