Springtime Coffee Filter Art


With some leftover coffee filters in our craft bin, Veronika was able to make two lovely crafts today, both of which felt just right for springtime!

The first was a riff on classic butterfly art. Big brother Travis recently made a version involving lots of fine motor skills… All well and good for big kids, but I kept this toddler version simpler. First, Veronika covered the white filters with dot markers. Dot dot dot!

Once they were mostly covered, I handed over a spritz bottle for her favorite part. Veronika loved spritzing and watching the colors run together. Make sure to saturate completely, then set aside to dry.

Meanwhile, we painted old-fashioned clothespins for the butterfly bodies. I thought purple and yellow would be nice springtime colors, but hadn’t bargained on her mixing them together. The color ended up a bit muddied, as a result, but they were still pretty. Set those aside to dry as well.

To assemble, carefully slide a coffee filter onto each clothespin, scrunching as you go, then fan out the wings. What a pretty flutter of butterflies!

The second project was a bit more involved: coffee filter flowers! This time, we started with spin art, an old favorite. Place one filter in the bottom of a salad spinner and dribble a little paint on with a plastic spoon. We used a mix of purple, pink, and red paints.

Close the lid and let the spinner spin! Veronika loved being charge of making the spinner go and then stop with the brake button.

Lift up for the lovely reveal! We repeated to make four flowers, then set these aside to dry.

To help mold them into the shape of flower petals, we used this neat trick from Hands on as We Grow: press each filter over an empty soda can, then spray with liquid starch. Although not an item I’d normally use for a craft, it worked quite nicely.

Let dry, then glue down onto a construction paper background. We painted craft sticks green for flower stems and added a few green button leaves and a pom pom in the center of each.

April showers brought May flowers!

Paint Pen

Veronika loves the way dot markers fit into her hand, but sometimes grows frustrated when she wants to sweep them across paper (more like a brush) than dot them. Here’s a quick hack for a “paint pen” to use instead, based on a suggestion from the Toddler’s Busy Book.

The book actually suggests prying the top off an empty roll-on deodorant tube, and filling it with paint that can be squeezed out. Our version was a little simpler. Instead, I set out thick white paper and a few paper plates filled with paint, then gave Veronika the empty deodorant tube. All she had to do was dip and roll!

She liked that she could make fun lines with this, and she also loved mixing colors by dipping the tip in several different paint plates before rolling across the paper.

And wouldn’t you know, after all that the kids decided to finish off these paintings with dots from actual dot markers! All in all, this was a novel suggestion with a pretty result.