Liquid Watercolor Coffee Filter Pumpkins

Liquid Watercolor Coffee Filter Pumpkin Sun Catcher
Liquid Watercolor Coffee Filter Pumpkin Sun Catcher

I’ve been wanting to do something festive for the fall season. Originally I was thinking that we could make the pumpkins in to Jack-O-Lanterns by cutting faces on them, but then decided against it since Sophia’s scissor skills aren’t up to that task yet.

What you will need:

  • Liquid watercolors (can be replaced with food coloring)
  • Cups for your watercolors
  • Pipettes (you can get ones from your pharmacy)
  • Coffee filters
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Wet wipes (for clean up)
  • Baking sheet
  • Cling wrap
  • Oven (not necessary)
Liquid Watercolors
Liquid Watercolors

Set up: Place a cling wrap on your baking sheet.

I chose to use red, orange, yellow, and brown liquid watercolors for our pumpkins. For each of the colors in a cup I put about a 1/4 inch of water and added a bit of the watercolor in.

So excited!
So excited!

First I sketched a pumpkin shape in pencil on to a filter that I wanted to use as a template. Cut out several filter pumpkins at the same time to with the template until you have cut out as many as you want to make. Place pumpkins on top of the cling wrap on the baking sheets. I put 2 pumpkins on top of each other (one pile had 3, we made sure to put extra paint on that one) since I only had 2 baking sheets to use and didn’t want to try to transfer wet filters.

Painting away
Painting away

I found these spill proof paint cups on Walmart.com and Iā€™m happy to say they worked great. I love that they come with lids so you can store paint in them as well.

Fun squirting paint
Fun squirting paint

Let your child explore and mix colors to their hearts content.

Fun mixing colors
Fun mixing colors
Wet Painted Pumpkins
Wet Painted Pumpkins

The colors will be more vibrant when wet. You want to make sure there is plenty of paint on the filters unless you are looking to have very muted colors.

All painted!
All painted!

I placed the pumpkins in the oven to dry, with just the oven light turned on for a small source of heat. I wanted the end results to be as vibrant in color as possible, so I wanted all the paint to dry on to the coffee filters. It took about 5 hours for the hearts to fully dry.

TIP: You can remove the pumpkins off the cookie sheets and set to dry on a dry surface. Note that the colors will not be as bright if you do this though.

Drying out in the oven with the light on
Drying out in the oven with the light on

Once the filters have dried you can tape them on to a window and the sun will light them up beautifully.

Liquid Watercolor Coffee Filter Pumpkins Ready to Hang Up
Liquid Watercolor Coffee Filter Pumpkins Ready to Hang Up
Liquid Watercolor Coffee Filter Pumpkin Sun Catcher
Liquid Watercolor Coffee Filter Pumpkin Sun Catcher

Primary color mixing experiment with coffee filter snowflakes and heart-flakes

I love the color wheel and love seeing what colors you get from mixing paints. This was the perfect project to let Sophia experience the wonder.

Finished snowflakes
Finished snowflakes

This is a project I’ve been dying to try out with the liquid watercolors… you can substitute food coloring or even cake watercolors (you would need paint brushes for this option).

What you will need:

  • Liquid watercolors/food coloring
  • Cups for your watercolors
  • Pipettes
  • Coffee filters
  • Scissors
  • Wet wipes (for clean up)
  • Baking sheet
  • Tinfoil
  • Oven (not necessary)
Heart-flakes and snowflakes cut out
Heart-flakes and snowflakes cut out

Flatten, fold and cut out your snowflakes to your liking from the coffee filters.

I cut out 3 filters on top of each other in the heart shape and 4 together on the snow flake. For painting them I placed them on the baking pan 2 on top of each other (I didn’t think Sophia would have the patience to repeat the process 7 times and 4 seemed just right). One of the heart ones was on the pan singly (for the math minded šŸ˜‰ )

Ready to experiment with primary colors
Ready to experiment with primary colors

I diluted the liquid watercolors quite a bit. I put about a 1/4 inch of water on the bottom of the cups and then added the paint to my liking.

Below is a time lapse video of Sophia having fun squirting and mixing the paints together.

So much fun mixing colors
So much fun mixing colors

All done with the first set.

Snowflakes ready to dry
Snowflakes ready to dry

The second set got more brown as she liked putting all the paint in one spot.

Heart-flakes ready to dry
Heart-flakes ready to dry
Drying in the oven with the light on for heat
Drying in the oven with the light on for heat

I placed them in the oven to dry, with just the oven light turned on for a small source of heat. I wanted the end results to be as vibrant in color as possible, so I wanted all the paint to dry on to the coffee filters. It took about 5 hours for the hearts to fully dry.

TIP: You can remove the snowflakes off the cookie sheets and set to dry on a dry surface. Note that the colors will not be as bright if you do this though.

The colors dry a lot lighter
The colors dry a lot lighter

It’s crazy how much less vibrant the colors are after they dry.

TIP: If you want to get some of the wrinkles out, place them in side a book. Each snowflake on their own separate page and then place a weight (or more books on top). Let sit over night.

Love how these snowflakes turned out
Love how these snowflakes turned out

Once dry they are ready to tape to your windows.

My favorite one
My favorite one
Snowflake and heart-flake in the window
Snowflake and heart-flake in the window