Ever had one of those days where you plan out a fun activity and then you start to collect your supplies and realize you don’t have everything you need? Yeah…I hate that and it happens all the time.
Tissue paper is one of those craft items I am constantly running out of. This easy way to make homemade dyed coffee filters not only provides an affordable alternative, but they are also an awesome way to teach kids concepts such as color mixing and absorbency.
The only two items needed to do this are food dye (or kool-aide) and coffee filters. I personally use coffee filters from Oriental Trading because they are ginormous, but any size coffee filter will work. The heavier (or thicker) the coffee filter is, the longer it will take to dry.
Start out by using a liberal amount of food dye. The more food dye you use, the darker the paper will turn out.
Add between 1/2 cup to 1 cup of water. Temperature does not matter. It will get messy and it will splatter everywhere so…be prepared for mess. I only do primary colors when making these, this way the kids can combine and create their own colors.
The next step is the fun part. Bunch the coffee filter into a cylinder like shape and put the tip of the coffee filter into the colored water. The coffee filter will absorb the water upwards. This trick amazes the kids every time we do it!
Once it gets up to the circle press the coffee filter down into the colored water and let it sit there for a bit. Take it out, squeeze off excess and set it out to dry. If you plan on air drying it, it will take a couple of hours depending on the humidity and thickness of the coffee filter.
I may have a lot of patience in other areas of my life, but waiting for things to dry is not one of those areas. So…I pull out the blow dryer, set it on the coolest setting, and let the kids blow the paper around. This in itself can provide at least a solid hour of entertainment and discussion!