Make bright, imaginative paper flowers from a surprising source.
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Materials and Tools:
basket-style coffee filters (3-5 filters per flower)
buckets or bowls for food coloring
1. Fill the buckets or bowls with water and add food coloring to make a dye bath. Be generous with the food coloring: the filters dry much lighter in color than they appear when wet.
2. Separate the coffee filters and place them in the dye baths. Remove them quickly for a lighter shade, or leave them in longer for a darker color.
3. Once the desired shade is achieved, remove the filters from the dye bath, wearing rubber gloves, and squeeze out the excess dye. Place wet filters on a paper towel with newspapers or waxed paper underneath and allow to dry.
4. To make petals, fold each filter to make a half-circle. Fold again to make a quarter-pie shape, or wedge. Fold the filter twice more to make a narrow wedge. Using scissors, cut a curve or spike shape 1/2' from the edge of the wide end. You don’t want to cut the narrow end because that will create a large hole in the center of the petals. You can cut many shapes in the wide end to create different looks; just experiment. Repeat this step for as many flowers (3-5 petals per flower) as needed.
5. Open the cut filters and lay flat. Embellish with ultrafine glitter and/or sequins glued to the filters. Once the embellishments are dry, layer the petals on top of one another. The top layer will be the inside petals of the flowers and the bottom layer will be the outer petals of the flowers. Poke the skewer through the first petal, gather the petal to the end of the skewer, twist the base of the petal around the skewer and secure with floral tape. Keep adding layers until the flower is full.
6. Wrap the skewer with the green floral tape to secure the flower and create a decorative stem.