MY Tips on coffee filters dying


Some notes on dying coffee filters.

There are plenty of how to dye instructions out there-- But this just what I have learned about coffee filter colors.

Drying    I like variation in the colors of the filter-- so I can pick dark and light to make flowers.  This is achieved by oven drying.  If you need striation in a project-- like on a cabbage leaf or a tulip petal  put the filter directly on the oven rack.  If you want very little color variation then line the racks with aluminum foil and put the filters atop that.

I tried drying the filters in the clothes dryer-- It worked-- but I spent hours unfolding the crumpled balls of paper it produced-- They worked fine for rolled roses or sweet peas- but I would not use them for most flower creations.

Food colors and craft acrylics are safe for oven drying.

Pale colors are the easiest,  You do not have to dye the whole filter you can just dip the tips into  food color water on a plate

Purple and lavenders are tricky.  Most food color blue/purple family dyes separate into blues and magenta--- Use paint and water to achieve the best colors for purple family. I got a super dark purple from a water based ink pad-- the colors did separate but I needed the outer edges dark so it worked- but it smelled awful-- I would not recommend it for drying inside.

You can reverse colors! If I had needed the center dark I would have placed the enter base of the filters in the dye and gotten the reverse effect. Also you can rinse out filters or edges that are too dark. And you can dye over dried dyed filters.

Stark White, un-dyed, really does not work-  If you are making a name backdrop or border  it is OK but for flowers-- none you can approximate with coffee filters are really white.  I put two drops of yellow, one drop red and one drop of green in a cup a water.  Then take a spoon full of that to mix into a fresh cup of water to color filters for white flowers-- The difference is subtle-- but noticeable.

Black is your friend-- If you need to darken most colors. Just a bit of black paste dye or acrylic paint achieves the dark red of a rose, and the outer petals of a cabbage. Be careful with black-- split you due bath before adding it and then you can usually correct it. Black does not work well with yellow or orange you need to add brown to those. I like standard liquid food colors and the Wilton Black Paste.

Red is the most difficult.  I had my ONLY success using liquid red McCormick or Spice Time food color with no water.  If I added ANY water  I got a the wild florescence pink you can see in the photos.  I got the darkest red by adding a bit of black to that.  Basically you can dye only about 70 filters with a 2 ounces of red liquid color.  Other brands of red liquid dye yielded unspectacular results- pretty but not true red.

I also did not like the somewhat dull effect I got from red paint and water.

Try some odd things

Spray paint for metallics and markers for edges give fun effects. You should try going around the edges of filters with a marker and then mist them to see if you like the effect.

Plain typing paper or tissue paper make great floral centers- The contrast of textures and colors can be realistic.

Dyeing just partial sections of the outer edges can make some convincing floral petals.

I like using silk leaves and variety of stems on my CFF's (coffee filter flowers)

Good LUCK and happy crafting!

The other florescent color caused by adding a bit of  water to mostly liquid red food color.
The other florescent color caused by adding a bit of water to mostly liquid red food color.
The true red from Spice Time liquid red food color.
The true red from Spice Time liquid red food color.
The flat finish of acrylic paint
The flat finish of acrylic paint

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