I love making something beautiful out of 'garbage' or something unexpected and/or mundane. This is how I live green... which in my mind makes me equal to all the 'green' celebrities out there that are driving Prius'. If you are wanting to make this project even more eco-friendly, you can use those tan colored recycled coffee filters. I wish I could say this was my reason for using them in this project along with the white ones, but it was more about the visual effect and less about my carbon footprint...I do drive a big SUV after all, so there is no sense in trying to fool anyone out there! Back to the flowers now... these are so incredibly versatile and look like those overpriced ones you see in stationary, home decor, and other types of cute little boutiques. I think these would look fab organized in a tightly snug group and framed in a restored vintage frame!
If you're anything like me, you'll start this project, get overly excited about the turnout of your first one because it looks so darn cute and professional.. then have some coffee (sparring one of the filters of course), which leads to you staying up all night making so many of these little babies and thinking up the million and a half ways you can use them and the millions of dollars you are going to make selling them! Don't worry if this happens to you, you'll tire of the flowers within a few days after you have made soo many you could vomit..then it will be on to the next fun thing!
I got this amazing tutorial from an adorable Polish blog (http://kuchnia-pelna-cudow.blogspot.com), which is written in all Polish of course. I don't speak Polish and it's a fair guess to say that the majority of you don't either, so i've done all the translating here for you on how I made these, and have pics to go along with it (I am totally a visual learner, I hope you are too)!
Coffee Filter Roses:
*You can use both the bleached or natural filters for this project, the bleached ones are best for soft pastel roses, the natural work well for a more aged (antiqued) looking flower.
1. Cut the seam off the filters so that it opens up wide, exposing both the front and the back of the original filter at one time horizontally. You can cut one spiral out of this or 2 depending on the size of the flower.
2. Cut one or 2 (one for average flower size, 2 for smaller) spirals out of the filter. The lines on the spiral should be 1-1.5" wide.
3. Spray the filter with water (this will allow the color you are about to apply next to penetrate the filter and 'bleed" for a natural dye effect).
4. You can use a variety of inking, paingting, etc. methods for this step. If you have an ink pad on hand, take a small spounge with ink from the pad on it and apply it to the spiraled filter in a random pattern, completely covering the entire thing with the ink. With paint, you can apply it with a small folded paper towell, paint or spounge brush, or whatever you see fit. Just as long as you use a dabbing method with any paint or ink and tool to which you choose to apply it with.
I suggest adding a darker shade of the main color you use, in some areas in the spiral. This gives it more depth and realistic appearance.
5. Allow the filter spiral to dry completely. This can be done in nature's timing by not tampering with it at all, or you can speed the process along with a hair dryer or fan.
6. Now you will begin to wrap and form the rose. I like to use pliers to hold the center of it secure, this can also be done with tweezers I suppose.
7. Do not spiral this too tight as you go around, be sure to do it fairly loosly. You will begin the spiral (which will eventually be the center of the rose) in a much tighter twist, than you will end it. be sure that as you spiral your make it looser and looser with ever 2-3 twists. Ater every coulple turns (full spirals), pause to arrange the "petals" of the flower to look as they should. This is where you will form it as best you can. You can adjust it in the end to your liking, but it's best (easiest) when done along the way.
8. Now that you have fully formed the rose, you need to secure that baby so that all your hard work dosn't come unraveled. Of course my first go-to adhesive and crafty cure-call is hot glue, which is agian what works best on this project as well. Add a little dot of glue to the very end of the spiral which will attack it the flower, then put a big glob (not my fave word...) on the bottom of the flower where you can see the actual coil and raw edges of it. This should seal the deal into place.
IMPORTANT: Do Not despair if your first attempt at this flower was a frustrating flop! You will for sure get better with the next one, and all others after that. It may seem a little annoying doing the wrapping around and forming part of this, but it will for sure feel more natural and simple after your initial attempt (which we applaud you for, new thigs are always fun and worth trying as long as they are healthy and legal). I really doubt that the first time Martha Stewart made an apple pie it turned out as masterful as we see it today online, on TV, or in mags.... for real.
Enjoy the process and the outcome!
*Photos and basic tutorial idea provided by http://kuchnia-pelna-cudow.blogspot.com. La Dolce Villa used a translated version of the instructions to describe the process in their own words.