Coffee Filter Art

Coffee Filter Art

Stuck at home and feeling the urge to be creative? In this activity, we use four simple items that you most likely have at home. Coffee filters become our canvas! The combination of marker ink and water create a watercolor-like effect. To take this project one step further, see our ideas down below!

Round coffee filters
Washable markers (Crayola works best)
Spray bottle
Tray or protected surface

Step 1: Protect your surface. (We suggest using wax paper or a flat plastic surface)

Step 2: Flatten one coffee filter onto the protected surface.

Step 3: Use washable markers to draw on the coffee filter. Make any design you want!

Step 4: Using a spray bottle filled with water, gently mist the coffee filter. Watch as the marker ink diffuses and mixes throughout the coffee filter.

Step 5: Remove and allow to dry. Wipe down your surface with a paper towel and try again!

Ideas to take your coffee filter art to the next level:

1. Fold your coffee filter in half and half again, then use scissors to cut out small notches. Unfold and marvel at your multicolored coffee filter snowflake.

2. Gather a handful of your ‘painted’ filters and tie them together with a pipe cleaner to form a flower!

3. Use pipe cleaners to pinch the coffee filters together to create butterflies.

4. Create a print! Place a piece of cardstock or watercolor paper under your coffee filter before spraying it with water. Remove the coffee filter either when wet or dry and then separate the two. Do this several times on the same piece of paper for a fun multilayered print!

Learning and Discussion Questions:

1. Experiment with color mixing and limit the colors on each filter to red, yellow, and blue. What happens when you mix red and yellow? Blue and red? Blue and yellow?

2. This project uses the scientific principle of diffusion. Diffusion is the movement of a fluid from an area of higher concentration to an area of lower concentration. Watch these videos to learn more about diffusion:


Thank you to our sponsor, PNC Arts Alive!, for helping to make this video possible!

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