These coffee filter bats are such an easy Halloween craft for preschoolers and kindergartners to keep kids busy while exploring color mixing chromatography and building fine motor skills. [Video tutorial included.]
A perfect Halloween craft, these not-so-spooky coffee filter bats are easy and fun to make for kids and adults of all ages. Besides, this craft does not take long to complete, and you will probably be using supplies you already have in your house. So, grab your coffee filters to conduct this exciting chromatography experiment! With just a few simple steps, you will be expressing your creativity while coloring a filter with watercolor markers, cutting it out to resemble a bat and decorating a clothespin. And ta-do, you will end up with a cute not so spooky Halloween decor idea.
Easy and Fun Halloween Crafts
Easy crafts are my favorite, and these bats look great when they are done! Most importantly, while these coffee filter bats are fantastic for preschoolers and kindergarteners, even toddlers can get crafty with the coloring and dyeing process. At the same time, older children will enjoy decorating the clothespins, and they can get really creative with intricate designs and beads.
Coffee Filter Bats Halloween Decoration
You can set these bats on and around your Halloween table, attach them to the wall, or hang these bats as Halloween ornaments. Alternatively, you can even make a few and use twine to create a bat banner. Either way, you will be adding a personal touch to your interior decor design on the budget! The best part is that these coffee filter bats come out unique and look beautiful once done!
Chromatography Science Experiment
This sensory craft is also an excellent science experiment to show how colors mix and bleed together. In fact, the bat wing’s tie-dye effect is due to a Chromatography process. “Walking water” is truly a magical process that children (and adults) will become addicted to doing.
Chromatography is a technique used to separate mixtures in a liquid state. And this simple coffee paper chromatography experiment is a great way to learn about this particular method of separating mixtures.
In chromatography, the mixture (water) passes through another substance (coffee filter), while different color ink particles travel at different speeds through the paper, allowing you to see the constituent colors of the ink.
We ended up making quite a few of them as kids wanted to experiment with various color combinations.
You’ll Need for Coffee Filter Bats Halloween Craft:
- white coffee filters
- water-base markers (we used Aen Art and Stabilo), but any washable marker should work, like Crayola
- a spray bottle or a dropper
- wooden clothespins
- googly eyes
- small black pom-poms (optional)
- chalk liquid marker to color the wooden peg black (optional)
- adhesive tape
- flatback rhinestones (10 mm here) ~ I used these smaller ones
You need only one coffee filter per bat. Also, stick to darker colors to achieve a darker bat-like color. Otherwise, they will look like butterflies. (Nothing wrong with that if you are going for a more colorful look.) We ended up experimenting together with some pretty cool and colorful combinations, and we were quite surprised at how cute some of them came out!
Instructions | How to Make Coffee Filter Bats
Coloring the Filter
First, fold the filter in half, flatten it and draw on one side. [Stick to dark marker colors, like black, grey, purple, red and blue, and do not leave much white space in between. The less white space you leave, the darker the bat will look when it’s finished.] Also, I suggest working on a waterproof tray or covering your space with recycled newspaper, as it really helps contain the work area and the mess and makes a clean-up much easier.
Then, turn the filter and draw identically on the other side. (Some color might bleed through already, so you just need to touch up.)
Below are some of the coloring designs we did with the kids.
Wetting the Filter
Next, use a spray bottle to carefully mist water onto the coffee filter. Ensure you spray enough water so that the coffee filter is completely wet, but do not overwater. Also, do not pour water on the filter, as it might wash away the color. Everyone will enjoy observing the magic as the colors spread. After that, open the filter up and let it dry. We had a warm sunny day, so I took it outside. If drying a filter in the sun is not an option, lay it flat on a waterproof tray or a baking sheet and let it dry for about an hour.
Cutting the Filter to Resemble a Bat
Once the coffee filter is dry, fold it in half and again in half, and then cut four curves along the filter’s edge to resemble a bat’s wing shape. See the picture below.
Lastly, unfold the coffee filter to reveal a symmetrical bat shape.
Finally, decorate the clothespin. You can use either adhesive crafter’s tape or a hot glue gun to attach embellishments and googly eyes to the clothespin.
Shaping the Bat
As a final touch, pinch the coffee filter in the middle (flat side up), open the clothespin, and slide it inside the coffee filter. Shape the wings as needed to make them look bat-like.
And ta-da! Your coffee filter bats are done, and you have a not-so-spooky but rather beautiful Halloween decoration!
Watch the Coffee Filter Bats Halloween Craft video tutorial below
Clothespins Embellishment Ideas
- either decorate the wooden ones (as in the video)
- or paint the clothespins with a black marker (I used liquid chalk marker)
- you can also dye clothespins in water with black food coloring by submerging them in dyed liquid for about 5 minutes)
You can also clip the clothespins onto a piece of cardboard before painting so that you can turn the cardboard without getting your hands dirty with paint.
- decorate with glitter glue
- glue black pom poms
- embellish with black buttons
- add googly eyes
- add rhinestones
What is Walking Water?
Learn About Chromatography Experiments here.
Have you tried making Coffee Filter Bats as a Halloween Craft? Leave a comment if you did.
For More Halloween Activities …
See here Spider Counting | Reusable-DIY Math-Board