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Under the Sea  
Let your child bring a touch of marine life to their room with this decorative coffee filter jellyfish project!


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Make a coffee filter jellyfish

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Gerber Life Family Times Archive

FunMost households include at least one coffee drinker, and where you find coffee, you'll find coffee maker filters. Surprisingly, just a few of those paper filters can also serve as the basis for a fun craft project for your child or a group of children giving each of them their own personal creature creation from the depths of the sea—a coffee filter jellyfish! With a few other simple household items, some creative time, and a wealth of imagination, any child can create a colorful jellyfish that can add an underwater touch to their room.

For each jellyfish, you will need the following:

  • 1 round (white) paper coffee filter
  • A variety of colored markers
  • A small spray bottle of water
  • Paper cup
  • Newspapers
  • Safety scissors
  • Glue, glue stick, or stapler
  • Tissue paper or crepe paper (available at craft stores)
  • A length of fishing line, string, or yarn (for hanging your jellyfish)

Begin by covering a flat work surface with a layer of newspaper to protect your tabletop from stray marks with colored markers. There are two possible methods for making the body of the jellyfish. For the first, simply lay the coffee filter out flat on the work surface. Your child can then use a variety of colored markers to decorate the jellyfish body. Any color combination can be used and the designs can be as close together or far apart as your child likes. Once the decoration is completed, use the water in the spray bottle to mist the coffee filter until it is saturated. Once the coffee filter is wet, the colors made by the markers will start to bleed and blend creating an interesting mottled effect. Set the wet coffee filter aside and allow it to dry thoroughly.

The second method of creating the body involves having your child lay the coffee filter out flat and then fold it in half repeatedly to create a small wedge shape. Usually repeating the fold three times is sufficient. Then, your child can use the colored markers to decorate both sides of the wedge. Holding the marker in place for a few seconds allows the color to get through a few layers of the filter, which helps create a more interesting color pattern. Once the wedge is decorated, place a small amount of water in a paper cup. Insert the colored coffee filter wedge into the water with the tip down. Allow it to sit in the water until it is completely wet (the water will be drawn up through the fibers of the coffee filter in a few minutes). This enables the colors to start their blending process. When the coffee filter is saturated, gently unfold it and lay it out flat on a piece of newspaper to dry thoroughly.

FunWhile the body of the jellyfish is drying, your child can make "tentacles" that will hang down from the edges of the jellyfish's body. Using safety scissors, cut strips of tissue paper into streamers approximately " to 1" wide. To make cutting streamers easier, fold a length of crepe paper or tissue paper (roughly 18" long) accordion-style. Then, using safety scissors, cut through the paper folds on each edge. Unfold the paper and you'll have "tentacles"—fast and easy!

When the jellyfish body is completely dry, your child can begin attaching the tentacles to the edge of the coffee filter body using a dab of glue or a stapler. Leave a little bit of room between each tentacle for a more realistic effect. If using glue, allow it to dry completely before preparing the jellyfish for hanging.

Finally, you'll want to add a piece of string or clear acrylic fishing line so the jellyfish can hang properly. Cut a length of yarn, string, or fishing line approximately 18"long (length may vary depending on the hanging location). Tie a knot in one end of the string and repeat tying knots on top of each other (two or three times) to make large knot. Make a small hole in the center of the jellyfish body and pull the other end of the string (without the knot) through the hole. Continue pulling gently until the knot just reaches the hole but doesn't pull through. The jellyfish is complete!

Find a hook or knob in your child's bedroom and hang your child's new jellyfish creation up using the loose end of the string. It's hard to believe that something as simple as a coffee filter can be turned into an impressive underwater creature with just a little bit of childhood creativity and imagination!

Articles are provided for the general interest of our readers. Gerber Life Insurance is not responsible for any content and recommends that you consult the appropriate professional with any questions or concerns you may have concerning any financial or health related issues.

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