Reusable Coffee Filter (single cup)

Well, I am long overdue for a new coffee filter and the old one has been so well-used, that I’m sharing a DIY here for anyone who needs one.

Several years ago, I dated a guy from the Dominican Republic.  This is a style commonly used there.  It is very simple, basic, super functional, and very economical. Mine is sized for a single cup since I am the only coffee drinker in the house.

First, take a wire coat hanger and untwist the top part.  I did this with my super-powers (um….just my hands) and then un-bent it as best as I could.  I then took a glass jar that was smaller than my coffee cup and used that to bend the hanger around it.  Since I couldn’t get the hanger up against it tightly, it came out at the right size.  I did have to go through a few jars to find the right one.  The one that worked best for my cup today was a glass baby bottle.  When I was satisfied with that, I twisted it back into something similar to what it had looked like originally, bent a handle, and then bent the ends back and forth until they broke off.  I took it outside then and used a brick outside to file the sharp ends.  You can be fancy and use a file, but concrete works pretty fast.


Next, I took some cotton fabric.  This piece is a scrap from a swaddling tie that my mother-in-law sent me from Perú.  Because of my sentimental thoughts, I will think about her, using this with my sweet baby, and all sorts of motherly stuff while using this and waiting on my coffee to be ready.  My old one was a sleeve cut off of a granny-shirt.  Whatever you use, you’ll probably want a non-stretchy natural fiber.


Here it is being ready to be hemmed.  There is really no need for precision on this project.


Pinned and sewn.  It needs to be deep enough that when you fill it up with water and lift it out of the cup/pot, the slush doesn’t spill over the top. Mine is deeper than my cup plus some extra.  You can always shorten it later if it is too long.


Here’s the end cut off and finished with a zig-zag.



I thought about putting fancy stitches in this but honestly, I don’t need them for this and don’t care.  I experimented with this and now I know that I suck at keeping things even and straight. It is perfect for this project, so I am happy with it.  In the future, though, I won’t be trying this for any gifts.



My new one next to my old, sad one. The sleeve was originally white with a black hemmed border with flowers.  Over the years with the brutal washing and coffee-making, the border faded out and dyed with the coffee.  The white portion is now a pretty brown color.  I think I will let it dry from this morning’s cup and dump out the grounds, wash it well, and use that in my next quilt for me.


Yep, pretty gross after all these years.  I should replaced it after 3, but I am so lazy.P1000848 P1000849

Here I am measuring out the grounds.


In goes the water.


Here it is hanging up to dry.  I use my glass rack over the sink to let it drip dry or sometimes to drip my coffee into my cup when I am busy.  When it is dry, I dump the grounds in the trash/compost and reload it with fresh grounds. Usually, I just do this the next morning.  For my 2nd cup, I dump new coffee on top of the used wet grounds.  I like to think this gives me an extra boost of caffeine but I haven’t ever noticed a difference.




Total time:  Including taking photos, about 45 minutes.

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