Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I'm not a coffee drinker, but...

But boy do I love these giant coffee filters!!!

I left this project for my sub to begin while I was out, and boy are the results coming out spectacular! It started when I was given about a ZILLION giant coffee filters, from the nearby convenience store. How could I say no??

Each student (in this case, 3rd graders) got one filter and a 12" square of white paper. Their name went on the white paper, and the coffee filters were colored with Crayola markers, NOT the ones labeled "washable".They had to pay careful attention to the order of the wheel to prevent their filter turning to mud.

When the filter was colored, it was placed on top of the white paper, and brought to the "spray station". The filter was sprayed with water, and put away in the drying rack on top of the white paper. In all these photos, the dried filter is on the left, the white paper "print" from underneath is on the right.

The kids are cutting up the filters to make them into tie-dye T-shirts, etc, and hung on a bulletin board with a "clothesline". The white papers are being drawn/doodled into with Sharpies. I'll show you some when they are done. Two projedcts for the price of one!!

These filters would also make fabulous flowers, wouldn't they? And I'm also thinking Chihuly... I'm going to play with them to see what will work to make them hold in curved shapes.

Meanwhile, my
sub is going to make them with kids in a summer program at her church, and they are going to stuff them and make them into fish with tissue paper tails, etc. Cool, huh? I want to do a project with them earlier in the year next year, so I have a chance to display them!


  1. Thanks for this post Phyl. I have been wanting to try this with my students and your instructions make it much more tempting to try. I love the idea about turning them into fish!

  2. I know I'm going to love the prints with the Sharpie additions!!

  3. Cool! I'm a sucker for tie-dye (and coffee for that matter!).

  4. Very cool! I love the print idea and can't wait to see the results too! I've done a similar Chihuly lesson w/coffee filters. We sprayed them w/starch over a plastic bowl. They are on my blog from this year :)

  5. I ended up using our filters as suncatchers for kindergarten. We sprayed them on a paper plate then later cut out the center of the plate and glues them inside. One kinders grandma is a teacher in the school and she says her granddaughter checks on her suncatcher in the kitchen window every morning. Also we used sharpie to draw a picture on them before we sprayed them then we talked about permanent and water based markers. They are always telling me now I found a permanent marker in the waterbased marker container. Cute! The size of yours must be spectacular!

  6. I absolutely love using coffee filters! I actually have made coffee filter fish with a couple of different classes:
    I've also used the filters in a Keith Haring-esque project and to make snowflakes - I just think the colors are always so beautiful.

  7. thanks for this idea Phyl. I will put it in my memory bank for next year.
    I have used these huge filters for radial symmetry. Drawn with sharpies, then watercolored in...I then laminate them in a strip (one after another) and hang them from the ceiling. They were gorgeous!

    By the way, I think its about time I add you to my blog roll...I've been meaning to. If you'd like to do the same, please let me know. Thanks!

  8. I adore the transfer image. I bet the kids found it magical… I know I do!

  9. Phyl, I have used the coffee filters for a Chihuly lesson before. Have the students color them with the markers, and then give them a piece of foil to ball up. Place the foil in the middle of the coffee filter, pull the side up and around the foil ball, and then use rubber bands or string to hold the sides in place. Then take spray starch (the kind used for ironing) and spray the dickens out of it. The starch makes the marker blend, and when it is dry and the string/rubber bands and foil ball are removed, the coffee filter retains a "bowl" or macchia (Chihuly term) shape.