Tutorial: Coffee Filter Flowers

Hello friends! If you’re here from Studio 5, welcome! I hope you take a look around at my printables and tutorials. If you’d like to sign up for one of my local workshops, click here (or the image below). If you’d like to take calligraphy online, check out my offerings here.

On to the tutorial, shall we? 

Many months ago, I made these versatile coffee filter flowers with friends. Elsa brought all the supplies and we made tons. I made enough to decorate Penelope’s birthday party and my Christmas tree. With very little effort. I believe in all, my collection of flowers took 4-5 hours to make. When you batch it with friends, you can make even more! The great thing about these is once they’re made, they last forever and you can use them for just about any occasion. Add some fresh foliage from the yard and you’re good to go! 

Or stick them in a pot with succulents for a little added color. Here’s how you do it: 

Coffee Filter Paper Flowers DIY

First, let’s grab materials to dye the coffee filters. Since you’re not really laundering the flowers, you can dye them with anything. Dye with Rit, watercolor, heck I’m sure you could use food coloring. I like how permanent my results with Rit were. If you want more granulation and variation in the dye, use powdered dye. 

SUPPLIES for DYEING: 

I love using those hospital bed pans. They’re easy to come by and it doesn’t matter if you stain them with your dye. Also, the hotter the water, the faster the dye process. 

Fill the basin about 1-2″ deep, you don’t need it super deep, with the hottest water you can get from the tap. Add dye. If you want a muted color, add about 1 tablespoon of dye. If you want it more saturated, add more! Pull off a section of 20 or so coffee filters. If you want more color variation, use larger chunks of filters in the dye bath. Dip in and pull out. The longer you soak them, the more consistent the color will be from filter to filter. So I like to pull them after soaking for about a minute. Separate filters and place on a towel to try. For quicker dry times, you can put them on your heater vents (if it’s winter), or out in the sun (if it’s summer). 

Now to make the flowers, you need: 

 

Fold your filters in half. Then in half. Then in half. THEN in half again! Cut a round or pointy end. Then halfway down, do it again. These two pieces will be for flower steps 1 and 2.

Cut the second filter the same way. Add feathering if you’d like with multiple cuts on one or all of the pieces. More feathering, more volume it will have. Cut to the center on one side.

Grab the smallest piece and add glue to one side of the slit. Roll it around your wire stem and hold in place. Bring the rest of the petals around and glue securely.

Grab the second largest piece and glue one edge. Hold in place to allow glue to set. You’ll gather and pinch the bottoms of this layer together as you glue to add more fullness to the flower.

See the difference between the steps? It progressively gets more full. IF you want more volume, add even more layers! 

For the last step, complete like the first. Add glue to the center portion of the coffee filter along the slit. Attach to the flower and wrap around. Glue as you go to secure in place. 

Fluff out and add glue drops to the edges for dew drops!

Here’s a video detailing each of the glue steps:

There you go! Enjoy! 

*This tutorial is free for personal use and should not be distributed/republished without my consent. If you would like to use this tutorial for commercial purposes, please email me. Thanks!

Winter Wedding Invitations

I had the joy to design invitations for a friend of mine and her now husband. When I asked her what she wanted, she basically said, she wanted reds and winter greens. She left me to figure out the rest. I love getting let loose on designs. It’s fun. :) 

I lettered the names and painted the foliage, then scanned and designed. I didn’t have a whole lot of time to budget for these invitations so I kept them simple. I wanted something a little more visually impactful than center-justified text, so I designed the text on a slant. 

If I had had more time, I think I would have refined things just a little bit more, but I’m happy with the end result. Happy enough to post them here, right? ;)

I enjoyed adding more dimension to the art by including watercolor details to the artwork. I used techniques from a watercolor class I took from Natalie Malan in the fall. We’re going to be team-teaching a workshop! Learn calligraphy and watercolor on March 4th! Register here. Looking for more workshops? See the 2017 schedule for updates. 

Japanese Puzzle Eraser Valentines

Most holidays I don’t go all-out. But Valentine’s Day is a day for me to have fun with puns and little gifts. I tend to give myself unrealistic expectations (all the time. Constantly. 24/7), I’ve gotten better at ignoring them and being more realistic with my time (because… umm… naps). But for Valentine’s I love doing something a little bit on the ridiculous side. I mean, come on. I could have gone to the grocery store and picked up any number of things that are already done. But this is like a hobby to me. An annual one, but a hobby nonetheless.

Last month while in San Francisco, I made it a point to visit my favorite Daiso store and as I was walking past the aisles of adorable-ness, I spotted a wall of assorted puzzle erasers and piled them in my basket. It just came to me that the kiddos in Penelope’s and Felix’s classes needed these things. And hey, they’re not candy, so my practical mom-self said, “The kids with dietary restrictions will get to enjoy these, too!!”

I found these darling clear plastic pillow boxes at my local packaging supply store (Pak N Wrap), if you’re not in my same area, you can get them on amazon right here

They’re so darling, the temptation to put them in your mouth is real, so I put a little note on the bottom that said, “P.S. This is an eraser.:)” Because heaven forbid a little piece gets lodged somewhere. 

 

My first inclination was to do some fancy-pants lettering like what I did above (I love the snap, so I wanted to throw that in here). But it’s for Kindergarteners and Third graders. They won’t be able to read that, let alone really appreciate it. So I busted out my more casual single-case lettering instead. 

Coming up with something clever to say was just about as stressful as naming a newborn. But instead of something timeless, I wanted it to be clever. Unfortunately, I’m not known for my quick wit. That’s okay. Because this girl can’t be perfect at everything, right? So I phoned it in with a “Hello, adorable”. And I’m happy with it. I wish I had done something a little more fancy and creative with the design of it all, but done is better than perfect any day. 

I didn’t complete these in time for you to use the idea this year, but this could be fun for a little party favor or little gift for future use. I hope you use the idea! Feel free to download the lettering by right-clicking the image below. And you can purchase an adorable assortment of puzzle erasers right here, if you’re like me and don’t have a Daiso store near you. Thanks Amazon!! 

Printable and its contents are free for personal use only. Any alteration or distribution of the file (beyond adding your own text) without permission is prohibited. 

 

Leather-Detail Lightweight Sweater

I’ve had this sweater on the cutting table for months, but I finally finished it! 

I scored this fabric from Girl Charlee a while back.You may notice that you can see a little bit of the buffalo check through the sweater. It’s a great light-weight knit for layering, though!

You might recognize the material  from a sweater I made for Junie a while back. The knit was a little trickier to work with because of the loose knit, but it’s perfectly slouchy and cozy. I brought this on my trip to San Francisco (as evidence by the photos) and it was the perfect extra layer for the chilly weather. 

Sewing details: 

  • I used a large version of the Lane Raglan tee.
  • I modified the pattern to make it longer and added a tunic-style hem with split sides and a longer back panel.
  • I added structure to the shoulders with leather pieces (that was the hardest part because of how structurally different the two materials are)
  • I hemmed the edges with a machine blind hem (using my BabyLock Elizabeth, I just did a zig-zag blind hem), it looks nice and allows for the hem to stretch with the fabric.

Outfit details: 

Huge shout out to Maria Castelli. Everywhere I go, someone asks me where I got my bag. It’s made from the best leather and it’s the perfect size for touring around town or running errands with small kids. It’s perfectly chic and perfectly sturdy. It’s simply fantastic. 

When I opened up the beautifully packaged box when my bag first arrived, I had Chris come in the room to smell the wonderful leather aroma. And gawk with me at the gorgeousness that laid before me. It truly is an incredible purse/backpack in person. 

I took this everywhere with me on our trip; including museums. The straps on the backpack are versatile that you can wear it like a purse or wear it like a backpack! Huge win. If you’re looking for your next everyday bag, get one. You won’t regret it. 


My hair was out of control while in SF. My sister braided it in dutch braids the night before and it held its volume all day. But, let’s be honest. I don’t miss the humidity of the city. Not a bit. ;) But SF is my fave. I wouldn’t mind going back on a monthly basis.

Logo Design for Krisle Photography

You know those times when you mesh perfectly with clients? Like you just get their vibe? This was it. Caitlyn and I had a little bit of back and forth about her style and aesthetic before I set to work on her logo. 

She wanted the lettering to be elegant, but not too elegant. Which is exactly how I roll. Perfect for wedding and lifestyle photography. 

For the design, I made a horizontal version of her logo (see it in action on her website) and a monogram for Instagram, favicon and watermarks.

As far as the process went, I sketched it out beforehand, lettered it on my favorite paper with my go-to markers, scanned and digitized. Want to learn more about the digitization process? I’ll be teaching a digital class at Letter Works this summer!

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