This year, I’m drawn to cozy natural decorations with a hit of glitz. The combo feels very Northern California to me: we’re normally a low-key bunch, but we’re all adding some sparkle for the holidays.
I made these with natural basket-style coffee filters, dip-dyed in food coloring and gold paint. These are so simple to make and I keep moving them around – one day they’re perched horizontally on the mantle, and the next they’re dangling from a window with the fat, ruffled filters looking like rosettes.
It couldn’t be easier:
1. Dilute 8-10 drops of food coloring into a bowl and add a couple tablespoons of water. The colors will dry much lighter than they appear wet, so I kept the concentration of the coloring pretty strong. Take a coffee filter and fold in half, then in half again. Dip the ruffled edges in food coloring and repeat with additional filters, setting them on newspapers to dry. For the gold-edged filters, I painted gold paint on the bottom inch of the filters.
2. Once filters are dry, assemble the “rosettes” by placing three filters (still folded into quarters) in a circular pattern. Secure each folded edges to the one above it with a glue dot. Next, pinch the centers and arrange the filters in a fan shape. Punch a hole through the bottom.
3. Using paper-wrapped floral wire, run the wire though the hole and tie to secure. Add pine needles and other decorations by wrapping the ends with wire. Repeat to build your garland.
4. Now, here’s the secret to getting the filters to fluff up into fat, ruffled goodness instead of hanging flat and limp: as you open the layers, place miniature glue dots liberally in between the layers to hold them open.
And there you have it, my humble coffee filters, snazzed up for the holidays. The dip-dye gives a lovely, soft watercolor effect and the gold adds a faint whiff of glam. Which way do you prefer – suspended from the window, or draped across the mantle?