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Coffee Filter Flowers

Kate Miller-Wilson
Coffee Filter

When it comes to fun, cheap, and easy craft projects, coffee filter flowers are coming up roses! Recently featured on The Martha Stewart Show and the subject of many Internet tutorials, these simple flowers are an enjoyable craft for everyone from toddlers to grandmothers. Are you ready to try your hand at creating a beautiful bouquet? Read on for interesting facts and simple instructions!

History of Paper Flowers

Most historians believe that paper flowers originated in China over 2,000 years ago. The Chinese used rice paper, a material that is similar in texture to coffee filters, to create flowers for religious ceremonies. Eventually, the crafting of paper flowers became a well-respected art.

By the end of the 18th century, many Europeans and Americans had begun making artificial flowers. When the first paper coffee filter was invented in 1908, it seemed only natural that this material would find its way into flower-making.

Why Use Coffee Filters?

Coffee filters make an excellent material for creating paper flowers. They have the appropriate texture and stiffness for petals, and they accept dye easily. They're also easy for little fingers to handle, which means they are a good crafting materials for preschoolers.

How to Make Coffee Filter Flowers

It's easy to make flowers from coffee filters. All you need are some inexpensive supplies, a few hours, and some imagination. This project involves some waiting while the coffee filters dry. If you're feeling especially creative, you can use that time to make other coffee filter crafts.

Things You'll Need

  • Drip coffee filters
  • Food coloring
  • Small bowls of water
  • Bamboo skewers
  • Green floral tape
  • Craft glue
  • Scissors

What to Do

  1. For each color you plan to use, place a few drops of food coloring in a bowl of water. Next, submerge the coffee filters in the colored water. Allow them to soak until they have the desired depth of color. Lay them on a cookie sheet to dry.
  2. When the coffee filters are dry, you're ready to start cutting. Fold each filter in half to form a semi-circle. Then fold again to form a pie-shape and again to form a more narrow pie shape. Use your scissors to trim the rounded edge into a petal shape. Repeat with each filter. You'll need three filters for each flower.
  3. Unfold the filters and stack them up. The petals do not need to line up; in fact, the end result will be more realistic if you stagger the petals. Place a small dab of craft glue near the center of the bottom two filters, and press the stack together.
  4. Before the glue is completely dry, use a skewer to poke a hole in the center. Poke the skewer through all three coffee filters, and pull it down until the filters are almost at the end of the skewer. Allow the glue to dry before proceeding.
  5. Scrunch the filters around the end of the skewer, and then wrap the green floral tape around the base of the flower. Wrap the entire skewer in floral tape. This will help prevent splinters.
  6. Holding your project at the base of the petals, fluff the coffee filters to make a three-dimensional flower.

Helpful Tips for Crafting with Kids

If you're doing this craft with kids, it's helpful to keep a few things in mind:

  • When dying the flowers, work over a sink or other easy-to-clean surface. Have kids wear a smock and gloves, since food coloring will stain clothes and skin. Alternatively, you can skip the dying altogether and use washable markers to minimize clean-up.
  • Help kids with the scissors and the skewers. Both of these sharp items require adult supervision.
  • If kids get restless while the filters are drying, you can speed up the process with a hairdryer.

Whether you're crafting with kids or just being creative on a rainy or snowy day, coffee filter flowers are a fun craft. They make excellent decorations to brighten your table, attach to a present, or give to a friend. Enjoy!

Coffee Filter Flowers