My Coffee Filter Experience... What all I've learned

I'm not an expert yet, but I've done the "dying coffee filters" thing a few times now and have learned many things through trial and error that I thought I would share....  I wish I would have known some of this my first time trying it.
{ Why are coffee filters so awesome for crafting projects? } 
Because they are made with crepe paper.  The advantage of the coffee filters is they are easy to find and already cut in circles!

{ The basic how to }

1) Soak your filters in warm water mixed with food coloring.  Soak time depends somewhat on how deep you want the color to be.  Even when I'm just going for basic pastels I soak mine for at least 10 minutes.

2) Using gloves so you don't dye your fingernails and skin, Ring out the filters (get tough with them - they can take it!) and lay out to dry or you can even toss them in your clothes drier for a quick spin.  

{ The 411 on coloring }
1) When the filters dry they will be WAY lighter than what you expect.  I let my filters soak in the super dark green water above for 20 minutes (I swooshed them around good and fully submerged them and even warmed up the water in the microwave to get it really hot) and when they dried they looked like the light green in the pic below..

2) In addition to food coloring you can also dye them with kool-aid and if you want the old distressed look use tea.

3) Getting Darker Tones - If my filter dries lighter than I want then once it's completely dry I will resoak it again in really hot water.  I've never tried to get really deep colors but from my experience I know it would be hard to do with just water and dye.  But Erin at Salvaged Whimsy says she has used diluted craft paint to get really dark colors - that is a great idea!

4) For the whole two-toned look.... if you have a filter already dyed and then you just stick the very edge or tip in another color it WILL NOT just dye the tip - the filter will soak the dye up into it and will pull it way up into the filter.

{ What if you just want plain white? }

You still need to give them a quick bath.  When they dry after getting wet that's what gives them the crunchiness that makes it easy for you to shape them to make flowers, pom balls, etc.

Add a touch of color to your white filter flowers, balls, etc. by just dabbing a marker or ink pad here and there.

{ The easiest quickest flower to make is a peony / carnation. }
1) Gather up two filters together from the center at once.
2) Gather up two more filters at the same time around the two you already did.
3) Tighten up a twist tie or pipe filter around the bottom.

I have done many things with my colored filters including: putting the flowers in bottles, vases and wreaths and also making pom balls and topiary center pieces.  

There are 4 different ways I make the big puffy balls out of them and I will get step-by-step instructions for the balls posted on Saturday.

Also, below is the new special offer at my online accessory boutique: www.InspiredByFelicity.com

I'm linking this post up at some great blogs. Click Here to see who they & go check them out.


  1. I think I'll try pastels and make pastel carnations or something for a Spring decoration, maybe add them to a wreath or something:) Thanks!

  2. VERY COOL! I've been wanting to do this, so I've bookmarked this page when I get around to doing it ... hopefully soon!

  3. Wow, these are so cool, definitely going to have to give this a try!

    1. I'm sure D would have fun helping. This kind of project is perfect for a girl her age. I've been using most of the filters to make balls to hang from the ceiling for birthday party decorations and stuff like that.

  4. Great tips - thanks for sharing! I haven't had much luck with getting darker colors from leaving the filters in dye longer...but if you let them dry completely and then re-dip them, it will give them a more color. Also, adding some powdered juice mix (it dyes my hands like crazy too) or diluted craft paint gives a much stronger color.

    1. I never thought about powdered juice mix, I need to try that. To get the darker colors I dried and re-dipped a couple times and was able to get what I was wanted but I haven't tried to get any really deep colors, but it seems liked diluted craft paint with be the best option for a really deep color, I need to try that too.

  5. Hi Pamela! Not sure if you got my comment or not on the feature. What is your email?? Would love to do it. Talk soon:)

  6. I really never knew that you could use coffee filters for so many different projects. THose colors are beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Thanks for the information. I did not know they were crepe paper! You could wrap candy or tiny gifts in them too. Have a pink day!

  8. What a great idea! I'm here via the link party at A Little Inspiration's blog. I'm your newest follower. Megan

  9. Thanks for sharing! We love making coffee filter crafts at our house!

  10. I am inviting you to come and be part of my blog hop:

  11. I absolutely love this! So much that I featured it today at Southern Lovely. Thanks for sharing at Show & Share!


  12. Love this idea so much I pinned it on my "Paper Flower Tutorial" board on Pinterest. Thanks for sharing. I can't wait to try it.

  13. Thank you so much for sharing this, I am featuring at my party that starts tomorrow afternoon!

  14. These are so fun. My sister made me a boquette of coffee filter flowers and I love looking at them. Thanks for sharing this tutorial.

  15. Love all the soft colors and your flowers ironed out so pretty. Thanks for linking up at Sunday Blog Love, I hope you'll come back again next weekend.

  16. I wonder about vinegar, thats what you use in easter egg dye...hey how bout using that or how bout just using bright colored crepe.. the time you spent cutting circles out would be less than dying coffee filters :)

    1. I tried added some vinegar to the mix but it didn't seem to change the results much. I like using colored crepe paper for some projects but I'm in a very rural area so for me running to a store and picking up crepe paper isn't an option most of the time.

  17. Nothing beats than seeing all these colors while sipping coffee.

  18. Hi! Came over from the blog hop! SO glad I found you! Your hair accessories are sooo pretty! My daughter would love those! I also didn't know that you should get filters wet if you still want white...great tip! Thanks for sharing all of your coffee filter tips! I love crafting with them!


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