Keep your family (and kids!) busy this summer with a craft that won’t break the bank and helps you make the most of your leftover tea bags! Tea staining isn’t just what happens when you spill a cup of Earl Grey on a white blouse. It’s a crafting technique that adds an antique, vintage flair to fabric, wood, or paper. For this craft project, we’ll be focusing on using tea stains to age paper, and we’ll explore creative uses for stained paper.
What can we do with stained paper?
Once you’ve learned this process, what can you do with it? You can use stained paper to write an antiqued letter. You can tea stain a treasure map you’ve drawn for your kids and send them on a pirate-inspired adventure. You can put messages in bottles to open at a later date.
This process is a great idea for school projects, too. While it may be Summer now, it’s always nice to have another tool in your school project arsenal! Next time a history teacher asks for a poster board on the Revolutionary War, try using tea stains to make signs and labels that look like artifacts!
How do I tea stain?
First, you’ll need your completed paper. That means the treasure map should be drawn on, the letter written, or the text printed. You don’t want to try to write on a paper after it’s been stained because the paper will be weakened by the liquid.
Next, crumple up the paper. You don’t want to overdo it. Just crease the paper enough that it looks weathered. Then, you’ll want to make a cup of tea. Strong brew your tea with three Perfect Tea Spoon scoops of black tea. (We suggest using Classic Black, English Breakfast, or Assam Gold.) You can drink the strong tea once it’s brewed or you can dump it out, but that would be a tragedy.
Squeeze the excess liquid from the tea bags. You’ll want them to be damp, but not dripping wet. Using the teabags like a painting sponge, paint the tea onto your paper. When you’re done, leave the paper out to dry.
Not all teas will give the tanned, aged color you get from black tea. You can use a tea containing Hibiscus, like Hibiscus Cooler, to add a pink hue to your crafts. Try using Hibiscus Cooler to dye eggs or using it to hand-paint a pale pink invitation to a tea party.
You can experiment with several different tea types to see what colors they’ll add to your craft project.