Coffee Filter Flowers
Have fun making these frilly flowers with common kitchen items! Just grab some coffee filters and food dye from the cupboard and get to craftin’. I experimented with different water:dye ratios, and I find that the best looking flower is the one that has a varying depths of color.
Supplies & Tools:
- White coffee filters
- Tablespoon measure
- Food coloring
- 2–3 small bowls
- Large cardboard box or newspaper
- 18″ coated floral wire
- Floral tape
- Pipe cleaners
- Straight sticks
- For straight sticks, you can use bamboo skewers, chopsticks, or sticks from outdoors.
- Place bowls on a flat surface. Add water and food coloring as follows:
- Bowl 1: 3 tablespoons water, 3 drops red dye
- Bowl 2: 1 tablespoon water, 10 drops red dye
- (Optional) Bowl 3: 1 tablespoon water, 3 drops red dye, 1 drop blue dye.
- Separate coffee filters into groups of 10–15.
- Loosely fold filters into eighths to make it easier to dip into the bowl. (Fold in half 3 times.)
- Dip the filters into Bowl #1. The coffee filters absorb the water quickly, so you won’t need to dip the filters into the water for long. Filter should be saturated a little more than half-way; it should not be dripping wet.
- Next, dip filters into Bowl #2. This will create dark tips on the petals.
- Optional: dip filters into Bowl #3
- Repeat with remaining coffee filters.
- Refill bowls as necessary.
- Leave filters in folded clumps and lay in a cardboard box (or on several sheets of newspaper on a waterproof surface). Let dry overnight.
- Once completely dry, separate the filter bunches, open up each filter, and lay it flat.
Note: You do not want the filters still bunched together like this:
So they look fluffy when grouped together, the filters need to be opened up completely like this:
- Stack 5–8 filters; set aside.
- Take a piece of floral wire and fold about in half.
Note: It’s helpful to have one side of the wire slightly longer than the other since it helps you wire the flower.
- First, pierce the longer side of wire through filters, slightly off center. You may need to push it through a few layers at a time. Then pierce the shorter end of wire through the filters. The longer wire should stay in place, eliminating the need to pierce both ends of wire at the same time.
- Turn flower over and pull wire through to the back side and twist wire to lock the layers.
- Wrap floral tape or a chenille stem to slightly pinch petals to give it a more three-dimensional shape.
- Wrap wire around a stick. Cover with floral tape to secure the wire to the stick.
- Put several flowers in a vase.
Alternate way to form flowers:
In my experience, this way produces a very full flower with only 3 filters. See the comparison in the notes below.
- Follow steps 1–10 above.
- Separate the filters.
- Take one filter; gather it in the center, and twist.
- Take a second filter, gather it in the center, and twist.
- Untwist the second filter, and insert the first filter in the pocket.
- Twist the center.
- Repeat steps 4–6 to add a third filter.
- Tie the twisted part together using a pipe cleaner. Wrap it a few times.
- Follow steps 16–17 in the directions above.
- Compare flowers made by the alternate directions (3 filters) versus the regular directions (8 filters).
Ideas from the elves:
- For tie-dye flowers, dip the corner of the folded filter in one color, and then dip the other end into a different color.
- For stronger contrast colors, dip the filter into a diluted color, then add drops of food coloring directly on the tips.
- Colors will bleed when double-dipping the filter, so use this to your advantage when mixing colors. Most boxes of food dye have color “recipes” printed on them. Use this as a guideline for blending colors. For example, when I made purple, I used 3 drops red and 1 drop blue.