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DIY Reusable Coffee Filters

I started using a pourover coffee maker about a year ago and I absolutely love it. The one drawback is the amount of waste the coffee filters create and how quickly I run through them. I’ve found myself more than once without filters and really wanting a cup of coffee. Not to mention, the filters that are made for my coffee dripper are expensive. That’s where DIY reusable coffee filters come in. There is much less waste involved and you can simply wash them under your tap and hang dry. Plus, I get to save some money. It’s a win-win!

Why Reusable Matters

Around 4 billion coffee filters make their way to landfills every year. While coffee filters can be composted, they cannot be recycled and are usually thrown out. They will eventually decompose, but they can take more than a year to do so and release harmful gas as they do.

If you’re thinking that DIY coffee filters are the last thing on your mind when it comes to reducing waste, I totally feel you. They don’t make as much of an impact on the environment or your health as something like plastic does, but switching to reusable filters can still be a good way to cut back, reduce waste, and save money. 

These DIY coffee filters make great gifts. Pair with a Fair-Trade bag of coffee and a cool coffee dripper like this one from Kalita USA.

What you’ll need

  1. Fabric – For this project, it’s best to use unbleached and undyed organic cotton for this DIY. We used this cotton and hemp blend from Simplifi Fabric. 
  2. Cotton thread
  3. Sewing machine or serger. I use a serger here, but a regular sewing machine will do. Just use a combination of straight and zig-zag stitch to ensure it will last. 

Let’s get started

1. First, wash and dry your fabric. Natural materials tend to shrink, so it is best to take the time to wash and dry so you don’t end up with coffee filters that shrink out of shape.

2. Print or draw out your pattern and cut the pattern out. You can use this Coffee Filter Pattern from Simplifi Fabric or use an existing filter as a pattern. We find the most surefire way to get a filter that fits your pour over well, is to use whichever filter you use as your pattern. 

3. Pin your pattern onto your fabric with one edge on the fold. This will make it so that you only sew up two sides. 

4. Cut out your filter shape.

5. Sew up the unfolded side seam and the bottom seam with straight stitch and then a zig-zag stitch, making sure to stitch back and forth on each end to lock in your stitches. The straight stitch is for strength and the zig-zag is to keep the seam from fraying. If you are using a serger, simply weave the thread tails into your new seam.  

6. Repeat with however many filters you want to make.

It really is so easy to make these filters. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different shapes and sizes to find the best fit for you. Now you’ll never run out of filters again. Happy sewing!

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