Family Life


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Tie-dye paintings and carnation creations

tie dyed coffee filters

If you have unused coffee filters collecting dust in your cupboard, try these cool and easy projects.

For Kids: Tie-Dye Paintings

You’ll Need

  • white coffee filters
  • assorted colours of food colouring
  • elastic bands
  • glass casserole dish

1. Scrunch, twist or crumple individual filters into tight bundles. Wrap each with elastic bands, leaving some of the paper exposed between sections. This will partially restrict the flow of the food colouring.

2. Place wrapped bundles in a glass casserole dish so food colouring won’t stain your work surface. Slowly and carefully, let drops of food colouring fall onto exposed sections of the filter paper.

3. Allow colour to soak in. Repeat using another colour in a different section. When all the colours have soaked through in all the sections (five minutes or more), remove the elastic bands and gently unwrap your filter to reveal your work of art.

4. When the filters are completely dry, press between two heavy books to flatten.

5. Display your finished creations on your art wall, pin them to your bulletin board or tape them to a window for a stained-glass effect.

For Grown-ups: Carnation Creations

You’ll Need

  • white coffee filters
  • florist’s tape
  • twigs
  • silk or dried leaves

1. Pinch one filter near the centre of the bottom and twist, allowing the top edges to naturally gather to form carnation petals. Place this inside another coffee filter and twist the two together making a fairly tight “knob” at the centre of the bottom.

2. Hold one end of a twig tightly to one side of the knob and wrap the twig, leaf stem and knob with floral tape. Add a dried leaf at the base and continue wrapping with floral tape.

3. Display your beautiful bouquet in a favourite vase and never worry about forgetting to water this everlasting arrangement.

TIP: Instead of using just white coffee filters, try dying the edges of each filter with diluted food colouring for colour-tipped petals.


Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, May 2015.

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