At some point, my Pinterest feed started to sprinkle in various ideas for coffee filters. I thought that seemed like a fun thing to do and relatively inexpensive so I started to look into what I wanted to do with them. Eventually I realized I wanted them to somehow be scaling the wall in some way, and that they'd be going over my bed. That was basically the gist of the pre-planning. Fortunately my friend INNA was game, and we set out to dye the filters and create a glitter-filled, burlap-infused headboard.
You really don't need that much for this, but the materials are as follows:
*Tea (we chose black tea)
*Regular Picture Framing Wire
*Gold Leaf or Acrylic Paint
*Various decorative accents of choice
The first step is to boil the tea. We accidentally used K-cup black tea, but it still worked. It just had little pellets in it, which I actually really liked. They wound up getting embedded in the filters, and it looked very textured. After you boil the tea, dump it in a bowl where you can let the filters absorb it. The longer you leave them in, the darker they'll get. We had 3 different sets, to create the ombre. Once they're done soaking, squeeze out the tea and set them on baking pans.
Once the filters are on baking pans, you're going to place them in the oven for about 5 minutes. DO NOT leave the kitchen, as you are essentially putting paper into an oven. If you forget about them, you could be in trouble if you're picking up what I'm putting down. Find something to occupy your time. Inna and I made fake dating profiles or something of the like, I have no idea. But camp out, and find something fun to do for a little bit while you dry out your filters. When they come out, they will be a nice crispy texture that can be molded into a bunch of different shapes. Sometimes, you'll even get a little singe on some of the edges which I think looks really cool.
When I decided on the shape I wanted to make with the filters, I wound up with flowers. I'm not particularly a lady's lady, but it seemed like a visually appealing choice. To do this, we would take two filters, and lay one on top of the other. Using about a hand's width of wire, the two would be connected as follows:
*Take your strip of wire, and curl one end over to create a larger wired loop that won't slip through the filters.
*Pierce both filters with the open end of the wire and pull the wire all the way though until it pulls taught.
Now you want to start bunching up the filters like you did in 2nd grade art class. It's easy-peasy and they look good regardless of how you scrunch them together. Once you've scrunched the two pieces into a shape you like, wind a portion of the remaining wire around the stem on the bottom to maintain the flower shape. You're making paper flowers! Hurray! Now keep going and make about 50 :) Grab some friends to help you!
Alright. The next step can be a little trickery. I initially started out with a diagonal look, which ultimately changed but the point is the same. I picked up about a 3x4 feet piece of chicken wire. I love chicken wire, it works for so many things. To attach it to the wall some people use staple guns but I really don't like using them on walls. Especially old Boston walls. So I used a technique where I'd hammer in about 6 nails total, and in each case the nail would be hammered in straight until it was halfway in the wall. Then, I'd hammer it down sideways creating a binding for the wire once the nail lined flush with the wall. Practice this before trying to get the chicken wire on the wall, it can easily go awry.
The good news is, once the wire's up it's all gravy from there. The next thing I did was to start unrolling my big bunch of burlap. Burlap is the best, I'm a big fan. It makes anything look shabby chic in an instant and almost begs to be left ragged and unruly. Big, big fan. Anyways, you're going to roll out your burlap strips and take your regular picture framing wire, and just feed it right through, looping it onto the chicken wire behind the burlap. It takes about 4 loops per strip, but it's much more time intensive than it is difficult.
After your burlap is laid down, you're going to want to start adding your coffee filter flowers. I decided to go from dark to light and do a zig-zag pattern since I knew I was adding decorative pops later on. You add the coffee filter flowers just by taking the piece of wire that is coming out the back and feeding it right through the burlap. They're all so light it's hardly pulling at all and it's very easy. Feed the wire back through and just loop it around the back. Tada!
Then comes the fun part. I went to Michael's and found a bunch of clearance Christmas decorations that were completely fabulous and got glitter all over me. But it was great. I grabbed a bunch of golden branches and white snow-touched twig-things (that's the technical name). I pieced them as accents amongst the filters. Some I had to add wire support to but some at the very top just slipped very nicely right into the chicken wire.
And the final touch, which is totally up to you, is adding gold leaf to the tips of the filters. I wanted there to be some differentiation between all the shapes, and thought gold leaf would be a nice accent. Now, word to the wise- you can just as easily add a metallic acrylic to the same effect. I probably should have in hindsight because gold leaf is quite potent. It's a chemical that can be as strong as spray paint. Mine turned out so stinky I had to sleep on the couch the first night after cracking the window in 20 degree weather. But to each their own. If you want to use acrylic, knock yourself out. I almost did using the gold leaf. But I digress.
Hopefully you enjoyed this little DIY, it was a lot of fun to make. I love the borderline bombastic nature of it, and think it looks really cool above the bed