Why Alphabet Pasta ROCKS! (And a Fun Giveaway!)

{This Giveaway is closed for entries. The winner (chosen by Random.org) was Hip Waldorf! Thanks for entering}

I’m writing about my love for pasta. I’m not talking about how I love to eat pasta, but rather how I love to use pasta in my art classroom. My cooperating teacher first introduced me to alphabet pasta when I was student teaching. She was teaching a ceramic lesson to third grade students. The lesson was a language arts integrated art project. Students were studying idioms, sayings, similes and metaphors. Students took everyday sayings like, “Home Sweet Home” and turned them into fish sayings like “Pond Sweet Pond.” They created fish out of clay and added fish quotes on them. When my cooperating teacher brought out the bucket of uncooked pasta, I remember thinking, “What is she doing with that pasta?” As I watched her press the noodles into the clay, my face lit up with excitement. She was using alphabet pasta to write the fish sayings in the clay. What an amazing idea – alphabet pasta rocks!

Alphabet pasta can be difficult to find. I have purchased two different kinds of alphabet pasta, De Boles and Eden in the health market at Hy-Vee grocery store (a local chain in my area).  Most recently I found alphabet noodles at a local Amish market at a highly discounted price.

You also can purchase alphabet pasta online. Vitacost offers a variety of different brands.

Alphabet pasta can be used for labeling clay projects with students’ names. Students love searching for the letters of their name in the pasta bucket, and this includes my current middle school students! When pasta is used to label their clay, it insures all their names are legible. Be sure they press the letters into the clay so the noodles are flush with the clay. When the clay is fired in the kiln, the noodles burn out and you are left with an imprint of the noodles. Viola! How cool is that?

Just for fun, I would like to give a free box of alphabet pasta to one lucky AOE reader.

To Enter:
Comment on this post, telling us how you would use alphabet pasta in an art project. Be sure to include your email address when you fill out the comment form so we have a way to contact you if you are the lucky winner. This giveaway will be closed on Sunday, November 2nd at Midnight. The winner will be chosen by random.org.

I’m so excited to hear your ideas for how you would use alphabet pasta in your classroom!

Cassidy Reinken

This article was written by former AOE writer and life-long learner, Cassidy Reinken.


  • Rachel

    I would love using this to put names on their work!  Making sure everyone’s name is on the bottom of work is such a chore, this would make it fun, and one more thing I wouldn’t have to do for them.

    • Agreed- added independence!

      • saysay257

        I used alphabet pasta in a collaborative project with my librarian. She had the students write haiku poems about nature first. They came to me with poem in hand then they “wrote” their poem with noodles in a clay slab and pressed in natural objects like seed pods, leaves, and shells. We stained them with acrylic washes letting in seep into the impression to get darker. Then wiped off the rest. Very earthy and beautiful!

  • Ronda Sternhagen

    After just unloading the kiln of 8th grade “Ugly Mugs” and trying to sort them back to table groups (by often non-legible names), I think I could save myself lots of time using alphabet pasta to put names on ceramic pieces prior to firing. 

    Not to mention, I think my high school 3-D Art class would probably come up with some creative ways to use the pasta in their work.


    • I bet your high school students wouold love them!  Before I used pasta, I would have each student bring me their clay projects so I could write their names on the bottom.  It’s a lot easier to read my own hand writing.

  • Chris Wiegert

    I LOVE the idea of using alphabet pasta to imprint clay! Aren’t student teachers ingenius!!! I make clay Mother’s Day necklaces with my kindergarteners – they make a little disk for each child in their family and glaze the face to look like that child. We could use the alpha pasta to imprint the child’s name on the back of these little clay portraits! Can’t wait to try it! Thank you!

    Chris Wiegert   cwiegert@comcast.net

  • I love this idea!!!  My kinders can even do this!!  Yeah!  I think I will have my kindergarteners do some type of alphabet pinch pot.  They will love it.  So glad Hy-Vee carries this.  I live in this area also. 
    Since I didn’t win the Powerball last night,  here’s my e-mail address for the contest     eukent@roschools.com

  • Vicky Siegel

    Bummer- I could have used the alphabet pasta for my first graders!  I do have 4 different sets of alphabet stamps.  Students made a texture plaque and added a word/phrase (their name, love, joy, believe, happy, etc.) along with the stamped textures.  I did sort the letters inside a large donut box.  I drew a grid of 28 squares and placed the 26 stamps in the box with that written letter.  It worked great- there were no mix-ups of letters.  (I did outline the lines in the box with hot glue- to keep the stamps in place).  But- the alphabet letters could have been at each table- to save some movement to the extra table in the room.  Actually- my first graders are wonderful this year- but I can’t wait to try this new pasta in the future!

    • I like alphabet stamps too, there is no chance for backwards letters with the stamps!

  • What a great idea!  I saw a similar method of
    incorporating text in ceramics at the Colorado Art Educator’s Association Fall
    conference this year.  It was taught by Connie Norman ( http://www.connienorman.com/ ) we used
    rubber stamps and letters from a letterpress.  cool eh? 

  • Igobooks

    What a great idea I have problems with kinders and their names on clay stuff and this is a fabulous solution!!!! Igobooks@gmail.com

  • DGArtblog

    I’m planning to do slab plates or tiles with my K or 1st graders soon & I wanted to make the project more personalized. This would be a GREAT way to do it!

  • I was just thinking that it’s neat to see how a simple idea can span K-12 easily and still be educational and enjoyable for everyone..

  • Erica

    So cool and useful! Thank you!!!

  • HipWaldorf

    Brilliant and simple alternative to rubber stamps and easier for the younger students – as it appears the students are able to get a more consistently deep impression than shallower rubber stamps.
    My first graders make a “complicated” (their word) clay heart for their annual “Special Friends Day” visitors and I think that instead of having them make heart details, we will write their visitors name and the word “LOVE” on the heart to make a more personal impact.  svbrooks1@gmail.com

  • Artrebco

    Im doing a large mosaic mural this Spring. The students will be incorporating words about peace into the mural. The mural will be a garden theme, using clay, tiles, glass and will be on exterior of the school. Would love to win alphabets for them to write their peace words. artrebco@aol.com

  • Jami Shumate

    My school has a newly acquired kiln due to a grant that I wrote and was awarded by our local chamber of commerce.  I have completed a test run with one class and I have promised that every student will get to fire a piece by the end of the year. Considering I teach 1st -12th grade art, I may have promised a bit more than I should have, but the kids are so excited.  The alphabet noddles would be a huge help for keeping all those pieces separated.  The kids could use the letters to brand their work with their name, initials, or words that would help identify their project.  j.shumate@hcacrusaders.com

  • Jlvallar

    I love to do sculpey clay jewelry pendants with my middle schoolers. The pasta would allow them to easily personalize cut out shapes with LOVE, PEACE or even THEIR NAMES. What a great and easy fundraiser that would be!

  • Francie

    That’s brilliant!  I was planning to see if Michaels had any dollar sets of alphabet tiny alphabet stamps.  But, the grocery store looks like a better way to go!  Thanks, :-)

  • Joslyn

    Cool idea. Definitely will look out for alphabet pasta!

  • Linda_fryatt

    Love the idea of students incorporating similies and metaphores on their art. Simple artists’ quotes from artists’ study might be interesting, too.   Using a simple slab or coil project would lend itself so easily. ouarkmom@gmail.com

  • Rrodrigu

    Love the idea!

  • What a great idea Cassidy! I will be buying some alphabet pasta before I start my clay unit with my 7th graders this trimester.  They are going to love it.

  • Mary Dickerson

    It is always a challenge to get everyone’s’ name on their clay piece and especially if the kids write their name, I cannot read them after they are fired.  I am looking forward to trying out this idea and also sharing with my cohorts in my county! 

    • I can never read my students handwriting so if I want names on clay in addition to the noodles, I always write them myself on the bottom, at least I can read my own sloppy handwriting.

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  • debi

    Love this idea….thinking about having my 6th grade pottery class use this for character word tiles.

  • andi

    I was so excited to do this so I purchased alphabet pasta through a website online because I couldn’t find it in a grocery store. During the drying process, my clay was moist enough that the pasta soaked up all added moisture and started to mold before ready for firing. My piece is now covered with fuzzy white mold! Kind of funny actually… what could I have done differently? Has anyone else experienced this with the alphabet pasta before firing? Thanks!

    • Oh no! you sound like a great sport!
      I haven’t ever had that happen before. How did you dry out the clay? Have you fired the pieces yet? I would have to guess that the pasta and hopefully mold will all burn out in the firing process… please let me know what happens.

      • andi

        Ok, I fired all of the fuzzy mold and…. Success! It was yellowed on the white clay where the pasta and mold covered, but it did all burn off and leave the letters. I wonder if its just the brand of pasta. Either way, if your pasta gets moldy, have no fear! Fire as usual! Thanks!

  • Michelle Lovell

    I am going to have my preschoolers make a plaque with their hand prints and names on it. Now that I found this idea, I think it would be fun for the children to find the alphabet letters from a-z in pasta and have them put the pasta around the outside of the plaque like you did on the project here.

  • BringData

    Great idea using the alphabet pasta. I’ll have to try it!

  • Sheri Saxon Fried

    I just picked up the pasta and plan to have my 2nd graders do something….my question is, Is there residual smoke or smell from the kiln as the pieces are being fired???

  • Katie

    I will be using the alphabet pasta to create a slab rolled trivet tiles for students to bring home. The pasta will allow me to either allow them to do their last name or a small saying that they can share with their family!