By General Crafts Contributor Michelle
Create a pretty Valentine’s Day decoration with an unlikely craft supply–coffee filters. Dye the coffee filters to your favorite color, and create this heart that appears to be made out of roses. This heart couldn’t be sweeter!
Here’s what you need to make your own:
- White coffee filters (I used about 100 for my 18-inch heart).
- A piece of cardboard (whatever size needed to cut out a heart of your choosing).
- Wilton Icing Color Set 4 pc. Primary (I used this red gel coloring).
- Woodsies Wood Dowels 12 x 3/16 in. 20 pc.
- Zucker Feather Turkey Flats 0.5oz White.
- Plaid FolkArt Acrylic Paint 2 oz. #660 Metallic Pure Gold.
- American Crafts Wow! Glitter 1 oz. Extra Fine Gold.
- Janlynn Embroidery Floss Pack 36 pc. Pastel. (I used red, and pink).
- Elmer’s Glue-All.
- Plaid Paint Brush Craft Pack 25pc.
- X-Acto #8 Lightweight Retractable Utility Knife.
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks.
- Cereal box, or other light cardboard.
- Bowl and spoon.
To begin, fill your bowl about half-way up with warm water. Using your spoon, get a small dab of red gel coloring , an mix into your water. You may have to smoosh it around a bit to get it to dissolve. (If you want to use liquid food coloring, that’s perfect, I just had gel coloring on hand.) Make the water fairly bright red, as it will appear a bit lighter once dry, and as you separate your coffee filters. Separate your coffee filters into stacks that are about 1/2-inch thick, and dip each stack, frilly edge first, into the colored water until the colored water has moved about halfway up the filters. Remove from water, and set on newspaper to let the color to absorb the rest of the way up the filters. After a few minutes, separate the stacks into thin stacks, to speed up the drying process. If you’re feeling really ambitious, and have the space, separate each individual filter and lay them out, and they dry in no time. Whichever way you choose to let them dry, wait until they’re completely dry to glue them.
Draw a heart on your cardboard, and then draw a smaller one inside, so you are left with a heart shaped “ring” that is about 3-inches thick. Use your utility knife to cut out the ring.
Take two wood dowels. Break one in half. (This is how I made my arrow so it was long enough to fit my heart; if you make yours smaller, you may only need one dowel, if you make it much larger, you may have to make your dowels longer than mine. Adjust your arrow according to the size of the heart you choose to make–you dowels need to be long enough to span the inside of your heart, and off both sides.) Paint them all gold. Cut a triangular arrowhead out of your cereal box, paint it gold.
Choose some feathers for the end of your arrow. Using a small paintbrush with Elmer’s glue, brush some glue on the tips of the feathers, and then sprinkle on glitter. Tap off excess glitter, and let feathers dry.
When your filters are dry, take your pencil and place the eraser end into the middle of your first filter. Wrap the filter around the pencil and give it a bit of a twist.
Add a dab of hot glue onto the eraser end of the coffee filter, and using the pencil to help you push it into place, press the glue-end of the filter onto the cardboard heart. Press gently to secure for a few seconds, and then carefully pull the pencil out of the filter.
Repeat the gluing process in the above step to secure more filters to the cardboard, placing them about 1/2 to 1-inch apart. You can kind of fluff the filters as you go to make them fill in the space, and help you see where to place the next one.
Continue working around the heart until you have covered it entirely.
Using your hot glue, stick the triangular arrowhead onto one of the short dowels. Glue the feathers onto the end of the other short dowel. Cut a length of embroidery floss, and use some hot glue to stick it to the dowel by the feathers. Wrap the floss around the ends of the feathers to hide them, and then wrap down the dowel to embellish. Glue the end of the floss to secure. Repeat with another color floss, if desired.
Carefully part your coffee filters on the inside edge of your cardboard ring. Glue your long dowel diagonally across the ring so the ends are attached to the cardboard. Part the coffee filters diagonally up from the top end of your long dowel so you can see the cardboard. Glue the arrow end of the short dowel so it lines up with the long dowel, but the arrowhead sticks off of outer edge of the heart. Repeat on the other side of the cardboard ring for the feather end if the arrow. You want the three separate pieces to appear to be one continuous arrow, so make sure they all line up. Fluff your filters to hide where you glued.
Glue a loop of embroidery floss on the back of the heart, if you’d like to hang it on the wall. You could also just lean it up against the books on the bookcase, or set it up on the mantle.
Add one arrow, or add two. Embellish your arrows as desired.
Try dyeing the filters different colors, or even try using some Tim Holtz by Ranger Distress Stain Spray to add more color to your filters after you initially dye them.
Happy Valentine’s Day crafting!