Saturday, January 2, 2010

Green Craft: Reusable Coffee Filter

I finished using the last box of coffee filters that I had and decided I wasn't going to buy more. Instead, I wanted to make a cloth filter that would be reusable. I had canvas material already in my craft supply so I used that.

First I figured out the size I needed for the bottom of my coffee filter by using the a coffee filter - I accidentally used the last one I had so I had to get one from a friend :-).

The next part was kind of tricky - I had to draw an arc that was the same length as the circumference of the base circle and I added 1/4 inch to each side for the seam allowance.

If anyone is interested I can make a PDF of the pattern so you don't have to go through the trouble of figuring out the sizing. :-)

Here is the template I made on thick paper.

I traced the template onto the fabric and cut out the pieces.

The cut out fabric.

I folded over the edge (1/4 inch) of the upper part and pinned it into place.

I sewed around the edge with a basic stitch.

Then I decided to do a zig-zag stitch to help stop fraying around the edge.

I didn't take any photos sewing the upper part to the base circle - I kept poking myself with pins and got distracted. :-)

I can take a photo when I make another one and post it. This part was pretty frustrating and tough but I basically just pinned the upper part around the circle and sewed it together. I used lots of pins and pricked myself a lot. I don't know if you can tell in the following photos but I had made the upper part a little longer than necessary so there would be a small overlap of the edges. I decided I'd rather have an overlap and room for error than cut it too short and have to start over. :-)

Here is the final piece inside out (I trimmed the edges at the bottom after taking this photo).

Here is it finished!

It fit perfectly in my coffee maker!

While making this I came up with an idea for a pattern that might be easier to sew - I'll post about that when I get a chance to work on it.

I plan on making a few more of these so that I can have one to use when one is in the wash - I make a lot of coffee and don't want to risk not having a clean filter. :-)

Since the fabric had been pre-washed I tested it out and it made a perfect pot of coffee. If you make one just make sure to take it out, rinse it and let it dry when the coffee is done so it doesn't sit wet in your coffee machine.

Supplies: Sewing machine, old coffee filter (for measurement), thick paper (for the pattern), pencil, fabric marker, compass, thread, canvas fabric.
Cost: $0 (I already had all of the supplies)


  1. In case you want another option - I have a metal filter (purchased from Target) and it's awesome. We have never bought paper filers.

  2. Thanks for the suggestion Anita - I might buy a metal one for my coffee maker at work. I was just feeling in the crafty mood, had fabric and had run out of coffee filters at home so wanted to make a filter instead of going out and buying one. :-)

  3. Very neat! I've been putting off buying a coffee pot because I didn't like the thought of having to buy filters over and over again. What a great idea.

  4. Can you send m a PDF of the pattern? I'd like to try it. Have you had any problem with the canvas sagging over time?





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