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Posted by on Aug 7, 2012 in Cardmaking 101, Stars and Stamps, Tutorial | 4 comments

Tutorial: Teabag Staining

Big thanks this weekend to Mz. Rachel from Every Page Counts  for sending me this fun tutorial on using tea bags to stain paper. Imagine how much fun this will be. . . you can make some yummy tea to enjoy while making your cards and instead of throwing that tea bag away, you can use it to make some fun funky background paper! Rachel described this to me as a poor man’s distressing technique. I will admit that I wasn’t sold until I tried it… how fun! And how fun it was to discover that tea-bag stained paper retains a light, herbal fragrance! I wonder how long the smell stays in the paper? How about some peppermint tea stained paper background Christmas Cards?? The possibilities are endless…I love this! Check it out…  -Nancy

Tea Bag Stained Paper

Microwave a mug of water with a tea bag in it for 2 minutes.

For the first (middle) yellow paper, I took the bag out immediately, squeezed the excess water out of the bag, and blotted the paper with the bag flat with small swipes.

On the second paper (far right) I let the tea bag sit for 2-3 minutes, squeezed the water out, pursed the bag for a crumpled effect and then dotted the paper with it in an up/down motion. Re-purse the bag and repeat. No swiping the paper this time.

Tea Staining on Yellow Paper

For the white paper, follow these directions:

Microwave the bag just long enough to soak it, about 30 seconds.

On the middle example, I squeezed most of the water out of the bag. Turn it upside down to let most of the tea settle towards the top of the bag. This makes more bag, and less tea leaves to crumple so that the pursing/crumpling is better. Dot the paper in an up/down motion. No swiping.

On the last example, I squeezed even more water out and was more successful in getting the tea leaves out of the way for more bag crumpling. Note: what is touching the paper here is pretty much just the crumpled tea bag and my fingernails.

Tea staining on white paper.

Rachel had these thoughts to add:

Both the white and yellow papers that she used were cardstock that is on the thicker side – sturdy enough to use as a card base.

The yellow paper took longer to dry and was a little more warped but it still only took about ten minutes to dry.

You can also use a heat embossing gun or hair dryer (dry carefully, and not too close) to help your paper to dry. It also helps, when making papers like these, to allow them to sit overnight under something heavy like a stack of books or paper weight to allow them to dry flat. Extra adhesive to help smooth out the wrinkles is also helpful, if your paper is still a little warped. I am going to let my tea paper dry overnight and make something pretty tomorrow. Are you guys going to play along? I can’t wait to see what different kinds of tea do to the paper. I know that I have some rose tea that has a pink tinge to it, and some different flavors of herbal teas that might be even more colorful! And fragrant!


If you play along, please share your tea-bag technique cards with us here. As always, can’t wait to see what you guys can do. Thank you for the awesome tutorial Rachel! Keep those ideas and submissions coming! Mail me… nancy @


  1. I think I’m gonna try this one…..anyone have some extra time I can have? 🙂

  2. I may have to try it too and Sandy-I’ll take some extra time if you find anyone who has some to give away!!!

  3. This looks very interesting and not too involved or too messy. I think I just might have to give it a go if I can get some crafting time in this weekend.

  4. I drink lots of tea, so this one should be fun. Thanks for the idea.

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