Dyed Coffee Filter Flowers


It’s that time of year again, when chocolate bunnies and brightly colored eggs abound.   Not into dyeing eggs? You might consider buying some discounted egg dye kits after Easter Sunday nonetheless.  Don’t own a coffee machine?  You may want to pick up some coffee filters anyway.  Why? Egg dye kits and coffee filters constitute the base materials for a variety of spring-hued projects that can be enjoyed year-round! From paper flowers to festive banners, these versatile dyed circles can be used in projects that are both frugal and versatile.


Egg Dye on the Cheap

Last year I purchased a kit to dye some Easter eggs for a photo shoot with one of my rabbits, Cypress.  After Easter had passed I noticed the same egg dye kits were marked down to something ridiculously low – I think it was ten cents per kit, if I’m remembering correctly.  I decided to buy five kits on the cheap since I knew I could come up with a fun way to use the lovely dyes the kits make.  Well, it took me almost a year to get around to it, but here are some of the ways I used last year’s clearance dye.


Paper Flowers

My primary idea was to use the dyes to create paper flowers.  And though I don’t drink coffee, or own a coffee machine, I kept seeing a stack of coffee filters in the break room at work.  I wanted to find a way to use both the dye and coffee filters, and my mind finally connected the dots.  I purchased a package of coffee filters as soon as I hit upon the idea.

I wasn’t sure how they’d turn out, but I decided to give it a whirl, and was thrilled with how many beautifully-colored paper circles I was left with.  I made nearly 200 colored paper circles in dozens of shades!  Nine colors of dye came in the egg dyeing kit, but by using the dye in full strength followed by increasingly diluted dye (pour out some dye, add water, repeat) you can create many shades of just one color.  It just depends on how much time and patience you have – and how many coffee filters!

The samples I created include two flowers with embroidered centers – including one with a vintage lace hanger – and a flower with a vintage button center.  (Please don’t laugh at my embroidery “skills” – I’m a total beginner!)  I also created a simple light green flower with a stamped center that’s been embellished with a single large, black button.  I attached this stamped flower to a gift bag, and love the way it dressed up what started out as a bland basic!




Banners, Too!

Another project I whipped up is a banner. In addition to the dyed circles, I used a small paint brush, black India ink (you could use craft paint instead), a ¼” hole punch, and brass brads.  With a pile of dyed circles on hand it’s quick and easy to make banners for any occasion quickly and easily by using different pictures, symbols, and letters.  It would also be super easy to make a Very Hungry Caterpillar from paper using this same technique!



Our bunny, Pinto, loves these colorful, dyed coffee filters!

My Dyeing & Drying Tips

  1. Cover your work space with plastic and work carefully to avoid dyeing your work space. Consider wearing a water-proof apron or old clothes.
  2. Wear gloves if you don’t want colorful fingers and hands.  I passed on the gloves because I happen to love colorful hands!
  3. Decide how many coffee filters you’ll dye at once.  I dyed around 6 at a time, but you may choose to separate them and dye them one by one.
  4. Squeeze out excess dye after you’ve dunked your filter(s) into the dye.  You can either squeeze the filters out over your cup, or into a sink.
  5. Allow for plenty of drying time. I ended up using a blow dryer with a diffuser attached on my dyed filters because I was trying to finish the projects for this post in one day and it happened to be raining outside on the day in question.

*Please note: The cups of dye in the photo near the top contain two batches of dye per color.


Who Knew? Apparently Egg Dye Tablets Have a Shelf Life

Quick note on the egg dye tablets: it’s best to use them sooner than later.  I waited nearly a year before using the clearance packs I purchased last year, and though they dissolved enough for me to make plenty of dyed circles, the tablets didn’t effervesce the way “fresh ones” do and didn’t dissolve completely.

Hmm, what else can I make?

I’m sure I’ll think of some more goodies to make with these dyed circles, and am looking forward to more brainstorming and creating.  In the meantime, I’m simply taking pleasure in looking at the delicious colors.  Yum!

Your turn: What would you make?  Have you dyed something aside from eggs with egg dye?  Have you used the tie dye technique with egg dyes? Please leave a comment if you’d like to weigh in on the subject of egg dyes, creating with coffee filters, or if you have any questions about the projects I created.


Happy Spring, and Happy Easter!

Warm regards,

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  1. Posted April 3, 2012 at 8:17 am by Celena | Permalink

    I love, love, love the gift bags! I usually buy my bags in bulk and this would be a perfect way to personalize them 🙂
    Take a look at how I’ve used coffee filters. (My blog and FB) I mostly used them in their natural color (brown) and the bleached, white filters. Can’t wait to use dye!

  2. Posted April 3, 2012 at 9:43 am by Barb L. | Permalink

    Oooohhh, I love, love, love this! What colors and what a super idea! Your bunny looks adorable with the Easter colors! Thanks, Melody!

  3. Posted April 3, 2012 at 6:32 pm by Melody | Permalink

    Thanks so much! I’m glad you like the project, and I agree – the colors are pretty yummy. Thank you for complimenting my bunny boy, Pinto, too!

  4. Posted April 3, 2012 at 6:40 pm by Melody | Permalink

    I’m glad you like the gift bags, and hope you have a great time playing with the dye! I love the coffee filter creations you’ve made – particularly the little bouquets. Nice “sheet music pumpkins”, too! Thank you for commenting. :o)

  5. Posted April 4, 2012 at 2:03 pm by Debbie | Permalink

    Hey Melody…
    Oh I love love LOVE the rainbow of filters in your first pic…they’d look great strung overhead with some party lights for a summer evening. I’ll have to check for egg dyes…you know I love to get my hands colorful with dyes. Hugs to Pinto…he’s so adorable…and to Cypress, too.

  6. Posted April 4, 2012 at 6:48 pm by Melody | Permalink

    So glad you like the dyed filters, and yes – you’re one who likes to have colorful hands. Your hand-dyed ribbons are just divine – so glad I was able to buy some! Your idea of stringing the filters with lights is a good one – I can see it now… Thank you for sending hugs to Pinto and Cypress. It’s so fun to have live-in Easter bunnies!

  7. Posted April 10, 2012 at 6:09 pm by Carol | Permalink

    Melody, I don’t have any ideas to add but I just have to say how gorgeous those dyed papers look. I’ll certainly be looking for egg dyes now. Do you think ordinary cake colouring would do the same thing? Your bunnies are so beautiful! I like having paint hands too so fully understand why you would leave off the gloves.

  8. Posted April 10, 2012 at 8:25 pm by Melody | Permalink

    Hi Carol,
    Thank you for your kind words about my bunnies and the dyed coffee filters, and thank you for commenting! I think food coloring would probably work well for something like this, but might color your hands more than the egg dye, so tread carefully. 🙂

  9. Posted April 11, 2012 at 10:49 pm by Amanda | Permalink

    Can I just say that Pinto was an amazing model for your blog post. His eye’s were just saying “would you like cream & sugar with your coffee filters” giggles. Love it!

  10. Posted April 12, 2012 at 9:52 am by Melody | Permalink

    Thanks – agreed! Taking pictures of the bunnies is kind of like trying to herd cats, so I was glad to get a few good shots. 🙂