Monday, April 23, 2012

Coffee-Filter Wreaths

I'm still working on these, but will never ever do this again. Wow did this take much longer than I thought! 'm not sure I'd recommend this again. Granted, I was trying to make two wreaths at once (one for my mother & one for my mother-in-law). This is why they aren't red and black...I asked what colors they would like so they would match their houses.

Who I got the idea from: Lovely Crafty Home 

Time: Multiple Days 

Shopping List: 
2 packages of Coffee Filters (if you have extra...well it only costs $2 per pack of like 200...)
Acrylic Paint
Paint Brush
Cardboard Wreath Print Out
Hot Glue


1. Prep: Be sure to prep your area. You'll want to hang clothes lines with clothes pins around the house. Please be sure to tell people you are doing so if you choose to use a chandelier & a door as part of your line. Put down painters cloth on the table  and underneath the pin area.

2. Paint: So for the colors here...I blended as I went so I'll show you the steps. The less paint, the quicker it drys. It only takes one or two to realize you should have let them dry longer. Semi-wet coffee filters don't stick to tape very well. 
  • Cup A - Coffee: I used strong coffee for the first set of colors. They gave the cream colored flowers. I had 50 clothes pin, so I did 50 of these. 
  • Cup A - Pink: I poured some more coffee into a cup and pink paint. The water cuts the paint so it doesn't take as long to dry (and makes the paint go further!). When you're done...don't dumb this cup out. I had 50 clothes pin, so I did 50 of these.
  • Cup B - Yellow:  I poured water & yellow paint for the yellow flowers.  I had 50 clothes pin, so I did 50 of these. 
  • Cup A - Burgundy: I poured the Yellow from Cup B into the Cup A for the pink. I added some dark red paint and swirled until i got a color I liked.  I had 50 clothes pin, so I did 50 of these. 
  • Cup C - Green: I poured a little bit of green paint, lots of water, and green food coloring in to get a pale green.  I had 50 clothes pin, so I did 50 of these. 
  • Cup C - Darker Green: I poured a darker green into the cup (and added more water if needed) and some more green food coloring to get a darker green. Can you guess how many I did?
  • Cup C - Dark Green: For this one I poured more green paint, green food coloring & blue food coloring into the mix. This gave me a rich dark green.
3. Make the Flowers: How I make the flowers, I'll defer to This takes about 6 minutes per flower. I suggest making one of each color as you go. That way you can start hot gluing the flowers in. This will make you a lot less depressed, since this takes so amazingly long.

4. Ribbon: I cut a hole in the middle of the cardboard wreath. I put both sides of the ribbon into the slot and wrapped it around through the large center part of the wreath. I tapped & glued the ribbon in place. If you do it this way, it's important you do this before you begin gluing the flowers!

5. Hot Glue: Glue the flowers onto the wreath. I tried to stagger the pattern a bit. In retrospect, I could have used another color, but I'm getting anxious just thinking about it. I originally cut off about half of the "masking tape stem" so I could stand them up. After the first 5 or 6, I stopped and just glued the bottom. As you're gluing you'll find you smush the flowers a bit. It's okay, just well unsmush them and be careful. 

*****UPDATE: So as you can see I finished the first wreath. I feel as though I could be lulled into a sense of "oh you can do it again." To break down the hours:

Set up: 20 minutes (includes stringing lines for the filters to dry & cutting wreath out of cardboard)
Painting Filters: 2.5 hours (I did four colors so 30 minutes x 4 plus any in between time)
Each Flower: 3.5 hours (6 minutes to make & there were probably 36 flours on the wreath)
Gluing onto the Wreath: 15 minutes
Total Time: approximately 6.5-7 hours

The biggest task is painting the filters. Beacuse I did enough coffee filters for two wreaths it took most of my day on Sunday. Doing a few flowers a night while watching TV wasn't bad at all. 

A Few Final Notes:
  • I varied between wanting little flowers & big flowers. Ultimately be generous with your masking tape so you can make large ruffles for large pedals. This will take up space on your wreath and they don't look bad.
  • I realized I didn't have cardboard after I started, so I found an old Christmas Garment  box and cut it from there. This gave me two wreaths and worked pretty well. I mean we collect the "gently used" boxes every year and they seem to just collect in a pile so why not!
  • If you were slightly impatient like me and didn't wait for the filters to dry, if you leave them overnight, they dry!
  • I also folded all of the flowers into 4 for easy storage. I didn't trust either of the dogs or cats to leave alone a pile of coffee filters. 
  • Last, I'll post the green one once I'm finished. I have about 4 hours to go on that one.

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