Saturday, April 10, 2010

Coffee Couture How To

To me coffee has always been more than a drink; it is my life’s blood. It fuels my mornings, afternoons, garden and now my favorite hobby, crafting. A graphic designer by day, I spend evenings in my craft room, fueled by—you guessed it—coffee and artistic passion while creating anything from purses and clothes to jewelry. Lately I have been making hair accessories from a variety of materials including hand-sewn fabric flowers, using re-purposed clothing.

One day, I was sewing my flowers, drinking the java, when inspiration struck. Technically it hit while I was cleaning the coffee pot, but who’s counting? Coffee is almost the perfect waste-less product. I drink the actual beverage, repurpose the container to hold my art supplies and sprinkle the grounds in my garden. The snag has always been the filter, and the sheer amount I go through to feed my addiction was starting to bug me.

So, that inspired day, I was dumping the grounds in the garden when I stopped to consider the filter and how it was constructed. It was sturdier, yet had more give than regular paper, almost like a stiff gauze. Thinking I could reuse filters to create flowers similar to my fabric ones, I laid it on the counter to dry overnight. The next day, I had a crinkly scrap with an aged appearance that I knew would work well for what I had in mind. So over the next week, my coworkers and I drank vast amounts of coffee so I could save the fluted filters. Once I had enough, I worked on my flower prototype. I was very pleased with the resulting product, especially the color and texture of the dried filters. The original flower I created functions as a brooch but it would also make a nice gift topper instead of a traditional bow.

Tools & Materials

* Nine fluted coffee filters, used, with grounds discarded
* Ruler
* Decorative scrapbooking scissors, with scalloped edge
* Sewing needle and cream-colored thread
* One large button
* Hot glue gun
* Square of felt (enough to make a circle, 3” in diameter)
* Jewelry pin of your choice


1. After brewing a pot of coffee, remove the filter and gently clean away coffee grounds.* Lay filter on a flat surface to dry. Repeat until recommended quantity is achieved.
2. Fold filters in half. On five of the filters, mark a spot 2.75” from the center of folded edge of the filter using a ruler. On the remaining four filters, mark a spot 2” from the center folded edge.

3. Using the scalloped scissors, cut the folded filters into semicircles, using the marks as a guide. Leave the filters folded (fig. 3).

4. Along the folded edge of each of the larger (2.75”) cut filters, use a gathering stitch to string all four into a long line.

5. Pull the string, scrunching the filters into petals. (see fig. 5a) Bring the string full circle, stitching both ends together and tie off. Repeat using the remaining five 2” semicircles.

6. Cut a piece of felt into a circle, 3” in diameter and attach pin to felt with hot glue.

7. Use the hot glue gun to adhere the felt to the back of the larger ring of petals.

8. Take the smaller petal ring and carefully glue it to the top of the larger flower base.

9. Glue a large button to the center to finish.

Post written by DesignByNight


considerthelillies said...

wow! great idea! that is what you call a "green" craft!

Yummy and Company said...