Fun with Leftovers

My dad’s New Year’s resolution is to kick his addiction to caffeine.  So far, he hasn’t had a drop of coffee in all of 2013.  Since my mom is a tea drinker, my parents’ coffee maker has been sitting idle since the last day of 2012.  What’s more, since my dad has gone cold turkey, he no longer needs his seemingly endless supply of paper coffee filters.

Rather than be tempted by the white basket-shaped filters, my dad shipped them 5,000 miles to our home, which is filled with non-coffee drinkers.  We don’t even own a coffee maker.  Needless to say, I’ve been busy trying to find ways my 8-year-old can keep herself busy with grandpa’s leftovers.

Here are some of her latest projects:




  1. Trace the coffee filter on two pieces of cardstock.
  2. Cut out the shape of the filter, and glue it to the front of one filter and the back of another. This will be the front and back cover of your album.
  3. Stack all the coffee filters together.
  4. Using the hole punch, make three holes on the left side of the coffee filters.
  5. Thread the ribbon through the holes to bind the stack of coffee filters, and then tie the ends together.
  6. Fill the pages with photos and mementos to make your own little scrapbook.

Flower Lei


  • About two-dozen coffee filters
  • Food coloring
  • Small bowls of water
  • Scissors
  • Small rubber bands
  • Needle and thread


  1. Add a few drops of food coloring in each bowl of water.
  2. Dip the coffee filters into the water and keep them there until they absorb the color.
  3. Remove the wet filters and place them on a cookie sheet to dry.
  4. When the coffee filters are dry, fold each in quarters and cut petal shapes.  Next, hold the filter in the center to form a flower.
  5. Place a rubber band around the center of the flower to keep the blossom in place.
  6. Repeat this process for all the filters.
  7. When you have made a bunch of flowers, use the needle and thread, and string the blossoms together to create a lei.
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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.