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Coffee + Grinds

Background #1, paste of coffee grounds

Background #1, coffee grounds scraped

Here's a wood look for an art journal background using super fine coffee grinds. Just after the morning coffee was poured from the french press, I put the grinds in a cup. Using the edge of a plastic gift card, I painted the grinds all over the page. After about an hour, I scraped off the grinds pretty well with the card. 

Background #2, bottom of the coffee pot

Background #2, dried coffee

The second background is a grunge sepia look using the dredges of a pot of coffee. I dripped the still hot coffee (the part no-one wants to drink) onto watercolor paper, and topped it with a bonus bit of dry grounds that remained in the coffee grinder and some kosher salt. The final version is fully dried and pressed under heavy books.

These coffee stained papers, like any bit of abstract art, can be used in cool ways:

  1. art journal backgrounds
  2. cut into unique ATC backgrounds
  3. cut into book marks
  4. scanned and transformed into a photoshop brush
  5. scanned and used as a photoshop/lightroom texture layer
  6. cut into strips and weaved
  7. cut up and used as components of an art journal or mixed media collage

More ideas at the popular Step #574: Create Journal Fodder and Step #239: Abstract Backgrounds from the Step-by-Step Art Journaling Series.


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Reader Comments (13)

this reminds me of an artist (wish i knew her name!) who began her paintings by throwing...splashing...pouring her morning cup of coffee on the canvas and going from there.

01.13.2011 | Unregistered Commenterstacy wills

More great tips, thanks. Your blog is a wealth of resources. Reminds me of things I've done with tea & rust.

Kat X

01.13.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatina Wright

Ohh love the dried coffee!

01.13.2011 | Unregistered Commenterchel

so so cool.

01.13.2011 | Unregistered Commenterbonnierose

LOVE this idea! So simple and the results are fabulous. Never thought of using kosher sale with coffee or tea. Brilliant!!!! Thanks for the inspiration, Tammy! Hugs, Terri xoxo

Very interesting! I have "painted" before using Tea, but I have never thought to use coffee - perhaps because I don't drink coffee. You got some really cool results though.

coffee + salt - brilliant!
I usually use instant coffee (which I never drink as it's not "real" coffee) which also gives nice results.

and so I'm off - tonight I'm altering a book - I was thinking coffee & pale shades of blue watercolor. :)

01.13.2011 | Unregistered Commenterdruga szesnascie

Funny because I created this background totally on a whim! My hubby was making coffee and the grounds just looked so rich and inviting.

Glad I'm not the only one that gets inspiration from coffee grinds!


01.13.2011 | Registered Commentergypsy

I have used tea before loads of times...but although I drink coffee mostly have NEVER thought of using it...a great new idea to try out...has anyone tried using herbal tea bags to colour pages? Just another idea.

01.15.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJaki

It's been a long time since something inspired me to get up and IMMEDIATELY try, but this one I just did. As I was drinking my coffee, read this post, hopped up and rummaged for some old water color paper, tossed the grinds on and they are happily sitting there making magic and art! Thanks for sharing this great idea! I can't wait to see what mine looks like.

01.15.2011 | Unregistered Commenterpixie

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