Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Which type of food coloring to use?

There are a few different kinds of food coloring, but the two that are the most readily available (read: easy to find in the store) are your traditional liquid food coloring, and gel food coloring.  Both can be used in the classroom to add some color to your art projects, but there are different materials that each work best with (the following links are affiliates).

When you're using liquids, you want to use the liquid food coloring - makes sense right? Liquid food coloring is easy to mix with water, thin paints, vinegar (if you're doing the project that I posted about yesterday), and soap.  It's also perfect for recipes that use quite a few liquid ingredients, like play dough, flubber, homemade paints, and whenever you're making colored ice.  I love love love this basic McCormick food coloring set.  They're cheap, you can find them in any grocery store, and the bottles are little so children can use them easily without making huge messes.  They also come in fun neon colors.

Gel food coloring, on the other hand, is best used when mixing things that are a bit thicker - like frosting, play dough, and heavier paints.  Gel food coloring is also better when you want a really bright, vibrant color.  Liquid food coloring requires a lot of food coloring to make strong colors, which can ruin the consistency of whatever you're mixing it into. Gel food coloring can create those same strong colors without adding additional liquid.  But use the gel food coloring sparingly, it definitely stains worse than the liquid! Wilton is my go-to brand because you can find them in any store that has a cake decorating aisle.

There are other fun food safe products that can be fun for adding to your classroom products.  These tend to be a little on the pricier side, so you may want to try them out for special projects like holiday gifts.  Here are a few examples:

Pearl Dust can be added to salt dough for extra shimmer, or you can mix it with water and paint it on your creations for a pearl-look.

Edible glitter is just as fun as regular glitter, but I think it's a million times easier to clean up because it's edible, so its water soluble.

Can you think of any other cake decorating products that would be perfect for classroom projects?

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