Tuesday, April 14, 2009

MSCE April and Kids Craft Week: Use Tie-Dye Coffee Filters and make critters, flowers, or whatever you like!

It's Day two in my Kids Craft Week and today I have one of those truly amazing projects that is fun for any age. I have done projects using this technique with pre-schoolers all the way up to high school kids and they've all had fun. I'm going to show you a simple, simple, simple, technique then a few things I've made with it.

It's a two part project- the first step has to dry- so it's a great to do in the morning and then again in the afternoon or the following day.

The stars are coffee filters and markers- Thats it. Add whatever other stuff you have laying around (pipe cleaners, sequence, clothes pins) to make whatever you want once you've done part 1.

You'll also need a paint brush and a container of water and a paper plate or heavy piece of paper (you all have those laying around I'm sure).

Use a paper plate or a heavy piece of paper and flatten out your coffee filter on top of it. (kids always love to do this part so adults, no need to prep here!)

Now use the markers to color whatever you want- seriously no rules, you don't even have to be neat about it. This is why it works for any age.

Dip your brush in the water and paint your coffee filter.

Once the whole thing is wet the markers start bleed together and make a great tie-dye effect.

The more you soak the filter the more the colors will bleed and blend.

When the filters dry you get a lovely tie-dye work of art. Aren't they pretty!

You can stop here or use the filters to make other projects-

Here I've added clothes pins, sequence, and pipe cleaners to make a dragon fly.

It's done by stacking two filters on top of each other and twisting them together with a pipe cleaner.

The entire thing is glued to the wooden peg style clothes pin.

I've also made a butterfly

Again this is two filters. The neat thing about this one is that it uses a spring loaded clothes pin so you can attach your butterfly to things.

Last but not least I made a little flower

This is two filters scrunched together (one inside the other) and tied with a pipe cleaner at the base to make the stem.

Oh and don't throw away the card stock or paper plates that were under your filters. The marker bleeds out of the filter when it's wet and creates lovely patterns on those too. You can save them for other projects (hint: maybe even another project this week!)

The projects shown here are obviously for younger kids- but older kids can dye the filters and use them for more complex art and craft projects. What I've found is that everyone loves to make the filters (even adults, I love making these!) and then what you do with them after depends on the age of the kids.

And bonus- coffee filters are cheap, cheap, cheap. I found a big pack of them in the dollar store.


  1. I love this project too! One of my faves! So pretty!

  2. We are totally doing this today! Thank you thank you thank you!


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