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Diffusion Paper Flowers

This lesson is designed for: All Ages
The lesson medium is: Sculpture/3D

There is nothing quite like a flower. Each one is unique and has its own natural beauty.

Flowers make any room more beautiful, and a bouquet of flowers is the perfect simple gift.
Using coffee filters or paper towels and a few other simple materials, you can make a flower that will last forever! Make one, or make a whole bouquet to give away to friends and neighbors.

(Psssst…we loved this project so much that we made a video about it! Click here to see Arts For Life teacher Cara teaching Diffusion Paper Flowers.)


  • Washable markers
  • Coffee filters (or paper towels cut into circles)
  • Plain or watercolor paper
  • Pipe cleaner (or a stick and a baggie tie)
  • Water in a spray bottle or bowl



Lay two coffee filters or paper towels on top of a piece of paper. Color the filters or towels with markers. You do not have to fill in all the white space. You can also stack the filters together and just color one.



Using a spray bottle, gently mist the filters. They should be completely wet, but not dripping.
Allow the filters to dry a little — they don’t have to be completely dry, just not soaked!




Fold both filters in half (like a taco), then in half again (like a big slice of pizza), then again (like an ice cream cone), then one more time after that (like a really narrow ice cream cone).

Lay the pipe cleaner across the pointy end of your cone, leaving about 2 inches of the pipe cleaner sticking up. Wrap those 2 inches tightly around the pointy end of the cone.



Separate and spread the different layers of the filters, widening them to look like a flower. If your flower is still pretty wet, it may be a little floppy. Don’t worry: it will perk up as it dries.





Here’s 5-year-old Highland making her own diffusion paper flowers.


Tweak it!

Make a whole bouquet of flowers for someone special!

What else can you make with some colorful tie-dyed coffee filters or paper towels? How about some clothes for a doll, or space collage with bright planets? Let this process be the jumping off point for your other wild and crazy ideas!



To diffuse means to spread over a wide area, especially from an area of greater concentration. In this project, the application of water diffuses, or spreads out, the color from the marker where you drew it out to the rest of the paper.

Did you make this project?

We’d love to see! Share a photo with us on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #artsforlifenc

This lesson is © 2020 Arts For Life, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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