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Posted by on Sep 17, 2013 in Cardmaking 301, Stars and Stamps, Tutorial | 14 comments

Tutorial: Coffee Filter Cards

Happy Tuesday everyone – what a treat – our dear friend Penny will share this tutorial with us today using coffee filters to make some really gorgeous backgrounds! I’ve never seen anything quite like this and I can’t wait to give it a try myself.

Here is one of Penny’s beautiful creations:


Penny’s original post can be seen here at Penny Ward Ink. You may remember her from the fantastic Window Card Tutorial a few months ago. Please stop by and leave her some love for sharing this neat technique with us… we will call it,

The Coffee Filter Card

Hello my friends…

I am so honored to be on the Operation Write Home blog today with a tutorial. How about a unique background that adds no bulk to your cards? Do you have a coffee filter handy?

Let’s get started….

You are going to need:

White card stock
Coffee Filter
Reinkers or Ink pads
Clear embossing powder
Watermark Ink
Spray Adhesive (glue works too)
Spray Water Bottle
Paper Towels

You will definitely want to use a craft sheet on your work surface for this technique.


 Stamp onto the coffee filter using Watermark ink and heat emboss with Clear powder.

Put a couple of drops of ink on your craft sheet, spritz with water, then lay coffee filter over ink.
(Do this with each color as desired) Let dry or use heat gun.
NOTE: I achieved more vibrant colors with the reinkers, but using an ink pad works also.


Cut white card stock to desired size (a coffee filter will cover an A2 card) and use spray adhesive.
Lay coffee filter on top and smooth any wrinkles. Trim.


 Now finish card as desired.

Below, I have made a second card with a little variation in that I glued a dictionary page to the card stock, then attached the coffee filter on top…now the printing shows through:


The clear embossing and some pink ink…


Closeup of how the news print shows through.


Wow! Aren’t those so much fun? I love Penny’s bright cheerful colors and I am sure that there are many variations that can be done using different colors or different stamps! When you’re feeling brave, give this tutorial a try and share your cards with us here!


  1. I love the way the printed pages show under the coffee filter, the colors defuse beautifully, great and easy technique, thanks for sharing your tutorial.

  2. Your cards are beautiful! I love this technique and will definitely try it. It’s too bad that we can’t use a real dictionary page for OWH, but many of us have a stamp with text or script on it to use instead. Thanks so much for this tutorial.

  3. Wow! The cards are beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Could someone please clarify whether we can use a real dictionary page, or if we need to buy a stamp, as ElsieB mentioned above? Thanks!

    I have a small stack of dictionary & song book pages I had cut into card-front sizes, but was told they were not allowed for OWH, to avoid copyright issues. That was a long while back – has the policy changed? (I hope so!)

    • Maybe I am interpreting wrong.. here are my two cents! Personally, I don’t think that anybody would ever even notice, if you happened to use a very old page out of an worn book as part of your background. Especially if it is old and worn. When you alter it to suit your needs for a background like this, I think that it makes it your own enough that copyright isn’t an issue any more. That being said, Sandy is the Queen of Guidelines (and Copics!) and she might have some more input on this. If it’s bothering you that much, I would say stick to a background stamp that resembles a printed page, instead. Then you wouldn’t have to worry about it. 🙂

      • Still thinking about this, and to further clarify until we get the word from Sandy, another option might be to use a patterned paper that looks like dictionary page print. There are lots of those out there, too.

        I guess my thinking is that if I were making a card for a personal friend, I know that no one would care if it was a real book page. But if the card is going to OWH, better to stick with “real” scrapbooking supplies (the patterned paper, or stamp) and avoid the issue. Hope that helps!! 🙂

  5. Sorry, I forgot to add a thanks for the great tutorial – I love the effect this technique gives & am looking forward to giving it a try!

    Copyright infringement is the use of works under copyright, infringing the copyright holder’s exclusive rights, such as the right to reproduce, distribute, display or perform the copyrighted work, or to make derivative works, without permission from the copyright holder, which is typically a publisher or other business representing or assigned by the work’s creator.

  7. I love the layered look and kinda sort think my copyright question was answered before I asked it. Rats! I’m all about upcycling and have TONS of embellishments made out of old books and also have tons of old books I bought specifically at our library sale just so I could make pretty things out of them. Guess I’ll save those for other uses.

  8. What a creative idea — and beautiful sample card! Believe it or not, neither hubby nor I are coffee drinkers. Going to have to track down a few coffee filters to give this a try. 🙂

  9. Love this technique, I may have to give this a try this weekend. Thank you for the great Tutorial.

  10. What a fun technique and such an artistic result. I don’t have place where I can get too messy but I may take over the kitchen island to give this a try. Thanks for sharing Penny!

  11. Beautiful card and great technique. Had fun making my card. Thanks for sharing!

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