Eco Modern Art from Recycled Coffee Filters

So you love creating art with your kids.  And recycled crafts make it even more fun.  But the age-old question remains… What do I do with this little masterpiece when we’re out of refrigerator magnets?

Nikki Board from Funtastically Green has some creative and smart ideas to share with us…

This recycled coffee filter craft is great for all ages, and it is so easy to use this versatile paper. The strength of the coffee filter paper is very forgiving, and with this craft — the only limitation is your imagination.

We frequently have a TPD (two pot day) of coffee at our house. But don’t despair if you are not a coffee drinker. If you ask your local coffee shop, they will most likely share as many used coffee filters as you want. It is fun to see the uniqueness of each used filter stained by coffee. Then when you add color to them, they burst with even more individuality.

Step 1: Gather used coffee filters

To start, gather about 15 used coffee filters. Rinse off any remaining coffee grounds and lay them on newspaper or paper towels to dry.

Recycled Coffee Filters

Used (but clean!) coffee filters


Step 2:  Add a splash of color!

We decided to add some additional color to the stained coffee filters.

Recycled coffee filter art

Dip filters into vegetable dyes or tea

We use vegetable dyes for this craft, but you can use diluted paints, water color paints or even markers. We chose to use three colors that matched our décor. Recently we had red cabbage and broccoli with dinner. After we steamed the vegetables, we soaked five filters in the leftover cabbage water and five filters in the leftover broccoli water. With the remaining five filters we colored them with a tea stain. We steeped a strong cup of tea (not for drinking) and stained them overnight.

Step 3:  Let the filters dry, and choose your canvas

recycled coffee filter art project

Earth tone art and a sturdy backing for the canvas

Once all the filters are colored, let them dry. When dry, tear the filters into pieces. Now it’s time to glue them to a board. We used cardboard that was from a calendar package (more recycling). The cardboard is a little sturdier than regular paper to glue the filters to. Just use what you can find around your house.

Step 4:  Glue your mini-masterpieces to the canvas

Eco Modern Art from Recycled Coffee Filters

Get creative and have fun!

We used non-toxic Mod Podge to glue and seal the paper. Be creative and wrinkle the paper, use different shapes and arrange the different colors it makes this project unique. Let the filters go over the edges of the cardboard so that the finished project is not perfectly rectangle shaped.

Step 5:  Frame your eco-friendly work of art!

Let it dry overnight. Then frame it on top of the mat in the picture frame…. And you have Eco Modern Art!

eco modern art

The finishing touches

Tip: You can color copy the finished art to embellish cards or scrapbooking projects or to share a copy of your art with a friend.

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