How to turn coffee filter into a "turkey"

Simple scientific decorations for Thanksgiving 2021

Warn­ing! Only un­der adult su­per­vi­sion.


  • cof­fee fil­ter;
  • mark­ers;
  • cot­ton cylin­ders;
  • wa­ter;
  • clothes­pin;
  • gouache;
  • wa­ter­col­or pa­per.

Step-by-step in­struc­tions

Paint a clothes­pin and at­tach eyes and a beak (these can be made from wa­ter­col­or pa­per!). Col­or a cof­fee fil­ter with mark­ers. Soak some cot­ton cylin­ders in wa­ter and place them on the fil­ter – the col­ors start spread­ing out! Once dried, the fil­ter and clothes­pin make a cute "tur­key"! You can glue a mag­net to it or use it as is – these tur­keys make cute Thanks­giv­ing dec­o­ra­tions!

Process de­scrip­tion

The wa­ter spreads through the fil­ter pa­per due to the cap­il­lary ef­fect, fill­ing its mi­crochan­nels and car­ry­ing the dyes with it. The larg­er the dye mol­e­cules, the more dif­fi­cult it is for them to move, and the slow­er they spread through the pa­per. This re­sults in a cute “Thanks­giv­ing tur­key”!

Amuse your chil­dren be­fore your Thanks­giv­ing feast with oth­er ex­per­i­ments with paints in­clud­ed in the “Art Lab” set from the MEL Sci­ence sub­scrip­tion.