Wiffle balls + coffee filters = decor magic

February 23 | Guest post by erinmcq

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My future-mother-in-law works for a coffee company and is constantly giving us giant boxes of coffee filters. So I'm putting them to good use by pairing them with wiffle balls and making coffee filter puffs as wedding decor.

What you will need:

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  • Lots of coffee filters. Each puff requires about 50 individual filters.
  • Wiffle softballs (or wiffle baseballs for smaller puffs). I got mine in bulk at a sporting goods store. They come in white and bright yellow, and I think the bright yellow makes for jaunty centers to the puffs. Each wiffle ball = 1 finished puff.
  • Thin ribbon, twine or string.
  • Glue gun with lots of glue sticks
  • Optional: craft or watercolor paint and water.

Instructions:

Step 1: (If you want white puffs, skip this.)

If you want colored puffs, dilute your paint. Like, dilute it a lot. For bright colored edges on the puffs, brush the color on the edges of a stack of filters. For a full wash, like the pink one in my photo, put the diluted paint in a large pan and just dunk the filters in, ruffled side down, whole stacks at a time. I've found that water color works much better for a wash of color, and craft paint makes bolder edging colors.

Step 1(b):
WAIT. The dyed filters take forever to dry, but don't give in to impatience and try to work with them while they're still damp. You'll end up with sad floppy balls and not happy crisp puffs. The full-wash dyed ones may need some support while they dry to maintain their ridges — I put mine in mixing bowls to hold them up while they dried.

Step 2:
Tie a loop of ribbon through each wiffle ball, thusly:

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Step 3:
If you're making multiple puffs, put on some Netflix or an audio book and settle in, because this is the boring part. Take two coffee filters at a time and make them into cone-shaped twists:

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You'll end up with a giant stack of twists, which will startle your betrothed and delight your pets.

Step 4:
Put a circle of hot glue around a wiffle-hole (that sounds way dirty, but don't giggle. Giggling may cause you to lose focus and glue your finger to the wiffle-hole). Insert a filter twist; gently screw it in as far as it will go.

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Then secure it with a couple additional dabs of glue.

Repeat Step 4 until you have filled all the wiffle-holes. Gently pull apart the coffee filters to cover any gaps, and you're done! The finished puff will be 8-10 inches across.

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  1. Brilliant!

    You can also do this with silk flowers, something like carnations works best (full n' fluffy)–I imagine real flowers could work, if you make them the night before.

    7 agree
  2. LOVE this idea! thanks- especially for the paint tinting info!

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  3. Im trying it now without the wiffle ball, since I have everything else. Ill let you know how it works!

    1 agrees
    • Worked! I trimmed a few to make it more even but it looks very nice. I made some with flat bottoms for table decor too :)

      3 agree
  4. This is genius! A lot of times crafts turn out delightfully home made looking, but this looks professional! I think.

    3 agree
  5. I probably won't do this for my wedding, since I'm already making a ton of beaded flowers (another OBB tutorial), but I just wanted to say that the tone of this was awesome and extremely fun to read.

    8 agree
  6. Amazing! I will have to test this stuff out. Is there a particular coffee filter size that works best?

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  7. "You'll end up with a giant stack of twists, which will startle your betrothed and delight your pets." You're a cat owner too, huh? ;)

    I love that you took something from your FMIL that could be really annoying (More coffee filters?!?!) and integrated it into your big day. And getting me to laugh out loud about "sad floppy balls" is an added bonus.

    7 agree
  8. When I first looked at this I was all, "Ooh. Inexpensive, cute and fairly simple. Too bad it doesn't really fit my wedding." Until I realized I can just make them in MY wedding colors! Duh! (I'll end up with black/gray, purple and orange ones if I do it.) :D

    3 agree
  9. I'm chiming in on this a bit late, but I'm just now getting around to this project and have a couple of things to add that might be helpful to others! First, if you have access to a 99 Cent Store they have white softball sized wiffle balls in packs of 2 for just 99 cents. Second, in addition to this Offbeat Bride post, I also found some of the info in this post helpful: http://myweddingadventure.net/?p=695 The specific parts that were helpful to me were dyeing the filters with food coloring and fluffing them in the dryer. So, basically, I followed the dyeing/fluffing steps from that post and then the steps for inserting the filters into the wiffle balls from this post and together they helped me make the perfect poufs in my wedding colors!

    4 agree
  10. I love this idea i have done the white ones and the were perfection. I am trying to dye the filters now and I can't seem to get the colour right. I have tryed grey water paint watered down and they didn't have enought saturation and then I tryed fabric dye I used elephant grey and they turned out midnight blue. Does anyone have any helpful hints how I might achieve the right colour. Should I do them stacks or individually. Anything would be appreciated. My colours are grey and light pink

    2 agree
  11. How big are the Wiffle Balls? I see there are 9 inch and 5 inch ones on Amazon.

    0 agree

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