With Remembrance Day on Sunday, I decided to have a go this week at making poppies, using coffee filters to create simple yet beautiful oversized blooms in commemoration. Here they are…
To make these, I took a pack of coffee filters and separated them into little clumps of 3 or 4, then filled a shallow bowl with around 1cm of water, adding bright red food dye. Make the concentration quite high for a really vibrant colour. Place the stack of filters upside down into the bowl and within seconds they will soak up the colour and turn red. Lift them out, tip the water away and turn them upside down to dry, squishing them together to help them hold their shape (when they get very wet, they want to collapse and lie flat; keep them standing tall!). I placed mine in a very low-heat oven to dry out for ten minutes, but leaving on a counter-top overnight would work equally well.
When they’re completely dry, dip a wet brush into a pot of black food colouring and then touch it in the centre of each flower bundle; this will give you a spreading, fibrous black circle to mimic the heart of a poppy. Leave to dry, at which time you can add further finishing touches and definition with your paintbrush. (Perhaps needless to say; by this point I was covered in red and black food dye and wielding wet coffee filters and loaded paintbrushes, so this stage goes visually unrecorded..)
As these were commemorative poppies rather than just pretty flowers, I decided to stitch a military button at the centre of each of mine (leftover from this project)
When you’ve made your poppies, a few ideas..
- Attach a pin to the back and wear as a brooch, with a simple dark top; vibrant and head-turning
- Wire them to faux stems (or even real bushes and plants) and place them outdoors this weekend
- Thread them into a wreath, either using a wreath form or stiff wire
- Gather them into a simple bowl and set them in the middle of the table
- Thread onto string to make a garland for a window-frame or mantel
p.s. Remember the utterly mesmerising sea of poppies at the Tower of London in 2014?