If you’re looking for a colorful, easy spring craft to do with your preschooler or school aged child, try these coffee filter flowers. This is a great craft for working on fine motor skills with your child, while also learning about colors.
This craft is so easy and requires only a few materials—most of which you likely already have on hand. But it’ll also help to strengthen the small muscles in your child’s hands and give them practice with some practical skills, like folding and scissor use.
Preschoolers and older kids will have a lot of fun making these dip-dyed coffee filter flowers. It makes a perfect fine motor skills craft for 3-year-olds, 4-year-olds, and even elementary students. Keep reading for step-by-step instructions on how to make this fun and easy coffee filter flowers craft for kids.
How to Make Coffee Filter Flowers
This is a great craft for coffee drinkers, because you’ll already have most of what you need on hand. Here’s everything you need to make coffee filter flowers:
- White coffee filters
- Food coloring
- Green pipe cleaners
- Paper towels
- Scissors (optional)
You only need scissors if you want to cut your coffee filters into different flower petal shapes. This is great for older preschoolers or school aged kids who need to work on their scissors skills. But they’ll still look like flowers once you’re done without any cutting at all.
First, lay the coffee filter flat and fold it in half, making a half circle. Then fold it in half two more times. You’ll be left with a small triangle shape.
Next, if your child is old enough to use scissors, they can experiment with cutting the outer edge of the flower into different petal shapes. Curved or pointed petals both turn out great. Always supervise young children when using scissors. You can always skip this step if it’s too difficult for your little one. It just adds some additional fine motor skill practice and can be fun.
For the dye, mix about ⅛ a cup of water with about 8 to 10 drops of food coloring. If you’re using gel food coloring, stir well to be sure it mixes completely into the water. Repeat with as many colors as you’d like.
If you want to teach your child about color mixing, use the primary colors—red, yellow, and blue. Then they can watch what happens when the colors mix together during the next step.
To dye the flowers, start by dipping one end of the folded coffee filter into one of the colors for 1 to 2 seconds. The water and food coloring will be absorbed into the coffee filter quickly, so it doesn’t need to be dipped long. Then flip the folded coffee filter over and dip the dry side into another color. The colors will overlap a little.
You’ll need to help your child with this step. Carefully and quickly unfold the dipped coffee filters, laying them flat on a paper towel. To help protect your table, you can dry the coffee filters on a baking sheet covered in a layer of paper towels. The paper towels help speed up the drying process. Set the coffee filters aside for at least an hour or until they’re completely dry.
Once the coffee filters have dried completely, fold each one in half twice. This time it doesn’t really need to be a nice neat fold.
Pinch and twist the pointed end of the folded coffee filter. This is great practice for your child to strengthen their pincer grasp and the small muscles of their hand.
Take a green pipe cleaner and twist it around the twisted end of the coffee filter. If the coffee filters are long, you can either cut them in half or fold them in half and twist the two halves together. The second option gives you a nice sturdy stem that will sand upright more easily.
Fluff up your flowers, pulling the petals outward. Set your flowers in a jar or bud vase for a colorful spring decoration, or use them to play pretend!
“Hi! My name is Lydia and I’m a freelance writer who specializes in parenting and education. I have a bachelor’s degree in English and worked as a teacher and tutor before deciding to stay home full-time with my two young children. As a mom, I’m passionate about early childhood education and am always looking for fun and practical ways to teach my kids at home.”