The secret life of Coffee Filters: Your new crafting necessity

Coffee filters can be made into a durable arts and crafts material!  Discovering this and how to dye them any color has been a game changer for me.  You will love the versatility of these and the simplicity of the process will blow your mind!  

Here is what you will need:

Coffee Filters – be sure to use white corrugated cup filters, cone filters won’t work.  You will need a lot!  Between 300-600 is what I usually make.

Food Coloring– you may want to buy multiple packages depending on the size of your project and your color scheme.  

Rubber Gloves– These are a must!  If you don’t use gloves your hands will be dyed and stay dyed for many days.  I have personal experience with this and it is NOT cute.


Add around 10 drops of food coloring to a large bowl of water and mix it so there is no color settled on the bottom.

Now submerge about 20 coffee filters in the bowl.  The coffee filters should be separated from eachother not dunked as a clump.  If you dye them as a clump they will not absorb the color evenly and it’s VERY difficult to separate them once they are wet. 

Let them soak for 10 mins and take one out to see if it has absorbed enough color.  Add more drops of food coloring if you want more pigment and jostle it all around a bit to ensure the color is evenly dispersed.  They can hold a lot of color so if that is the look you are going for go ahead and add as much dye as you need too.  Starting lighter is best so you have room to grow.  The lighter shades are beautiful too, in a more subtle water color way.  

Once you have the color you like squeeze the filters to get as much of the excess liquid out as you can.  At this point you can flatten them out and let them dry but this takes forever and also requires a ton of space.  I recommend putting them in your dryer for 3 min increments.  DO NOT LEAVE THE DRYER they will burn quickly.  This technique is awesome because they come out crisp.  

Now you can create anything you’d like!  I like flattening them out and threading a needle through to make a beautiful table runner.  You can also form a cone and add a dot of hot glue to the tip and adhere them in the shape of letters of symbols to make stunning decor.  

I found dyeing in smaller batches works best. Trying to get all the filters dyed at the same time takes too long and the pigment is less brilliant.
Your kids will love playing with the filters after they come out of dryer! They are crinkly and warm and don’t worry they can’t ruin them. Coffee filters are SUPER durable this is why they make such a great arts and crafts material!


Forming the filters into cones and adding hot glue to adhere them to string or poster board or stringing them together to make beautiful garlands or table runners are a couple of favorite ways to use them.

I hope discovering the secret life of coffee filters is as much fun for you as it was for me!  Please share your projects with me I can’t wait to see what you come up with.  Enjoy! 

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