A Morris-Wood Wedding : DIY Coffee Filter Flower Lanterns

Thursday 10 March 2016

Yep, that's right, yet more awesome stuff you can make with coffee filters! They are so handy and versatile. So far we've made roses and carnations with them, and today I'm sharing how to make flower lanterns with them. So let's get to it!

First up, gather your supplies. You need a hot glue gun with glue sticks, bleached white round coffee filters, acrylic paint, water, plastic bowls, paint brushes, a paint tray and paper lanterns. You can get different sizes of paper lanterns super cheap on eBay, for this tutorial we used a 10 inch one. They end up much bigger than they start out, so be sure to bear that in mind.

I'm also going to pop a TRIGGER WARNING up here for anyone with TRYOHOBIA. The shapes you make in this made me feel really uncomfortable and made my skin crawl, so I just want to give you guys the heads up!

Preparation is your friend! The first step is to dye all the coffee filters to the colour you want. We mixed about a tablespoon's worth of acrylic pain with water to get the colour we wanted. Then dunk the coffee filters in, you can do a good pile together.

Then the next step is to tip the edges of the filters in a darker shade, or a different colour entirely if you prefer.

Make a taco shape and using the undiluted paint cover the edges of the filters. You can be as careful, or not as you like, depending on how you want these to turn out.

Again, you can do this with a good pile. You then need to leave them to dry. You can either leave them overnight, or for a quicker result, blast them in a fan oven at 160 degrees. Do not leave them unattended in an oven. While coffee filters are designed to withstand heat, no one needs a paper fire!

Once dry, separate all the filters into singles and you are ready to start making the actual lanterns.

Next you need your paper lantern. I would recommend using a colour that is similar to the dyed coffee filter if possible, that way if there is any movement or any gaps they are less obvious. They come flat with a wire frame to prop them open.

Open up your lantern carefully, they are paper so can rip easily. It isn't the biggest deal if they do, so long as the actual structure of the lantern isn't weakened. If you do accidentally tear it, patch it over with one of your coffee filters to keep the surface flat.

The wire frame fits into the top and bottom of the lantern to keep it open, and also to allow you to hang them.

Ta Da! We didn't tear this one. We maybe did others....

Next you need your glue gun! We used a hot glue gun. The coffee filter withstand the heat just fine and it worked really well. You need a dot in the middle of the filter, so you can fold stick another filter on top of it.

Then fold in half like a taco.

And in half again.

You need to glue the bottom corner of the cone shape to get the right shape for the next bit,

So it'll look like this and is ready to glue to the lantern.

Pop a bit of glue in the bottom corner of the cone shape.

And starting from the top of the lantern, stick the cone so it lies flat against it with the widest part at the bottom.

It should look like this!

You are now going to repeat this around the whole top section of the lantern.

The second layer needs tucking just under the first layer, but it should be glued in the middle of the upper so that they overlap.

Once the entire lantern is covered it should look like this from the side.

And this from the bottom. Don't worry about the hole in the bottom, you won't be able to see it once we are done.

Now the unfolding process begins! One at a time, take the cone shape and fold it back out into the taco shape.

And scrunch! You can be as enthusiastic as you like.

Do each layer individually to get optimum scrunchiness and fullness.

We found it easiest to work layer by layer to make sure we didn't miss any.

You may find that once you've scrunched all the coffee filters that there are gaps. If there is, it's an easy fix! Just make another cone shape, glue it into the gap and scrunch away. We checked the whole outside of the lantern from different angles to make sure we were happy with how full it was.

And here it is! We tied some silver ribbon to the internal cage so that we could hang the lantern easily.

We also plan to add some glitter to these to really make them cute, like the other flowers we have made for the wedding. You could do these in rainbow colours, how fun would that be!

Let me know if you make these, I'd love to see how yours come out.

Much love,
Kitty xxxx


  1. These are such a clever idea I can't believe you made them x

    1. thanks lovely! I have to admit, it was all my Mum's idea for these! x

  2. Wow this is so affective and it looks SO NICE! I can imagine this with glitter glue or some cute little rhinestones... your wedding is going to look so super cute with all these personal touches!

    Lottie xx

    1. thanks sweet! I have glitter spray to cover them in now :D xxx

  3. Oh my god you are such a creative wizard I love it! I want to make them for my house (won't wait for my wedding could be a long while Haha)

    1. thanks lovely! I'm making bloody loads so if you want any I am sure I will have some spare after!

  4. Kitty I bloody love this idea!! I've seen so many amazing handmade wedding crafts lately that it's making me want to go back and do my wedding over!
    I can't wait to see your wedding pics X

    1. thanks sweet! :D I'm so excited about it! Maybe a vow renewal is in order :P x

  5. These are SO cute! I don't know if I would have the patience to make them though lol xxx

    1. thanks lovely! These certainly take a bit of time, but we've saved SO much money it's worth it! xxx

  6. What a brilliant idea! It looks really amazing :)