I love flowers. Do you like flowers? I think they add so much warmth and character to any space – I’d fill my house with flowers, if possible. Unfortunately for me, the only way I can afford fresh flowers is to grow them myself. Sadly, even though both my grandmothers possessed the greenest of thumbs, mine is … not so much. I’ve learned to love and appreciate artificial flowers, too, but, golly – they can be expensive! Which is what made me turn to the frugal solution … DIY flowers.
I’ve made tissue paper flowers before with my daughters. While bright and pretty – and useful for some inexpensive seasonal decor in a pinch – they never turned out especially realistic; and never seemed to have that shabby, farmhouse look I’m particularly fond of. When I ran across a DIY tutorial for a wreath made from coffee filters one day, I thought it might be a fun look to try and I picked up a couple packs of plain white coffee filters at the local dollar store.
But in between the time I bought the supplies for the wreath and my actually starting on it, I found a picture – just a picture – on Pinterest. A wreath covered with barely there, blush pink, fluffy, gorgeous cabbage roses … made from coffee filters. I had to make it. Had to.
I’m not going to lie to you – this project ended up taking quite a bit more time than I had imagined. But in the end, I was so very pleased with the results. So just know, going into this – it’s going to take a bit of work. Honestly, I’ve seen wreaths similar to this on Etsy for $30 to $60, and I didn’t even spend $8 on mine!
What you’ll need for your own DIY coffee filter flower wreath:
- Wreath form (I got a foam form from Dollar Tree for $1, but you could also cut one out of cardboard.)
- Coffee filters (You’ll use 8 filters per flower so do the math to figure out how many you’ll need. I used 384 filters to make 48 flowers.)
- Pipe Cleaners/Chenille Stems
- Paper Scissors
- Food Coloring, Water Color Paint or Acrylic Paint of Your Color Choice
- Heavy Duty Scissors
- Hot Glue Gun & Glue Sticks (lots of glue sticks)
- (Optional) Burlap or other Ribbon for covering the wreath form
You can either cut the filters into your desired shape first, then dye them; or dye them first and then cut them. I chose to cut first and dye later, but next time I would dye the filters first.
Stack 2-4 filters together, fold in half, in half again, and in half again. With sharp paper scissors, cut the top of the filters into an ‘ice cream cone’ shape to form the ‘petals’.
Fill a glass or metal bowl about half full of water. Add food coloring, water color paint, or acrylic paint to achieve desired shade. Make sure coloring is well dissolved in water to avoid streaking – unless that’s your intent. The filters will appear slightly darker once they’ve dried.
Submerge filters in batches of approx. 10 at a time into colored water and let soak for a minute, up to several minutes, depending on how dark you want them to be. Remove filters and squeeze excess water out.*
*If you’re using bright colors of paint or food color, you may want to wear kitchen gloves for this part. And don’t be afraid to give the filters a good squeeze to remove the water – they’re pretty sturdy.
Place damp coffee filters on a cookie sheet in stacks of 5-10 and place in a 250° to 300° oven for 10 to 15 minutes until dry. Time may vary, depending on how wet the filters are. Just keep an eye on them so they don’t burn and turn them if necessary to make sure they are dry. If you don’t want to use your oven, lay the filters out on a flat surface and let air dry overnight. I was impatient so I used the oven and it worked beautifully.
Assembling your flowers …
Using my heavy duty scissors, I cut each chenille stem into 4 pieces, each approximately 3 inches long. I gently poked one end of the ‘stem’ into the center of the coffee filter and secured it by applying a generous amount of hot glue at the top of the stem, then pinching the filter around the stem. This makes the center of the flower.
Then, I pushed the bottom of the stem into the center of another filter, applied a thin ring of glue in a circle about 1/2″ from the stem, pushed the filter up to meet the bottom of the previous filter and pressed it together. This secures the filters together and makes a sturdy flower, but also gives lots of movement to the petals so the flower is fluffy. I continued this process for a total of 8 filters per flower.
To give the finished wreath some variety, I also made some smaller flowers using only 5 filters. The construction process was the same as for the larger flowers.
Once I had all my flowers glued together, it was time to assemble the wreath. My original thought had been to just glue the flowers onto my wreath form – I was pretty sure they’d be close enough together that the green form wouldn’t show on the front or sides. But on further thought, I decided to wrap some dollar store burlap ribbon around the form so it would look nice from the back, too. This is an optional step, but I’m glad I did it. I secured the beginning and end pieces of the ribbon with hot glue. Nice and secure.
Putting it all together …
Then, I started positioning the flowers onto the wreath and using the hot glue to secure them where I wanted. I did end up trimming the stems to about 1 inch because they were a bit unwieldy to position any longer than that. I started at one point, then worked on each side of that point, evenly gluing the flowers around the wreath until I reached the point where I had the wreath filled in completely.
After a bit of fluffing and squooshing, it was perfect! I attached a 4″ length of pipe cleaner to the back with hot glue to make a hanger. You could also hang this from a longer piece of beautiful ribbon and it would be lovely.
At the end of the day …
I am so very much in love with this wreath. I love the color – the perfect pink color. I love the shabby farmhouse look. I love that it’s perfect for Valentine’s Day, but also for spring and Easter. I love that it was fun (if a bit time consuming) to make. And I love that it only cost me around $6.00 for the entire project. Yeah, I really, really love that.
Using the coffee filters was really inspiring, too. I’ve already started thinking about the different ways I can cut them, and color them to make different types of flowers for other projects. I’m thinking a hydrangea and peony wreath for summer – maybe some sunflowers for fall. Adding longer stems with leaves, either by making them from coffee filters or getting cheap ones from the dollar store and putting them in a vase would look beautiful. Can you imagine all the ways to use these DIY coffee filter flowers in other projects?? Oh boy!
One of my greatest passions –
I sincerely love to craft and I have to say, this was one of my favorite projects I’ve ever done. It turned out exactly as I had pictured it in my head – which, if you’re a crafter or diy’er, you know doesn’t always happen.
Did this project inspire you to try your hand at using coffee filter flowers around your house? If so, I’d love to see pictures of your creativity, so please share in the comments!