I’ll admit it: I’ve had coffee filter wreath-envy ever since a friend made one at Christmastime. It was lacy-white, beautiful in its simplicity, and striking with a bright ribbon ready for the hanging.
I wanted one. I needed one. But Christmas came and went and oh! I never made one.
But I couldn’t get it out of my mind.
I began dreaming of a coffee filter wreath fit for spring. I wanted something softly variegated, like tea roses, something that would make my spring mantel pop and my front door say “Welcome.”
I wanted something like this:
And, it’s a very simple project to undertake. In fact, you can start today.
First, gather the following supplies:
*1 foam wreath form, 12”
*Extra yarn, ribbon, or fabric strips, enough to cover the wreath form, optional
*I package of white basket-style coffee filters (I used 3” filters)
*Hot glue gun and plenty of glue sticks
*Ribbon to finish
*I cup strong black tea, cooled
Step 1—Wrap the Wreath Form
I like to wrap foam wreath forms in a coordinating ribbon, yarn, or fabric strips. This is not completely necessary but it allows me to be a little less perfect in the placement of my coffee filter flowers because it doesn’t matter if a little bit shows through between the flowers.
Also, I like my wreaths to be finished on all sides. It gives a nice, professional appearance to the final product.
Step 2—Dye the Filters
Using food coloring, dye several bowls of water any shades you like. Keep in mind that the colors will dry lighter, so don’t be afraid to make deep, concentrated hues. I used red, purple, green, and blue. I also brewed a cup of strong black tea because I wanted some of my filter flowers to resemble dried roses. The flowers I double-dipped in tea ended up being my favorites.
Working in batches of 5-8 filters at a time, begin by folding the filters into half, and then half again so you’re working with a manageable quarter-circle. Scallop the edges with a scissors so they will look like flower petals when you fold them.
Dip the wider end of the circle into the color of choice. Take it out of the water and allow the color to seep to the middle. Double dip, if desired, in another color until you get the look you want. The filter will draw the colors into the middle, lightening as it goes.
Be sure to dye at least 100 filters. You will need all of them for this project!
To dry, spread the filters flat on a cookie sheet and place them in a warm oven. There is no need to separate them. Just keep them in the groups you dyed them in. But be sure to turn off the oven once you put the filters in to prevent them from burning. Rotate occasionally until dry.
If you have a food dehydrator, you can use it to dry the filters. They dry very rapidly on the highest setting so check back often.
Step 4—Create Filter Flowers
Creating flowers out of the dyed filters is time consuming. There’s no way around it. So, plug in your glue gun, put on some great music, and plan to stay awhile.
You don’t really need directions from this point on, but if you’d like to know what I found to be the most effective technique for making filter flowers, read on.
Working in batches of 4-5 filters, fold the filters into fourths. Cut circles out of the centers of the filters using a scalloped cut. Unfold. You should have two parts: a scalloped circle (the center of your flower) and a large, scalloped outer ring.
Take the center circle and put a dot of hot glue in the middle. Pinch it together, bringing the scalloped edges up and rolling it slightly until it resembles the center of a flower.
Now, take the larger outer ring. Make it into a flat figure 8, securing the inner edges with a dab of hot glue where they come together. Place the flower center right onto the middle of the figure 8, glue and fold the edges up so they look like more petals.
You should have two loops on either side of the flower center. Glue the middles of those two loops to the center flower. You will have a few more smaller loops now. Glue those to the center as well, always folding and gluing as necessary to create flowers.
Don’t worry if they’re not perfect. Once you glue them onto the wreath, most of the imperfections won’t show anyway.
Set aside and repeat until you wonder what possessed you to do this project in the first place.
Step 5—Arrange the Flowers
I decided to group bunches of like-colored flowers in a pattern around my wreath, but a random pattern would be just as pretty. Do what you like!
Save any “flower failures” to fill in the bare spots where no one will see.
Your choice of ribbon will determine the feel of your project. A wide ribbon is elegant while a bright, thin ribbon is fun and festive. Embrace your creativity until you find a look you love.
Then, enjoy your beautiful wreath all season long.