We recently started using a Chemex coffee pot and we had a stack of old filters collecting dust, waiting to be repurposed into watercolor coffee filter flowers!


I mixed a little water to liquid watercolors, and added droppers. You could also use food coloring and scavenge droppers from old bottles of Baby Tylenol.

selecting filters

The set-up

  • Watercolors
  • Flat-bottom coffee filters
  • Droppers
  • Tray to catch spills
  • Covered table
  • Bowl of Sequins (not necessary, but N insisted on this…you’ll soon see why)
  • Green Pipe Cleaners


Squeeze some watercolor on the filters until you reach desired color combination/saturation level. You may not really care about the aesthetics at all, as the activity of squeezing watery paint is so enjoyable in its own right. If that’s the case, keep on squeezing!

making soup

And add some sequins, googly eyes, and fake plastic nails while you’re at it! I love how children are filled with their own novel ideas and believe it’s important to encourage imaginative play at every opportunity.

Over the course of half and hour, we worked side-by-side to color a bunch of coffee filters and let them dry overnight.

wearing a crown

The next day, we had fun chopping the filters up into snowflakes, and wearing them as crowns. This was all N’s idea. And she decided her baby sister needed a crown too. You never know where art activities are going to take you!

baby crown

To make the flowers (and these next steps are all me)…

1. Stack about 5 coffee filters like pancakes. I sandwiched unpainted filters between painted ones to give it more contrast.

stack of filters

2. Accordion-fold the filter stack and secure it with a pipe cleaner

twist it

Pull out the filters individually, giving it a all a nice puff.

puff it

And proudly display your Spring bouquet.

paper flowers


  1. Love the baby pic! My younger two love to paint coffee filters and we’re running out of window space. So thanks for the idea for more coffee filter creations!

    • You can never have too many coffee filter paintings! The watercolor effect, actually, reminds me of your picture up there.

      • That’s a piece of one of my son’s watercolor paintings. I decided to brighten up the header/icon/Gravatar for spring. Now maybe spring will arrive?

  2. Such a great coffee filter project! We’re always looking for more. I’m glad I found your blog – I’ll be coming back for inspiration 🙂

    • I’m so glad you found my blog! Coffee filter painting is so rewarding, at any age.

    • Oh, Jen, your flowers are lovely and I’m so glad you shared a link to them. It’s great inspiration for anyone who has cone-shaped filters and is looking for a fun way to brighten a rainy day. ~R

  3. Really a beautiful bouquet! And great photos as always!

    • Thanks so much, Aleksandra! The flowers made me happy this past gloomy weekend, and I’m enjoying the photo part of blogging more and more.

  4. Rachelle,
    Thanks for this post. Reading and thinking about creativity has been therapeutic to me!
    One of my favourite childhood activities was papier mache – somehow the messy muck freed my spirit!

    Allowing children many creative art tools, as well as letting them uses all play materials in their own way is so important!

    I do love the coffee filter flowers, as well as the other ways your daughter found to use her creations!
    All the best!

    • Thanks for adding your thoughts, Brenda. As much as I love making things, I also enjoy reading and thinking about it too. Papier mache is wonderful, and it hasn’t hit my child art agenda yet because I don’t think it will sustain my daughter’s interest for very long and foresee that I’ll end up having to do all the work! But I bet it’s not too far off into our future. Hope you’re having a great day 🙂

  5. Melissa linked to this in her coffee filter flower post – I hadn’t seen these yet, they’re beautiful! I love your accordion style flowers! We’ll have to give it a try 🙂


    Thank you, Jamie!

  6. Ran into your website cos I was also thinking of making coffee filter flowers. You have a really cute baby (who looks exactly like the gerber baby)! 🙂

  7. Thanks for sharing such a good idea, piece of writing is fastidious, thats why i have
    read it completely

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