My mother-in-law’s birthday is coming up, and rather than buying a cliche, over-priced card from the store, I invited William and Corinne to make some art to send her way with a special note on it. We shot these coffee filter flowers off in the mail today, so I haven’t heard her response yet, but I’m sure Nama will feel special and loved by her little grandchildren on her birthday, even if we are several hours away.
To make these super cute flowers, you’ll need the following materials:
~ coffee filters
~ water dyed with food coloring
~ eye droppers (one for each color or water)
~ markers, crayons, and colored pencils and such
~ rags for easy clean-up
You’ll need to prep the coffee filters by ironing them flat. Do this by placing them on the ironing board and then lay a tea towel over them before ironing. By ironing the coffee filters flat, you limit the amount of pooling when you invite your child to paint them using eye droppers and dyed water.
After you’ve ironed the coffee filters, make the dyed water. Add just a few table spoons of water to each container with about ten drops of food coloring each. I only offered primary colors as I wanted William and Corinne to become more familiar with how colors mix to make new colors.
Set your child up at an art workstation, a place where it will be ok to make a bit of a mess (possibly). Place a coffee filter on a rimmed baking sheet. Invite your child to use the eye droppers to paint the filter. I always demonstrate first because my kids typically need a reminder about how to make single drops, instead of just squirting out the entire contents of the dropper at once. Allow your child to saturate each coffee filter with the dyed water.
If you’re looking for super, duper vibrant colors, try using liquid water colors, like Asia did on Fun At Home With Kids. They are just so stinkin’ beautiful!
Anyway, allow to dry. I like to speed things up a bit, (ok…a lot) by placing the coffee filters directly on the racks on my oven, which I set to warm. They’ll be dry in only a few minuets. Meanwhile, you can use a rag to wipe up any extra dyed water from the cookie sheet, and there will be lots of extra water, before offering a new and clean filter to your child.
Repeat until the desired number of coffee filters have been colored.
After the filters have dried, and you have gazed at how beautifully the colors bled into one another, have your child help you fold the filter into eighths. These do not have to be perfect folds. In fact, the less perfect the more natural and real they will look. Use scissors to trim the curved side, giving the flowers some texture. Finally, fold under the point by about an inch. Now you have a flower waiting to be glued onto a sheet of paper.
And, invite your child to do just that. Glue the coffee filters to a sheet of paper, and have your child finish the flowers by drawing stems, leaves, and grass. Maybe a sun and some birds can be added, too.
At last, I asked William and Corinne to each dictate to me a note to Nama, which I recorded on their artwork just exactly as they told me. Nama will love these precious coffee filter flower masterpieces!
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I am Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home mama of five! I am the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught range of levels, including preschool and college, and a little bit of just about everything in between. Right now, my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction