Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Why Don't You Make Coffee Filter Flowers

I'm longing for spring. For an end to the gray, misty mornings. An end to the drizzle and cold. For a while it seemed as though mother nature was going to oblige. Temperatures crept up into the 50's. Crocus and other early bulbs started to show their green tips. And then BAM! This morning we woke up to snow. (Insert grimacing face here.)

To brighten our days we've been making coffee filter flowers. We used to make a variation of these when I was a child, but recently I stumbled across Aunt Peaches coffee filter flowers and I was inspired. Our version is slightly different, so I'm going to post a tutorial here - but make sure you stop by her blog and take a look at the creations she makes. They are outstanding!

You'll need:
5 white coffee filters
Food coloring
Wooden skewers
Florist Tape
1/2 cup water
A small shallow pie pan

We started our project late one evening on "Family Craft Night." I've recently been asked when family craft night is, as it seems we're always crafting. To be dubbed "Family" craft night, the event must take place in the evening when Super Hubby is home and said Hubby must participate in the craft. :) But I digress.

This is a great project for little ones and big ones alike. To start, take your pie pan and fill it with 1/4 cup water. Add food coloring. For this tutorial, I'm going to show you a gradiated flower. We began with 2 drops of yellow food and two drops of red food coloring. Place a stack of coffee filters in the water and let them soak for a few moments. We soaked between 10-15 filters at a time. I should add that if you don't want your hands to turn funky colors you might consider wearing rubber gloves. We didn't and we all have awesome orange and red hands.

Wring the coffee filters out and lay them on some old towels to dry over night. Add a few more drops yellow and red food coloring to your water so the color is more concentrated. Soak more coffee filters. Lather, rinse and repeat with a 3rd set of coffee filters and more food coloring.

See the difference in coloring?

Take two of your lightest shade, two of the medium shade and 1 of the darkest shade and set them aside. Each flower is made from 5 coffee filters. Begin with the darkest coffee filter. Fold it in half to form a half circle. Fold it in half again to create quarters. Fold it in half one more time to create 8ths and then one more time for 16ths. The medium colored coffee filters are folded into 8ths. The lightest coffee filters are folded into 4ths. Clear as mud, right? Take a look at the photo.

Using your scissors, cut teeny, tiny jagged petal shapes into the darkest coffee filter. This forms the center, or stamen of your flower. Cut larger petal shapes into the medium colored coffee filters. Create wavy scalloped shapes for the lightest shades.

Snip the very end off of each triangle shape on the folded side, or very center of the coffee filter. This creates a tiny hole in the middle of each filter:

Take your darkest filter and place your wooden skewer through the center hole. Move it up the skewer til it's about 3/4" from the top of the skewer. Gather the base and twist it around the skewer. Using florist tape, wrap it around the base of the coffee filter so that it sticks to the skewer. Florist tape is sticky, but must be stretched slightly to activate the good gummy stuff. Don't stretch it too much or it will break.

Next, add your first medium color coffee filter. Twist it just as you did the first filter and tape it up:

Repeat this process with the second medium coffee filter and then finally with the 4th and 5th lightest coffee filters:

Once all 5 filters are on your skewer, continue wrapping your florist tape all the way down the length of the skewer.

I did manage to snag pictures of the finished flowers outside. I just couldn't take photos of the actual works in progress because it was too wet and cold to work outside with the delicate coffee filters. I love the subtle graduated color.

Yellow Gradiated Flowers:

So sunny and cheerful!

And of course you can make these flowers with any color coffee filters you wish - we made some in about every color of the rainbow. The more dye you use, the darker the filter will be after it dries.

Here they sit on our nature table. Yep. I'm trading in seasons early. Manifesting an early spring just like the ground hog said we would have!

It's our own version of forcing bulbs indoors. :)

Simple Mama


  1. they are gorgeous! what a lovely way to brighten your home.

  2. These are so pretty! I love these and am going to try and make them for preschool tomorrow! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Very nice and simple to make an artificial flower.

  4. Wow, those are beautiful! I am inspired to make these with my granddaughters.


  5. Beautiful! If I'm not careful I'm going to end up pinning your entire blog ;) Thanks for sharing!

  6. I really like this one. I am going to make these to give as gifts to friends to make it through to spring. What a cheery idea for a craft.

  7. Lovely! And Thank you for sharing this in your post!

    Unfortunately we have a different form of coffee filters in Europe, so I have to come up with an alternative to these round coffee filters. Great project for mom and daughter! Greetings from Germany, Antje

  8. making these tonight. went and got the stuff today to make them, hope they turn out as pretty as yours did! thanks for this great blog!

  9. your tutorial is the best I have seen on making coffee filter flowers, thank you!