Did you know you can make beautiful, full flowers with your students with coffee filters and pipe cleaners? It's a very simple, CHEAP project that the kids will love!
- coffee filters (1-4 per flower)
- spray water bottle
- wax paper
- pipe cleaner
- table liner
Step 1: Decorate the Filters
Protect your work surface with a table cloth or some sort of liner (the marker will soak through the paper layers and you won't want to stain your work area with ink. Next, Tear off a sheet of wax paper big enough and place coffee filters on top. I give each students their own sheet of wax paper with coffee filters on top and use a sharpie to write the student's name on the wax paper. This helps me keep track of who decorated the filters.
Now comes the fun part. Use markers to scribble all over the coffee filters. Later on, these colors will get wet and bleed into each other so I try to use colors near each other on the color wheel. Otherwise, you may end up with brown flowers.
Next, spray the newly-scribbled flowers with your spray bottle. I usually help my kinders do this part. You only need about 5 good sprays.
Set the whole sheet of wax paper aside while you wait for the decorated coffee filters to dry. The colors will continue to bleed as they sit.
You can stack the sheets of wax paper on top of each other while they dry. I try to stagger them a bit. Be mindful that the color will bleed a bit through the wax paper as well and complimentary colors (such as orange and purple) will bleed to make brown.
Step 2: Assemble the Flowers
After the coffee filters have dried, you are ready to assemble. I always do this part on my own after school. Older students can probably handle this on their own with instructions from you.
Stack all filters for a single flower together and fold in half.
Now, fold in half again.
This is where it gets a little tricky to understand. You basically want your folds to zig-zag. Take the top section of your coffee filters and fold it backward onto itself.
Then flip the filters over and repeat for the other quarter section. It will look like this when pressed down.
If you let go of the filters, they will open a bit. See the zig-zag?
Use a pipe cleaner to tightly wind around the point of your folded coffee filters. Be sure to cinch it tightly so it holds.
Gently separate the folded pieces from one another, and then you're done!
Not sure how many coffee filters to use?
This will help give you a sense of the fullness of different numbers of coffee filters.
How will you use them in your own classroom?