Recycled Coffee Filter Flowers


Coffee filter blooms are a great recycling craft!

Yeah, I know this one is kinda an “oldie-but-a-goodie,” but I had such a good time making them today that I thought I’d share it here, too…just to remind you how much fun you can have with the garbage you generate!

My recycled objects were all collected after breakfast:

  • 5 or 6 coffee filters (per flower)
  • egg carton (yields 12)
  • cereal box

Plus you’ll need some not-so-recycled objects, one each per flower:

  • bamboo skewers
  • chenielle stems
  • button for the center

And some general crafty items:

  • colored spray mists (I love my Radiant Rains- read my review of those HERE– but you can use Glimmer Mists or plain ol pan water colors)
  • Hot Glue
  • Floral tape OR yarn and white glue for wrapping the stem
  • scissors

To start, you’ll need 5 or 6 used coffee filters. After I brew a pot, I usually just take out the filter, grounds and all, and lay it on a plate to dry out. That way I get interesting color variations on the filter. When they are dry, I just brush the grounds off of the filters with a stiff paintbrush.

I like to use 3 colors per flower- 2 each of a dark, medium, and one or two of a light shade. I used a dark pink, and orange, and a yellow for mine. (If you want the exact colors, just leave me a comment.) I placed the filters in an old box lid and gave them a nice spray of color:

The coffee staining adds nice shading.

While the filters are drying, cut the bottom cups out of the egg carton. I specifically only use a fiberboard egg carton, as the color spray won’t stick to the foam ones. After you cut out the cups, you can color them with a green magic marker or hit them with some fabulous green color mist.

If you want to paint them, use the paper egg cartons!

You can also rough- cut some “leaves” out of the cereal cardboard- just make sure to leave a 1/2 inch cardboard stem on each. I also sprayed the back (unwaxed) side of the cardboard with my green color mist.

When everything is fairly dry, crumple the “petals.” Do this by grasping the center of a filter, then pulling the edges up and crumpling as you go. It just adds some nice pleats that are reminiscent of a carnation:

Next, stack all of your filters in the order you’d like them: the center color on top, darkest color on the bottom. Poke holes in the middle of the filters using a craft blade. Also make a small hole in the bottom of your egg cup.

Now it’s time to assemble your flower:

Loop top 1/2 inch of the end of your chenielle stem through your button, and twist it on tightly. Then thread on your filter petals, in order from top to bottom. Lastly, thread on the egg cup. As you pull the button down, it’ll pull the filters into the cup and force the petals up. Be gentle doing this, and arrange your “petals” as you go:

Now take your bamboo skewer and place the pointy end in the hole in the egg cup. It’s going to make a nice, rigid stem. You might with to add a dollop of hot glue to the bottom of the egg cup to keep the stem/skewer from pulling out, or the head of the flower from flopping over. (I didn’t on my sample, and I wish I had.)

Now take your floral tape and start wrapping from the top of the stem (by the egg cup) and, pulling and winding as you go, wrap the skewer and chenille stem together. After you’ve wrapped about 2 inches, add in your cardboard flowers if you like.

OK, there you go! A little more trash OUT of the landfill, and a little more art in your life. I have to think that this would be a fun craft to make with older kids- either for Mothers (or Grandparent’s) Day, or to decorate for Earth Day.

Have fun and happy crafting!


About Jenny

Chief Craft Test Dummy, Craft Evangelist, Founder, Editor, bottle-washer, trouble-maker, and creative whirlwind.


  1. says

    Gorgeous colors! And another oldie but goodie… we use our (coffee filters) to make spring butterflies with clothespins.

  2. says

    How fun. I like the egg carton use, I think that idea would be great for the cinco de mayo flowers I used to make in elementary school.

  3. Julie-O says

    What a great use for used coffee filters (I confess that, as a non coffee drinking household, I’ve used only new filters before, but Oh, the color gradations are so much more wonderful with the coffee staining, too).

    I KNOW that I can find some or get them (the idea of retrieving for a local coffee house rocks!)


  4. JoAnn says

    Thank You for this idea. I think I will let the children at church make these. They will love it. Thanks again!!!

  5. Anne says

    If they are going to be wrapped in floral tape anyways where you can’t see them, why waste chenielle stems when you could re-use old twist ties? I know I always have a ton lying around from a multitude of different things! On the topic of twist ties, they also work well for sewing up yarn projects if you can’t find a yarn needle.

  6. carol says

    Great idea I`m old but never did this one with my kids. I can think of many applications for these


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