Monday, May 18, 2009

Tea Stained Paper

We have been experimenting with book making lately. Books are a big deal in my house and the girls love making them. The thing I love the most about book making is that the girls are so excited to write in them.

We were tired of the stale white paper we were using so we decided to "age" the paper.

For tea staining you need:

* 81/2" x 11" cardstock (we used cardstock because the girls wanted a thicker paper, you can do this activity with any kind of paper)
* 3 black tea bags
* water
* clothespins
* yarn
* a pan

To set up the activity:

1. Boil the water.
2. Add black tea bags and let steep for about 5-10 minutes.
3. Put up a line for the paper to dry.
4. Fold cardstock in half, this will make the tearing step easier.

We did the smearing and blotting method. We simply took the tea bags and smeared and blotted them directly onto the cardstock. Fauna LOVED this, anytime she can get messy for art, she is right there! She loved to smear!

Araina loved to blot!

Once the cardstock was good and wet we carefully tore the cardstock in half because we wanted a worn edge look. Then we clipped them on a line to dry.

When we were done staining the stack of paper we tried a drizzle effect on the paper by squeezing the tea bags over the paper hanging on the line. This left cool lines and patterns on the paper. We left specks of tea on the pages as well.

The Little Ladies had tea-covered hands in the end.

Once the papers were dry we took them off the line, stacked them and placed a concrete block on top of them to press them flat.

The hotter the water, the deeper and darker the color on the white cardstock. If you are not satisfied with the color after the first staining, do another tea stain to the cardstock. Coffee is a good stain for really dark pages. Keep experimenting until you get your pages just right.

*I will be posting more about what we are doing with these pages in future posts.


Jeannette said...

Such a great idea!
I´ve never tried it with paper but did use the tea staining for some linen. Love the old look you get.

kristen said...

That turned out great! Your girls looks delighted!

Also wanted to tell you that I've given you a blog award. :) Thanks for always sharing such good ideas with the blogging world!

Jane said...

I totally love this prodject. I have always wondered how they did that!
Thanks for sharing your great ideas!

Alisha said...

What fun! I remember doing this as a child as well.

Pussnae said...

Another great idea.

karen m. said...

Such a fun idea! We tried coffee-staining, but tea would look(and smell) more delicate. Many thanks for sharing your many creative, intriguing projects. We especially look forward to the flower press one. Wishing you a lovely week!

Amanda said...

Oh, fun, we totally have to do this!

Louise said...

Thanks for sharing-
I am keen to get your tutorial for the handmade books-
We have stained treasure maps with tea bags and other "old" documents my boys have created- heiroglypic charts, pirate charts etc..

Tara said...

These look great!

Anytime a craft is a bit messy, Owen is usually interested :0)

Unknown said...

Hey Lisa, I just wanted to let you know I featured your blog today on mine :)

Toni said...

I have always wanted to do this but thought it was difficult, thanks for this lesson today. It is easy enough I can do it:-)

Your girls look like they are having the best time, I would love to see the book you make out the paper

Annie said...

Definitely bookmarking this page, Lisa. Thanks!

denise said...

Great idea! We love making our nature journals each season - we will definitely try this for our summer book making!

Tan Family said...

Wonderful pictures! We've always used coffee to stain pages and maps. We'll have to try the tea blotting method in the future. Neat!

Palmer and Co said...

Oh, yes... we're totally going to do this!! Fun idea!! Thank you!!

sunnymama said...

I love the pictures of the paper drying on the line! said...

Very cool! I'll be linking.

Lisa said...

Thanks everybody. We love this acitivity and the "weathered" cardstock takes watercolor painting really well.

-Lisa :)

Robin said...

WOW! Thank you so much for these instructions. I have spent hours today reading through various instructions and your's was the best... and I love the little helpers.