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Ok, I’m going to preface this by saying that these pictures are all over the map. I first took pictures of my sister and I doing this project in the evening, with terrible light. Then, since we didn’t finish, my mom helped me during the day with good light. Then I forgot to take a picture of the finished product until it was hanging in the room we were using it in, which isn’t terribly pretty and has horrible light.

So. These are really pretty in person, but the pictures don’t always do them justice.

Ok, now that the disclaimer is out of the way, let me tell you about these. Can you guess what they’re made out of? No? Coffee filters. Seriously.

This is not an original idea, but our execution is a little different than others’. I originally saw this idea on Martha Stewart, but there were no instructions (Now that I search for the link again, I found instructions. But I didn’t use these instructions… Woulda been nice to have them, though.) Then I came across these and these. I combined some ideas from each of them, and went with it.

We started out using a washable marker to color the edge of each filter. We used 2 different colored markers… actually 4. Because our first 2 ran out, and I tried to find the same colors in larger markers (from the same brand!), and despite having similar names like “raspberry” and “pink” they were in fact quite different. I’m not bitter or anything.

Then I took a paintbrush with plain water and painted the edge to bleed the color a bit. Then we laid them out on paper towels to dry.

This technique worked pretty well… except for the fact that we had to make 6 of these pom-poms. And each pom-pom takes 50-60 coffee filters. So it takes FOREVER. We finished 1 pom-pom in about 4 hours. Not cool.

So my mom came over a couple of days later, and didn’t have the patience to deal with this method. So she came up with another one.

Cue the better photographs. She found out that you can color a stack of the filters just on the edges.

Then you can brush them all with the paintbrush & water. Or (not pictured) a faster way is to use a spray bottle filled with water.

Then you can take the whole wet stack and throw them in the dryer on low for a few minutes. Be careful, I imagine these things could be flammable if you left them in the dryer for too long. Depending on the size of the stack they took anywhere from 5-15 minutes, I think.

When they’re dry, fold the filters into quarters.

When you have it in quarters, take the inside point (pictured above)

Put your finger in it and twist it into the center of the filter.

It should look something like this.

Don’t be afraid to get it pretty twisted.

And now back to crappy pictures. Then we glued them to 3″ styrofoam balls with a glue gun. Contrary to the picture, we found that it worked best to glue them all around the ball at random and then fill in the empty spaces.

We folded the ends of the filters to stick them to the glue. You could also use some short straight pins, probably. The glue gun left lots of strings for us to clean up, but pins might pull out while you’re handling them. If you have other ideas, let me know. 🙂

We hung them along with paper lanterns from the beams in our church’s fellowship hall for my friends’ Nate & Elizabeth’s shower.

While they took longer than I expected, I think they turned out pretty good. 🙂 And they’re cheap to make! We only made 6, but I think you could make really stunning decorations with a lot of them. You could mix them with the garland versions in the links I mentioned earlier.

Try it out!

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