Introduction: Colorful Rice Coasters

About: Former Instructables employee CHECK OUT MY WORK

I was inspired by these colorful rice creations to make my own colorful rice coasters.  There are endless crafts to make with this colorful rice.  Dana uses vinyl fabric to make her crafts and I decided to try acrylic.

Take this idea and make it your own!

Step 1: Materials

Dying Rice:
1. White Rice
2. Food Coloring
3. Bowl
4. Spoon
5. Wax Paper
6. Water

Acrylic Coaster
1. 5"x10"X1/8" of acrylic
2. 5"x5"X1/4" of acrylic
2. Laser Cutter
3. Acrylic Glue
4. Acrylic Glue Applicator
5. Rubber Gloves
**There are many ways you can rework this project w/o using the laser cutter, get creative : )

Step 2: Dying Rice

Here is a great tutorial on how to dye the rice, but I can give you the basic run down of what worked best for me.

Put rice in a bowl.

When adding the food coloring you want to add a couple teaspoons of water so the color spreads evenly.

Mix it all together until all the rice in the bowl is the same color.

Once you've reached the desired color lay the rice out on a piece of wax paper.  Leave the rice out until it is completely dry. 

TIPS for getting desired color of rice:

Fade Color:
1.add more water to the bowl which will wash some of the dye off the rice and lighten the color. 
2. Add more rice to the bowl: one drop of blue dye for one cup of rice will be darker than one drop of blue dye in two cups of rice...makes sense

Darker Color
1. More dye and less water: drain the water from the bowl

Step 3: Cut Acrylic

Cut Outs:

On your 5"x10"X1/8" piece of of acrylic cut 2 circles that have a diameter of 4.5".

On your 5"x5"X1/4" piece of acrylic start out with a circle that is 4.5".  Cut out rings that alternate 3/16" and 1/2" in width - look at third image.  The rings with 1/2" width will not be used only the 3/16" rings.

How the cut out pieces will assemble into the coaster.
1. Top and bottom of coaster (2) - solid circles the size of the entire coaster, cut from first piece of acrylic
2. Coaster Edge (1) - circle that is an acrylic ring with diameter 4 1/2", width of 3/16" and thickness of 1/4", this will be the outer edge of the coaster that will prevent the rice from falling out.
2. Inner Circles (3) - circles with smaller diameters, width of 3/16" and thickness of 1/4".  These will be used to separate the different colors of rice with in the coaster.

Step 4: Gluing Acrylic

Take the acrylic glue and put it in the acrylic glue applicator.  Place the solid 4.5" acrylic circle (1/8" thickness) and the 4.5" acrylic ring against each other so the edges match up.

Release a small amount of glue at the meeting point of the two acrylic pieces.  This video gives a great explanation of how this works.

Place the smaller rings on top of the solid circle and with in the larger ring.  Glue these down using the same technique.  

Wait a couple hours until the glue dries before adding the rice.  If you put the rice in while the glue is wet, the rice will stick to the glue and the finished product will look sloppy.

Step 5: Add Rice

Once the glue is dry.  Use a spoon to add rice to the coaster.  You can now see how the rings will be used to separate the different colored rice.

There will be spots where the rice will need to fit in a corner.  Use a knife or a toothpick to push rice into crevices.

Make sure you don't put too much rice in the coaster.  You will need the top of the coaster to lie flat against the acrylic rings.

Finally, place the second solid 4.5" circle on top and glue it to the outside ring the way you did in the previous step.

Wait until all is dry before using!!!