Hearts & Coffee – A Wreath Tutorial

I have this great relationship with coffee. It gets me, you know? It doesn’t mind when I ignore it long enough to get cold & end up re-heating the same cup 4 times just so it can be finished. It understands, I have kids, sometimes it comes second. You know what plays a large part in a great cup of coffee? Filters. That’s right, the perfect crafting material that you never knew you had.

So here I am, 250 filters later and pink hands. All for the sake of a wreath. And decor. And what the hell, love too. Let me introduce you to a coffee filter wreath and in this case a pink ombré coffee filter wreath. I had an idea in my mind how I wanted to go about dying the filters, but checked out a few blogs to see what there was to say. I found everything from using craft paint, markers, to fabric dye & food colouring. I opted for food colouring.

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Mix roughly 3 cups of water with 8-10 drops of neon pink food coloring. Take a stack of the filters and flip them upside down into your coloured water. Dip them as deep as you want the color to go on the filter.

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You’ll notice once your filters are wet they’ll want to lay flat, this isn’t a problem, let it happen! For this next part I tried a couple of different methods.

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For the first try I took the food colouring and dragged it directly around the edges. It took a lot darker than I expected it to & also coloured the crap out my hands in the process. High five – or not. I wasn’t sold on the look I ended up with so tried another approach. This time I mixed 2 tablespoons of water with 4 drops of food color & had Diego and his buddy help me out. I dragged the edge of the already wet filters through the more concentrated mix & voilà!

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Wayyyyyy better if I do say so myself.

Now here’s the part I had trouble with. The drying, the waiting. If there’s a way to fast track a project without compromising it, I’m the one to do it. I put the filters in the oven at about 200 to speed up the drying process. It didn’t work. I enlisted some help to separate the filters thinking that would help. It didn’t. I went to bed with my kitchen table looking like this –

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The next morning I received a text from my filter separating partner that 5 minutes in the dryer works (thank you Google). Great, I’ll remember that the next time I dye 250 filters (which will probably be never). I have to admit though, once dried, I fell in love. I mean, how great do they look!?

IMG_1741.JPGI drew a heart on a cereal box and cut it out and then cut a smaller heart in the middle so that there was an open center. Here’s a great tip: use something sturdier and thicker than a cereal box, you’ll thank me later. I poked holes roughly half an inch apart around the perimeter and throughout the middle and soon found that the holes did not need to be this close. I would say 1″ would be good enough and in a sporadic pattern. Take your coffee filter and grab it in the middle, bunch the bottom and give it a twist. Like so.

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You can also fold the filter in half and then in half 2 more times, either way works. Take the twisted bottom and pull it through the hole of the cardboard until you have a little under an inch of it through. The filter pretty much fluffs itself once it’s pulled through and looks like so! Pardon the crappy lighting, my filters look more coral than pink. This is what happens when you craft at night in your garage!

DSC_2320Continue until you are cursing yourself for even starting this ‘easy’ looking project, you’re almost done! Once you’ve gone all the way around and your wreath is nice and full you can choose to cut another heart and adhere to the back to cover the filter ends that are sticking out, or you can do what I did and just put a dab of hot glue at the base of each one just to ensure that they won’t pop out. Stay with me, we’re almost done. I finished with some fishing line to loop around middle of the heart so that I could hang it from the hook at our front door.

DSC_2333 DSC_2334 DSC_2335You can’t tell me that it doesn’t look AMAZING! I’m glad I opted for the ombré instead of one solid color, it gives it that little extra something something. It’s almost enough to make me want to ombré another 250 coffee filters in other colors for a springtime wreath. Almost.

 

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