How to Make Coffee Filter Flowers with Food Coloring
Learn how to make coffee filter flowers with the use of another kitchen staple – food coloring! People will see the tabletop bouquet and find it hard to believe you did something like this with such familiar everyday ingredients.
For the next upcoming big event, like a wedding or bridal party, anniversary celebration, or homecoming….instead of spending a fortune on flowers, try this instead…You might just surprise yourself…I did!
Just want to point out that this is my first experience, or you might say, “maiden launch”, LOL…I did watch some video tutorials (and took lots of notes too, so I wouldn’t miss vital steps!)
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Coffee Filter Flowers – Materials
Food dye, wax paper, a shallow dish, (or just a bowl with a wide enough bottom if you don’t have something flatter) some water, good cutting scissors, craft glue, and wire (floral type works best).
Coffee filters…you can get a package of them in which there’s probably a hundred, for like, a buck – talk about el cheapo.
This is going to be similar to the whole concept of making snowflakes out of white tissue paper. So if you’ve ever done that, then you can tackle this too!
Getting Started: Solid Color
Anyway, I’ve got all my stuff set up here and some newspaper spread out, since I know this is going to be messy. (Yes, I do some of these demos in the bathroom or kitchen because I have easy access to the sink…comes in handy when you’ve got to rinse something off, or clean up something quickly, or you need to replenish the water bowl!
First thing to do is take some of the filters…a handful of three or four is good. That many bunched together will not be very thick. Flatten them out like this….and then fold them together in half, and then again, and one more time in fourths, so it looks like a little white pie slice.
Now about the dye part…. The trick is to get the right water-to-dye ratio correct. How much water you use to the amount of dye, will determine the lightness or darkness.
If you combine colors and adjust how much of one color goes in versus the other, you can come up with some striking combinations. I’m going with a pretty pink-fuchsia shade here…This is about three drops of red and one drop of blue. Use warm water too, as it will help the colors bleed into each other well.
Take the folded filter and dip it, crinkle side, into the water/dye. It will make its way up and down the sides. Remove the filter, and gently press out the excess moisture, and unfold it on a safe place…I’m using a paper plate with a sheet of wax paper on it. This is going to produce a solid color.
Creating Ombre Colors
Now if you’d like to try some ombre colors, which would look great as flowers in real life tend to have color variations naturally – we need to do a “double dip” instead!
I’m going to go for coral…A beautiful combination of orange, pink and red. I am using a ratio of about three drops of red dye to one drop of yellow. To create an ombre shade, you’ll want to add more water. This will color the whole filter an all-over light color.
You can take your group of filters, and just drop them in; no need to fold it this time. Or you can do like this and flip them upside down; the color will hit the crinkly area first and then spread to the rest of them.
Now create another dye bath with another bowl or dish….this time use less water. I’ve probably got about a fourth of a cup, which is a pretty small amount in this second dish. Add your same color ratio. Because you’re using less water the color will be stronger.
Remove the filters.and dip the crinkly edges only in the second, stronger color dish. Go lightly, as the color is going to spread, especially on a wet coffee filter. Remove them and lay them out on a designated place, like i’m doing with the wax paper sheet on a paper plate.
Bake the Filters
Now we’re going to do something a little bit different, we’re going to put them in the oven for a few minutes to dry them.
Spread out your wet dyed filters on a cookie sheet (try not to let them overlap) and let them do some oven time for about 15 minutes at 300 degrees.
When they come out, they’ll not only be dry, but the colors will be set too.
Don’t Forget to Dye Some Leaves Too!
Make sure you also create some leaves using this method too, to compliment the flowers. To make a leaf shape, I just folded a few filters like I did earlier, in fourths, and cut a spear-like shape that would look like a leaf when opened.
To get the right shade of green, combine a ratio of 2 green drops with 1 red drop. If you’ve got a primary type of green dye right out of the bottle, you notice it’s a very bright, green-green…In real life, leaves have some variations in them; they are more like a “forest green” which is a little brownish tint.
Dip the cut leaf shape filters in and let them set a few minutes. May be a good idea to use less water to get a darker shade.
At first, mine were not as green as I wanted, so I had to adjust the amount. Like the flower color filters, let them do some oven time too.
You’re all set to make some flowers now!
When you go to retrieve your filters from the oven, you’ll find they have a nice fluffy appearance. The colors may lighten slightly. Ready to turn them into some pretty flowers? First thing to do is to decide what TYPE of flowers, as some of them are probably harder to do than others.
I’ve settled on roses, zinnias and carnations. All these are greatly clustered with petals.
I like zinnias because they are multi-petaled and come in vibrant bold colors. Zinnias differ from daisies in that they don’t have a middle stamen (Correct me if I’m wrong about that one?)
To make some, take a few of your filters and fold them in half and then thirds (fourths will probably make it a little stiff to cut) and cut shapes like this on the edges up to maybe about two inches.
When you reach the end start to roll it…Get some wire, whatever gauge you prefer, and put it in the middle and continue rolling the filter with the wire piece in the middle that will become the stem. and then kind of pinch the base a little; it should kind of take on a funnel shape.
Secure the base with a piece of tape. Fan out the “petals” on top so they look nice and more real.
Next is carnations, which I think are the easiest flower to make from coffee filters. Carnations have a crinkly appearance to them which is easy to imitate with scissors. Just do like you did earlier and fold another few filters in thirds, and just do some long quick snips all up and down one side.
Unfold it and do the same maneuver with the wire, tape or apply glue to the base to hold it together securely, and fan out the petals a little.
And now we get to roses….Which I think are the trickiest, but then again I’ve come to expect that from roses. I had to fiddle around with this for awhile (and check a few more videos…) Good to find out that coffee filters are pretty pliant and don’t tear easily.
Take a few filters (I used three) and fold in thirds and cut a round flanged edge all around (You can do this beforehand and do the double-dip dye step so the darker color will show up on the edges.)
Start rolling the trimmed filter around a piece of wire (the stem) and keep rolling til it gets all the way to the end. What you’ll have as a result is mainly a “bud”…these can look good too on it’s own, but if you’d like your roses to look a little more open and blooming we need to add more petals.
Take another couple of filters and fold them and repeat the above steps which will create the look of rose petals in real life. Cut these in half…they’ll kind of look like little heart shapes. Use some glue and attach them to the sides of the paper rosebud.
Use your fingers to shape the outer petals so they’ll look nice. Personally, I like the way they look, even more than the crepe paper roses I did earlier!
Add some leaves here and there to the wire stems using a little dab of glue and wrap the ends around them in different places, as well as the base area of the flower, where there are usually a few green leaf pieces here and there.
I love ’em! I’ve got all my flowers set up here in this jar I painted a few months ago….(It was lonely and needed to be filled) I think I kind of surprised myself…..Coffee filters should not be underestimated for this; all the colors blending together made them look so real and only you will know that you used a thingy of $1 coffee filters to construct a beautiful bouquet!