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Craft a Coffee Filter Mini Album | Tutorial

Updated on September 29, 2014
Coffee Filter Mini Album with Asian Theme
Coffee Filter Mini Album with Asian Theme | Source

Make a Coffee Filter Book with an Asian Theme

This page shows you step by step how to make an Asian themed mini album using coffee filters. The tutorial includes a video as well as pictures and text instructions.

Are you an artsy-craftsy- sort of person who enjoys making clever, artistic projects from household items?

Then here's something for you to try. Find yourself a package of coffee filters, the kind that have three straight sides and one curved side. Bind a few of them together, using any binding method you like, and make a book or mini-album. Then decorate your album any way you want.

I belong to a mixed media swap group called Art for the Creative Mind. A recent swap project was to make an Asian themed book using these coffee filters.

This is mine.

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Photos of the Mini Book's Pages

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Page layout, fanned open. The left side has the silhouette of an Asian dancer. The right side has a Haiku poem that I wrote.Page layout, open. The left side has a stamped image of Asian letters, with an image of an Asian woman glued in place. The right side has a stamped image of a geisha girl, coloured with Copic markers.Back of the book. The pagoda is stamped and heat embossed and coloured with gel markers. I glued a little pink, metallic threat for decoration.Front of book, closed. The dancer is done with iris folding. I added pink cherry blossoms made with vellum and using the Sizzix Thinlit Flowering Quince die. I added a gold charm in the shape of a dragonfly.Page layout, open. Left page has torn papers with Chinese theme. I believe the Chinese use these papers in a ceremonial fashion.  Right side has inches cut from Chinese language newspaper and tinted with dye inks.Page layout, open. Left side has Asian papers and images. Right side has play money with an Asian theme.Page layout, open. Left side has pressed bamboo leaves (picked in Vancouver and dried in the microwave). Right side has image of Asian dancer and Asian lettering and words.Page layout, open. Left side has origami kimono made from Asian paper and trimmed with pink ribbon. Left side has stamped image of bamboo, with photograph of Bamboo Walk taken in Vancouver's Van Dusen Gardens.Book, front view, fanned open.
Page layout, fanned open. The left side has the silhouette of an Asian dancer. The right side has a Haiku poem that I wrote.
Page layout, fanned open. The left side has the silhouette of an Asian dancer. The right side has a Haiku poem that I wrote. | Source
Page layout, open. The left side has a stamped image of Asian letters, with an image of an Asian woman glued in place. The right side has a stamped image of a geisha girl, coloured with Copic markers.
Page layout, open. The left side has a stamped image of Asian letters, with an image of an Asian woman glued in place. The right side has a stamped image of a geisha girl, coloured with Copic markers. | Source
Back of the book. The pagoda is stamped and heat embossed and coloured with gel markers. I glued a little pink, metallic threat for decoration.
Back of the book. The pagoda is stamped and heat embossed and coloured with gel markers. I glued a little pink, metallic threat for decoration. | Source
Front of book, closed. The dancer is done with iris folding. I added pink cherry blossoms made with vellum and using the Sizzix Thinlit Flowering Quince die. I added a gold charm in the shape of a dragonfly.
Front of book, closed. The dancer is done with iris folding. I added pink cherry blossoms made with vellum and using the Sizzix Thinlit Flowering Quince die. I added a gold charm in the shape of a dragonfly. | Source
Page layout, open. Left page has torn papers with Chinese theme. I believe the Chinese use these papers in a ceremonial fashion.  Right side has inches cut from Chinese language newspaper and tinted with dye inks.
Page layout, open. Left page has torn papers with Chinese theme. I believe the Chinese use these papers in a ceremonial fashion. Right side has inches cut from Chinese language newspaper and tinted with dye inks. | Source
Page layout, open. Left side has Asian papers and images. Right side has play money with an Asian theme.
Page layout, open. Left side has Asian papers and images. Right side has play money with an Asian theme. | Source
Page layout, open. Left side has pressed bamboo leaves (picked in Vancouver and dried in the microwave). Right side has image of Asian dancer and Asian lettering and words.
Page layout, open. Left side has pressed bamboo leaves (picked in Vancouver and dried in the microwave). Right side has image of Asian dancer and Asian lettering and words. | Source
Page layout, open. Left side has origami kimono made from Asian paper and trimmed with pink ribbon. Left side has stamped image of bamboo, with photograph of Bamboo Walk taken in Vancouver's Van Dusen Gardens.
Page layout, open. Left side has origami kimono made from Asian paper and trimmed with pink ribbon. Left side has stamped image of bamboo, with photograph of Bamboo Walk taken in Vancouver's Van Dusen Gardens. | Source
Book, front view, fanned open.
Book, front view, fanned open. | Source
Coffee Filter
Coffee Filter | Source

Choosing Your Coffee Filters

This is a picture of the coffee filters that I used. Any coffee filter that is flat would work for this.

Each filter represents a page, so use as many filters as you want pages. I used seven pages.

Each filter has a pocket in it, which you can fill with goodies if you wish. Alternatively, you could glue the pockets shut.

For covers, I used light book board and cut two pieces of book board using the same shape as the coffee filter.

If book board is not available, you can use chipboard or cardboard cut from cereal boxes or pizza boxes.

Video Demo of the Coffee Filter Mini Book

Steps to Complete the Book

To make this book, I followed these steps:

1. I traced and cut out two covers using the coffee filters as a template and using light weight book board for the covers.

2. I coated the edges of the covers with Inka Gold.

3. I used the coffee filters as templates to cut out scrapbook paper that I used to cover both sides of the filters.

4. I glued the scrapbook papers in place, covering both filters and book board covers.

5. I left one filter uncovered. I stamped one side of it with green ink and a bamboo stamp. I ran this through the Xyron to apply adhesive to the unstamped side. I laid dried bamboo shoots on the adhesive and then covered with acetate cut from a page protector.

6. I decorated the pages and the covers using an array of items. See the photos below for images of each page.

7. I arranged the pages in the preferred order, then bound the book using string and chopsticks. Refer to the section on binding that appears below.

8. I added finishing touches and assembled a collection of items that I will tuck in the "page pockets" before sending this book to the swap recipient.


Please refer to the links on the right side. These links take you to demonstrations, tutorials and product overviews that you may find helpful in constructing your book.

Photo of Asian Mini Book Fanned Open

Coffee Filter Book Fanned Open
Coffee Filter Book Fanned Open | Source

How to Bind the Book

By binding as I did, using string and chopsticks, you can fan your book open. It resembles a real fan.

You will need:

  1. household string
  2. wooden chopsticks
  3. a hole puncher
  4. Optionally, you may want a large needle to manage the string.

Align the covers and the pages. Make a small pencil mark where you want each hole to be. Refer to picture above for positioning.

When your holes are marked, use a hole puncher, and make holes through each page and cover. The holes should be large enough to allow you to thread the string through each hole a couple of times.

Wind the string through the holes a few times to bind. Position the chopsticks along the spine. Place one chopstick pointing down and the other pointing up. Wind the string around the chopsticks a few times, run it back through the punched holes and tie it off.

Zip Dry Paper Glue *Fast Drying* Acid & Lignin Free!
Zip Dry Paper Glue *Fast Drying* Acid & Lignin Free!

I use Zip Dry glue almost exclusively. It will glue anything to anything. This stuff is TOUGH! Even better, you have a window of opportunity to reposition in case you made a mistake, and it dries clear.

 

Supply List

This list gives you the basic supplies, plus tools, that you will need to make an Asian themed book. You can use a different theme, of course.

Supplies

  • Flat coffee filters, one for each page you want to use.
  • Book board, chipboard or lightweight cardboard for covers
  • Glue or adhesives
  • Scissors
  • Craft knife or X-acto knife for cutting the covers
  • Tool for hole punching
  • Household string
  • Wooden chopsticks
  • Asian themed scrapbook papers or other papers
  • Asian themed embellishments as desired
  • Optional: Asian themed stamps and inks
  • Optional: Asian themed charms or beads
  • Optional: Asian themed items to tuck into the pockets
  • Optional: Ribbon or fibres


Asian Themed Buttons

Oriental Furniture Single Round Coin
Oriental Furniture Single Round Coin

These gorgeous little buttons are perfect enhancements.

 

Image and Embellishment Items, Suggestions

You are limited only by your imagination, but here are a few suggestions for Asian themed images and items.

Suggestions

  • Bamboo skewers, chopsticks or other similar items
  • Dried or pressed bamboo shoots or leaves
  • Cherry blossoms -- images, paper flowers, ribbon flowers, photographs or dried or pressed blossoms
  • Kimonos -- stamped, origami, Washi paper quilting, hand drawn, clip art
  • Chinese lettering or words
  • Images of panda bears
  • Samurai warriors and swords
  • Martial artists
  • Pagodas
  • Fans
  • Miscellaneous Asian themed papers, envelopes, etc.
  • Asian themed charms
  • Lanterns
  • Fortune cookie images or shapes
  • Asian menu images
  • Images of scenery from Asian countries
  • Rickshaws
  • Peonies
  • Dragons
  • Rice
  • Parasols
  • Chinese calendar
  • Yin-Yang symbol
  • Bonsai
  • Haiku


Concluding

The tutorial on this page shows you the Asian themed, coffee filter book as I made it. Please use, alter or modify the design to fit your own tastes and purposes.

Please Leave a Comment

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    • kmhrsn profile image

      kmhrsn 4 years ago

      Your art is lovely! Thank you so much for sharing.

    • PennyHowe profile image

      PennyHowe 4 years ago

      Really great and unique idea. I am going to give it a try.

    • Cynthia Haltom profile image

      Cynthia Haltom 4 years ago from Diamondhead

      I have been wanting to make something with coffee filters. I have seen many great projects and yours is one of them. I was thinking about making a lamp shade I saw made from used filters it has a unique look.

    • junecampbell profile image
      Author

      June Campbell 4 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @Cynthia Haltom: The lamp shade idea sounds interesting. There are so many things you can do with these filters. They are wonderful surfaces for stamping on as well.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      How very unique and what a sweet idea for working magic in miniature, I have never seen this before....FB liked to share with others! :)

    • junecampbell profile image
      Author

      June Campbell 4 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @anonymous: Thanks Tipi!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      What a wonderful fun craft project for children or seniors. It would be such a practical, handy and cute item to have sitting next to the phone or computer. Ideal for quick notes.

    • RazzbarryBreeze profile image

      RazzbarryBreeze 4 years ago

      This is completely unique I agree! I am always on the look out for interesting things to do with my 4 year old granddaughter when she's here with me. Great idea.. Thanks for the inspiration. Have a great day!

    • profile image

      LUMOSE 4 years ago

      Great lens.

    • jlshernandez profile image

      jlshernandez 4 years ago

      Hard to believe that these lovely images were created with coffee filters. Thanks for this unique idea.

    • junecampbell profile image
      Author

      June Campbell 4 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      @katiecolette: I suppose you are correct. You could use it as a travel journal to commemorate any vacation you made.

    • HughSmulders LM profile image

      HughSmulders LM 4 years ago

      I have never thought that such beautiful pieces could be created from simple paper. Like to see it!

    • profile image

      nvhoangviet 4 years ago

      beautiful pieces

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      This would be a lovely and gentle momento to make for a special friend.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      I absolutely love this so I pinned it on my board "crafts I love " and digg-ed it. What I really love is anything that has to do with coffee - I wonder if you tried the coffee theme? There are lots of mementoes in my life - this craft might really be useful.

    • profile image

      ScentsWithBling 3 years ago

      What a great lens and a wonderful idea! I love making mini books and this is for sure on my to do list now!

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      I am always impressed when someone can get crafty with common household objects and wind up with something cute and decorative.

    • profile image

      Nazmi 2 years ago

      Hi Sherry I've been a fan of yours for some time but have never written to you berofe so I thought this would be a good opportunity to tell you how much I love your work. You are so talented and you do amazing things. Thank you so much for sharing your art work with all of us. I love it when people want to share what they know so everyone can enjoy creating. Sometimes all it takes is a visual to be able to do that. This is another great video lesson and I thank you so much. Beautiful flower and I do have everything you used so I can use those filters that I have stacked in my art room waiting for that someday I'm going to use those things moment . Have a wonderful day and I am so happy that you are recovering from your surgery so well. Have a wonderful day!

    • profile image

      Gita 2 years ago

      Sherry, my friend! I loved this video, what fun made me wish I could sit and craft & caerte & have fun with you!!I love that you are so honest with your hair-loss situation, and it inspires many! I'm a B/C survivor since 2002 and love it when a woman is proudly representin' the girls who have lost their hair for one reason or another!What a great video, loved to see ya get all inky and demo the flower. I want to try it myself now. I love gettin' my hands all messy!Wish we could get 2gether & do some craftin' & have some coffee oh wait I'm one of those un-lucky folks who has bad gittery reactions from COFFEE!!!!!! Darn it OK maybe I'm not so Bad-ass, but I guess I'm a low-octane Bad-Ass!!! LOL! XOXO

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