I wanted to create a DIY coffee filter wreath in a vibrant color. After a bit of testing, I figured out how to dye coffee filters with food coloring. By using this simple tutorial, you’ll be able to dye coffee filters to make any colored coffee filter wreath you’d like!
I looked to my pantry and whipped out food coloring in order to give me the perfect orange fall coffee filter wreath. Since I didn’t have orange food coloring, I concocted the perfect orange shade by mixing red and yellow.
If you want to learn how to dye coffee filters with food coloring to create a coffee filter wreath in a vibrant color, here’s what you’ll need.
How to Dye Coffee Filters with Food Coloring
– White coffee filters (I used a 200 pack)
– Cooling Rack
– Food coloring gel in color of choice
– Butter knife
– Small container to hold liquid
Start by using your butter knife (or toothpick) to add a glob of food coloring to your container, then run a slow stream of warm water from the tap into the container. Adding the water to the food coloring will “mix” most of it in for you. But you’ll still have to use your knife (or spoon) to get the coloring 100% mixed in.
Make the color darker than you think you’ll need because the coffee filters do dry to a slightly lighter color. As you can see below, my liquid almost looks red, but it’s just a very dark orange (as shown on the droplets on the container).
Grab a wad of 10 to 15 coffee filters. Fold them in half (as a group, not individually), then fold that half in half to create a triangular shape. I really prefer shade variation so I used a wad of 20 coffee filters once or twice to create a lighter color.
Now comes the fun part – dipping your coffee filters!
Dipping Technique 1 – Shade Variation
If you’re also a fan of shade variation, you can use the dipping technique in the photo above. Just dip the larger part into the liquid for a few seconds and the color will “bleed” upwards creating a bit of an ombre effect.
Dipping Technique 2 – Uniform Color
For a uniform color, completely submerge the coffee filters into the food coloring and let it soak for about 10 seconds.
Regardless of which technique you use, be sure to “wring out” the filters by squeezing the liquid out. This will reduce the drying time.
As you finish dyeing each batch of filters, separate them individually and layer them on a cooling rack. I prefer using a cooling rack as opposed to a cookie sheet because it lets air through the bottom, which speeds up drying time. It helps if you have two. I had to make do with just the one because I couldn’t find the second one.
Note: the racks will make a striped effect on the filters that come in contact with them while drying. You can’t really tell once the filters are scrunched up on the wreath.
Once you’ve colored all the coffee filters, move the cooling rack near an open window. I used a book to slope the rack toward the windowsill just so fewer coffee filters would blow all over the room every time there was a little breeze.
Be sure to flip the filters every few hours just so they’re able to get a little more air between them and dry evenly. This’ll also decrease the chances of them sticking together.
Again, sitting them next to an open window was a step to decrease the drying time. But I understand that not everyone lives in a warm climate, so I guess you might be able to skip this step if you don’t mind the filters taking longer to dry.
Even though I took a few steps to speed up the process, the coffee filters still took two days to dry.
Here’s the finished product. Aren’t they pretty and vibrant?! If you look closely, you can see that there’s a bit of shade variation – just like I wanted – which will bring a little more “life” into the wreath instead of it looking flat.
I thought this process would be a lot more difficult than it actually is. I searched far and wide for tutorials on how to dye coffee filters with food coloring that would create vibrant colors, and came up blank. So, I pretty much had to wing it. Thankfully, it turned out well!