DIYdiy projects

diy project: peaches’ coffee filter flowers

by Kate Pruitt

turning humble materials into something beautiful is an admirable skill. whenever you think you’ve seen the prettiest thing, something else comes along and blows your mind! these gorgeous blossoms are similar to the ones sold in kits that are made with tissue paper, but even tissue paper can be kind of pricey, and it doesn’t always come in the full range of colors you want. enter these amazing coffee filter flowers by aunt peaches! a recycled art specialist who works with a healthy dose of wacky fun, peaches makes flowers from materials most people toss in the waste bin. if you’re planning any end of summer parties, consider making some of these colorful flowers to scatter on your table. click here to read more about peaches’ flowers and see some of the other amazing colors she has made. great job, peaches! –kate

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!


for 10 grapefruit size paper peony flowers

– 60 standard size coffee filters
– 2 tubes of water based paint, similar in tone (yellow/orange or pink/red or blue/purple, etc..
– 3 cups of water in 3 separate containers
– 10 plastic drinking straws
– Masking tape (make it green tape if you want a covered stem, but any tape will work fine)
$6 total for 100 filters, 2 tubes of craft paint, 1 roll of masking tape, and 10 drinking straws (okay, those were free!). Add $6 to buy special green masking tape (totally optional).

time: 1 hour to dye and assemble + 3 hours drying time.

1. Prepare three dye baths; deep, medium, pale. Divide your filters into three separate groups; inside/deepest color/10 filters, middle/medium color/20 filters, outside/palest color/30 filters, and submerge in dye baths. Remove after one minute for pale color, or remove after 1 hour for more intense results.

2. Wring filters to remove excess water and dye. Separate filters and hang to dry. Once they are thoroughly dry, organize your filters by depth of color: deep/inside, medium/middle, pale/outside
3. Fold and snip. Cut one small hole in the middle of each filter and trim jagged edges around the rim. The deepest color filters should have the most ragged edges, while the palest filters should have mildly curvaceous edges. note: Keep filters in stacks at all times!

4. If you want leaves on your flower, trim from previously dyed green filters now (optional). note: The leftover trimming bits on this are GORGEOUS, consider saving them for fun projects in future!

5. Lay out components to make one flower: 1 deepest color filter (inside), 2 medium color filters (middle), 3 pale filters (outside), one drinking straw, masking tape.

6. Do yourself a favor and tear off four 2“ pieces of masking tape before you start to assemble.
7. Take the deepest color filter and twist in the center. Tape the twist to the tip of the drinking straw. Take the drinking straw and insert in the center hole you snipped into the two middle layer filters.

8. Pull the middle layer up around the inner layer, twist, and tape. Pull the outside layer up around the inside/middle layer, twist, and tape.

9. To add a stem, tear off 12” of green tape and attach leaves at random intervals. Wrap and twist tape down around the drink straw, snip at desired length. Gently pull back petals and behold your beautiful paper peony!

note: Expect the first flower to take ten minutes and come out looking poorly. The second will improve mildly, but not much. Stick with! Number three will be beautiful and take less than a minute. Get an assembly line going and you will have a paper garden in an afternoon!

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  • Hi,

    I love this project but I also have the same question as Pam, what kind of paint did you use?? Since it said “water-based” I assumed you meant watercolor so I went out to buy some and they don’t look “creamy” like yours, they just look like colored water. They are in the dye right now and they aren’t looking too good. Help?

    • If you don’t have any paint you can use food colouring instead, just make sure you wear gloves or you’ll have the prettiest coloured hands in the neighbourhood! :)

  • really cool i used marker instead of paint WAY easier mine didnt turn out as well as yours the first time but the really easy to make you should do another one but for roses

  • I am going to try my hand at this this afternoon. I am going to try my first one in food coloring added to water. Water color seems to suck up the color and like she said, add a bit of vinegar to help. I want to do some purple, so gonna have to read my food coloring box to figure out how many drops of each to make. Before you know it , I will have coffee filter flower vases in every room of my house, my hubby will love me!

    I had tried my hand at coloring some coffee filter flowers and what works great is put water and a few drops of food coloring in a spray bottle, then spray the flowers. You can make it as dark or as light as you wish!

    Also you guys should try the coffee filter wreath. Just finished a 12 inch one….they look AMAZING! The ideas people come up with!

  • I am looking for something different for my first grade “April Showers bring May Flowers” board in the hallway. These look beautiful and sound like a lot of fun to make.

  • i did this i made 50 of these for a ladies tea party that i am hosting. It worked great. very easy only one problem the masking tape didn’t hold and neither did floral tape but, i used medical tape and it worked wonderfully.

    • I add glue stick to the very ends of the floral tape. Floral tape will generally stick to itself, the glue helps when starting and finishing the taping part of making the flowers

  • Hi there,

    I just made 5 of these and they turned out great. First one not bad, next better, they do look so real. Thanks so much for the DYI instructions. Have a great day!

  • I am absolutely in love with these flowers! What makes it even greater for me is that, my husband and I are renewing our vows next year in a major way and our theme is based around coffee “The Perfect Blend”. What better way to tie in different aspects of coffee than using coffee filter flowers for centerpieces!!! Never would have thought of this, so consider yourself bookmarked! Thank you very much for posting this. I’m so excited, that I’m about to go raid my coffee cabinet :-)

  • Brilliant and beautiful! I needed a quick flower for my son’s teachers – this tutorial is perfect! I read the comments quickly, hope I didn’t pass this tip over, but I threw the colored batches in the dryer for very short runs and it worked perfectly to dry them quickly! I don’t condone this method but it was very quick and I kept my eye on them.

  • I read on some other web site about putting the dyed filters in the dryer. Has anyone tried that? Of course they’d have to be wrung well & then I’d probably have to clean the dryer. I’d like to use these to hang from inside a tent for a summer rehearsal dinner party. I like the tissue poms, but think these would be easier to work with. Would like to fine the large size that the restaurants use. May try GFS (Gordon’s Food Service). Thank you for sharing your ideas

  • I had extra tie dye from a previous craft day (or other wise known as keep my niece busy day) worked great to dye the filters. She loved helping me make these for an up coming baby shower. I’m using several of the paper flowers, I can’t wait to show them to the expecting mother, I’m sure she’ll love them. Thank you for all these great flower designs and easy to follow tutorials!!!!!!!

  • Estan tan hermosas, que ni parece que estan elaboradas con filtros de cafe..ME ENCANTARON!!! :)

  • I love this tutorial. I’m always looking for inexpensive ways to decorate as I’m in charge of decorating our little club house for our annual golf tournament dinner. I just hope mine come out as beautiful as yours. Thanks!

  • Liebe Kate, ich habe heute dein Super DYI Tutorial gefunden und bin sehr froh darüber. Vielen Dank! Ich werde die Blumen bald nacharbeiten.
    Liebe Grüße Beate

  • Ok, but what if I can’t really hang them anywhere to dry?? Best idea on how to dry them when you have no space to hang? I’m in an apartment, so no backyard space. :D

  • I dried my coffee filters in a 200 degree oven! Wring out filter, lay on clean oven rack. I dried 12 at a time…6 filters to a rack. Leave in oven 60-90 seconds. Watch carefully…they could burn if you leave them in too long. This worked beautifully for me.

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