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Fun with Water and Colors = Coffee Filter Art


e love messy art projects like playing with water and art supplies. Using water-based inks and paints can be lots of fun, especially with a medium like coffee paper that allows the colors to run.


Here are two techniques to use on coffee paper that can bring about some great patterns, while having some fun getting messy!

Coffee Paper Art - the Basics

Using Color Swell washable markers or watercolor paints, you can add water after drawing or scribbling a pattern to blend it all together. Wax crayons, pencils and acrylic paints are not water soluble and will not work, neither will permanent markers.

Coffee paper comes in a range of colors, including a beige, unbleached white, and the classic pure white. It is easy and fun to play around and see what you can do with the different types of coffee paper.


Always use a liner (such as several sheets of newspaper or placemats) on the table to prevent the colors from staining the table. This project is all about making ink run - something you generally try to prevent in other projects.

A final thing to note with these techniques is that you do not need too much water. 

Coffee Paper Tie Dye

Put the patterns on the coffee paper. We recommend uses colors that are next to one another on the color wheel for the best results.

Be efficient with your coloring, perhaps just coloring the middle of the paper and around the edge.

Next, fold the paper in half and half again so you have a wedge shape. Put the point (center of the paper) under a faucet and lightly wet the paper. Now squeeze the water through and get the colors to mix on the paper. When this is done, let it dry on a sunny windowsill or radiator.

Once dry you can appreciate the patterns!

Spray Bottle Blending

This is a simpler technique where you can draw patterns on the coffee paper and then you dampen the paper with a couple of sprays with a spray bottle. Let the colors blend and then dry on a heater or a sunny windowsill.

What can you do with the results?

Using these simple techniques you can make things like a turkey or a peacock. Just add craft paper and stick-on googly eyes.

Quality Art Supplies from Color Swell 

Look at our selection of Color Swell washable markers and watercolor paints to use for your next coffee paper art project.