Sticka’s Kids: Coffee Filter Coral Reef

Sticka’s Kids: Coffee Filter Coral Reef

A simple little project that was not only fun, but also therapeutic!!!


1. Coffee filters (about 30 per kid)

2. Food coloring (Gel color creates more vibrant colors)

3. Large bowls with about 1 inch of water

4. Wax Paper

5. Pipe Cleaners

Simple steps:

Squirt a good amount of food coloring into each of your bowls. Dip a test filter into your color to see if you like the color! Too light? Add more color! Too dark? Add more water!!!

Once you have each color to your liking, dip a small stack of coffee filters into the water, curly side down. Pick them up from the flat sides of the filters when the color almost reaches the top and set on your wax paper. The color will continue to bleed.

Let the filters dry overnight.

The next day assemble them!!!! I prepped by poking a hole with a toothpick through each of the stacks of filters and making a little curl at one end of each pipe cleaner. If you don’t curl the ends, then the pipe cleaners will just slip right off!!!

Your dried filters! We talked a little science about how some of the colors separated.

Start stringing!!!! Here’s the kids stringing them through. String only one on at a time (really working the fine motor skills when you peel the filters apart!!) and give a little crunch at the base. Hopefully the pictures show you how they did it!

Just “crunch” the bottom of each filter. You want your corals to be nice and curly and fluffy on top!!!!

We used about 6-7 filters per coral, so each kid had several little corals to add to the reef!

Look at these sweet smiles!!!!

This little one held hers in a giant bouquet!

And the finished board 🙂

Comment if you need a little more explanation!

But I’m telling you, what a fun classroom craft that can be used really for any underwater theme.




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