Monday, April 29, 2013

Haleighanna's Hands: DIY Coffee Filter Wreath Tutorial

Looking for a cheap way to show off some shabby chic spring flowers? This small and really affordable wreath will help you do just that without breaking the bank (i.e., I got a lot of my materials from the Dollar Store!).

  • Dollar store foam wreath
  • Straight pins
  • Masking tape
  • Coffee filters (lots)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Brown paper bag or craft paper
  • Large plastic container
  • Towel
  • Acrylic paint
  • Utility or craft knife
  • Floral stems
Step 1: Tint your coffee filters

For the light pink flowers, I chose an acrylic paint and diluted it with water. There's no real formula to this--just squirt a quarter-size bit of paint and add water. Keep adding water but stop before it becomes transparent. Using the acrylic paint will ensure that you have the same color for each batch of flowers.

Immerse your coffee filters into the colored water. I do this in batches, leaving it for a few moments to really soak in. Then squeeze out the excess into the plastic container and lay the filters in a single layer on the towel. Let dry.

For the brown filters, I just used my left-over coffee.

Step 2: Create a back for the wreath (optional)

Take a piece of paper bag or craft paper that is large enough for the wreath to lay on. Add glue to the inner and outer rings of the floral foam. Then place the glue side on the paper. Let it dry. When it is completely dry, use the scissors or the craft knife to cut away the excess from in the inside and outside of the floral foam.

Step 3: Make the flowers

Taking two of the coffee filters (one pink and one brown), use the scissors to cut a spiral. This does not have to be precise. For the small flowers, I cut the two colored strands in half; for the large filters I leave them long. Get out the masking take and starting with one of the colors, start pressing the filter strand onto the tape.

As you do this, it will look like you are "gathering" or "pleating" the strand. Keep doing that until you run out of the strand. With the other color, start the same process a little below the first strand. Keep going until you run out of the strand.

If you are working on a large flower, grab a flower stem and place it on the tape and begin to wrap it around the stem. For the first quarter(ish) of the tape, wrap the tape on top of the tape--this will make a nice center for the flower. You can then start to wrap the tape a little higher on the flower to make it bigger. By the time you are done with the flower, you might be wrapping the tape around the edges of the coffee filter the row beneath the one you are working on. That's okay. Remember to trim the stem so that it is around 2 inches tall from the top of the flower to the end of the stem. Trimming the stem also cuts costs since you can get multiple flowers from a single stem.

For the smaller flower, I use a straight pin instead of a floral stem. It's the same principle, just a smaller version.

Step 4: Assemble the wreath

Take a large flower and put a little glue on the stem and the underside of the flower. Then push the stem into the floral foam. Randomly put large flowers around the wreath and then fill in with the smaller flowers. Let dry.

Some things to consider:
  • I suggest doing the flowers on the couch as you watch something on TV. You will be making a lot of flowers. I found that once I started this, I couldn't stop. It is addictive.
  • Make as many large or small flowers as you wish. The first time I tried it with all small flowers but the end result was too regimented for me. Different sizes of flowers add interest.
  • I like to add glue for each flower for just a little more support. This wreath should be handled some care, but not to worry. If a flower falls out, just add a little more glue and push it back in.
  • You can use teas to stain the coffee filters instead of paint. You won't get a consistent color from batch to batch but that's also a beautiful look.

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