DIY Dip-Dyed Coffee Filter Backdrop

Here at SMP, we’re all about taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary. Case in point? Our darling dip-dyed coffee filter backdrop. Perfect for adding a pop of color, it’s sure to be a priceless addition to your next celebration. Scroll below for your daily dose of inspiration and our simple instructions for elevating this everyday item! (PS – photo backdrop + adorable babies over on Living)

900 coffee filters

Plastic bowls


Staples (lots)

Fishing line



Fabric dye

Large trash bags

Long twist ties

Packing tape

Yardstick or long wooden dowel

Separate the coffee filters into chunks of about 20­ – 30 filters.

Fill three bowls with warm water. Add a little dye into each bowl and stir with a spoon, making each one progressively darker. Err on the side of dye that’s a little darker than you think you want to see, because the color on single coffee filter will look a lot lighter.

Dye about 1⁄4 of the coffee filters in the lightest shade by dipping the stacks into the bowl of dye until the color is soaked up the sides, then placing the stack on a trash bag to dry. Repeat with the other two dye shades and leave the last 1⁄4 of coffee filters undyed.

Let dyed coffee filters dry out overnight.

Starting with the undyed filters, fold one filter in half to make a semicircle. From the center of the half circle, fold in 1⁄3 of the filter, then the next 1⁄3, to make a sort of triangle shape and staple together near the point. Repeat until all the filters are stapled. Use grocery bags to store the folded filters and keep them separated by color.

Cut a roughly 10’ piece of fishing line. Tie a knot at one end and thread the needle on the other end. Thread filters on the line using the needle, beginning with the darkest shade and working towards the undyed filters. Alternate clusters of 3 to 5 filters with single filters, tying knots in the line after each cluster or single filter to spread them out a bit. As you get about halfway up the line, space the filters out even more by leaving 6” or so between each filter. Stop when you reach the last foot or so of line and tie a loose loop.

Continue stringing ropes of filters until you have about 25 – ­30 ropes. If you need to transport them to the venue, you need to be careful not to tangle the ropes. Lay all the ropes side by side on the floor and string all the loops on the end onto a yardstick. Tape the loops to the yardstick to keep them from sliding off. Gather the ropes into groups of five and tie together with twist ties at the top, bottom, & middle of the ropes. Take 3 large trash bags and cut the bottoms off of two of them. Tape the bags together with packing tape to form one large bag (almost like a garment bag). Slide the ropes into the bag and tape the top of the bag to the yardstick. Now you can transport them safe from water damage and tangling!

Once you are in the venue, you can string the ropes from the ceiling or tie them to a horizontal pole or beam. Or you can tie them to a backdrop stand to make your display.


Photography: Ruth Eileen Photography | Design & Styling: SMP Living