Are you looking for a fun and easy way to give your DIY crafts and decorations an extra pop of color? Look no further than your own kitchen and learn how to dye coffee filters with food coloring!
With just a few simple supplies you can, you can transform ordinary white coffee filters into vibrant works of art. It’s an affordable and creative way to add some flair to any project – from party banners to garlands, wreaths, and more. So grab your supplies and get ready for a crafting adventure that’s sure to be full of colorful surprises.
Why Dye Coffee Filters?
- Cheap: For just a couple dollars you can make so many decorations
- Lightweight: Garlands made from coffee filters are so much lighter than fabric, which means you can easily move them around and hang them on walls without worrying about damage.
- Easy: It really takes no skill at all. And there are so many uses for them!
A Few Notes about the supplies:
White coffee filters: I used white basket style coffee filters. A pack of 200 will make a lot of projects for super cheap, but if you want to make a huge project (like enough garlands to create a whole wall backdrop), you might want to get a pack this size.
Food coloring: Feel free to use what you have on hand, though gel food coloring does tend to produce brighter tones.
Drying rack: If you have a large table or counter, that will work as well. I liked my 3 tier baking rack because I was working in a super tight space.
Don’t skip these tips – read them before starting to avoid any potential mistakes.
- If you don’t want your hands to get colored, you may want to wear some disposable gloves while you’re handling the coffee filters
- A multi-tier drying rack system is super helpful if you don’t have much space!
- You don’t have to separate the coffee filters into a single layer to dry. Even 2-3 filters stacked on top of each other dried in 2-3 hours.
- Drying time may be affected by the humidity in the air. (If it’s raining outside, it may take longer to dry)
- The temperature of the water doesn’t matter. I tested using both cold and warm water and didn’t see any difference in the final result.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Yes! You can put the coffee filters on a baking sheet in your oven turned to its lowest temperature for about 15 minutes. Make sure to check on them periodically, as you don’t want them to turn brown or burn.
There are a few ways you can do this:
For more intense color: Add a few drops of food coloring to the coffee filters after removing them from the water, but before squeezing them out. Then roll or wad them up to distribute the extra food coloring among the rest of the coffee filters.
For a softer look: Don’t stir the food coloring into the water. Instead, drop the food coloring in, then immediately add the coffee filters. Immediately remove again, and you should have coffee filters with much lighter color and slight veining.
Some people also use markers and a spray bottle to get a tie dyed look with multiple colors.
I used black food coloring on some of the coffee filters and found that it created a soft purple look, but definitely not black. It was surprisingly pretty…and a completely different shade of purple than when I used purple food coloring. Take a look:
If you’re looking for black coffee filters, or heavily saturated colors, you may want to try using a stronger dye source, such as RIT dye.
What can you do with dyed coffee filters?
The possibilities are endless! Here are just a few ways you can use your dyed coffee filters:
- Make a frilly coffee filter garland
- Coffee filter flowers
- Coffee filter butterfly favors
- Small wreath
- Make utensil wraps for spring or Easter
- Coffee filter letters
- String them up to make a party backdrop
- Pretty Christmas trees
You can even use them as gift wrap or in scrapbooking projects. Have fun with it and get creative!
If you liked this party craft, you’ll also love these 3 dimensional flower favor boxes. They’re just the right size for homemade cookies, mini cupcakes and other small treats.
Or you can check out all my party crafts here.
Print Your Step-by-Step Directions Here:
To make things easy for you, I’ve got a step-by-step tutorial with photos right here. Don’t forget to leave a rating and grab your free set of party printables at the bottom of this post!
- Fill your bowls about 2/3 full with water and line a cookie sheet with paper towels.
- Add 5-20 drops of food coloring, depending on how dark you want your coffee filters. Stir the food coloring in the water to even it out.
- Add 10-15 coffee filters at a time. Press them down into the water with a spoon, dowel rod, or other utensil. Let the coffee filters soak for at least 10 minutes.
- Lift up a coffee filter or 2 to check the color. Stir in more food coloring if necessary.
- Remove the coffee filters from the water bath and place on the prepared cookie sheet.
- Place another layer or two of paper towels on top and squeeze out the excess water.
- Remove the coffee filters to a drying rack or a table prepared with fresh paper towels and allow to dry for 2-3 hours.
Remember, Tips and FAQ in the tutorial post are there to help you if you feel stuck at any point.
- If you don't want your hands to get colored, you may want to wear some disposable gloves while you're handling the coffee filters
- A multi-tier drying rack system is super helpful if you don't have much space!
- You don't have to separate the coffee filters into a single layer to dry. Even 2-3 filters stacked on top of each other dried in 2-3 hours.
- Drying time may be affected by the humidity in the air. (If it's raining outside, it may take longer to dry)
- The temperature of the water doesn't matter. I tested using both cold and warm water and didn't see any difference in the final result.
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