Crafting with coffee

Play dough, lanterns, treasure maps, and more… If you are seeking new ways to entertain your hands and imagination, look no further than your morning pot of coffee. Child-friendly (mostly), shelter-in-place mess-minimized, and fun, these DIY coffee crafts will keep you and yours purposefully engaged for hours.

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Coffee grounds play dough

Make your own eco-friendly coffee grounds play dough using coffee grounds, flour, salt, olive oil, and water. Organic and biodegradable, this earth-toned play dough can be sculpted into a wide array of fun shapes to play with and / or to decorate your home and garden. As an added bonus, coffee is known to repel carpenter ants and slugs.

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Filter flowers

With Easter right around the corner what could be lovelier than a basket made of coffee filter paper flower origami. New or used coffee filters can be transformed in their natural shade, painted, or dyed to create a range of wonderful flower designs. With 46 fabulous ideas, making these lovely flower creations can keep children (and adults) entertained for hours.

Antique-styled treasure maps

For the adventurists among us, what could be more fitting and fun than creating a treasure map. To create faux-antique treasure map paper using coffee, simply paint over a piece of white or brown paper, linen, or brown paper bag. Apply the coffee to the paper using a paintbrush, sponge, or combination to produce variation in the paper. When you are finished antiquing the paper, let it dry completely before you start mapping. If you enjoy a coffee-on-coffee design, try using coffee paint and grounds to chart out your map.

Coffee paint

Brewed coffee makes a wonderful natural paint. Starting with heavy brewed coffee as your “dark tone” base, pour this coffee into multiple cups and add varying amounts of water to those cups to create a range of coffee color tones. You can also try dipping your brush directly into moist coffee grounds if you desire a deep, dark, grainy brown. For more on painting with coffee, click here.

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Coffee can lanterns

By far the most difficult of our DIY coffee crafts, coffee can lanterns have the mark of a master craftsman. Thankfully, they look significantly harder than they are to make! To create your own lantern, you will need a coffee can(s), a ball-peen hammer, clamps, nails, screws, and votives. These elegant, eclectic lanterns are very durable, add a touch of exotic elegance to your backyard, and make wonderful gifts. For complete instructions click here.

Please let us know if you make any of these coffee craft creations or if you find a unique way of using them together — perhaps creating a treasure map with play dough creatures as markers that leads to a lovely coffee filter paper flower basket. For more DIY coffee crafts, please visit the following blog entries.

Eight-minute Melt & Pour holiday coffee soap

Upcycle your coffee grounds into a homemade coffee cup candle

Create your own rejuvenating face, hair, and body coffee scrubs!

Upcycle your coffee grounds into a homemade pin cushion

Upcycle your coffee grounds into a homemade fire-starter

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