We drink a lot of tea. I make four half gallons of iced tea twice a week. Boyfriend carries it to his garage ( no stopping by the convenience store) and I drink a lot of hot tea with cinnamon through out my work day. And if one drinks this much tea, one has TEA TAGS!
A few weeks ago, I had a thought that all those tea tags, properly and loving treated with some smart art, might be useful as embellishments or elements in my mixed media art.
I love making custom tea tags because it’s a project I can work on through out the day (I’m a music publicist, writer, and artist) as each step is quick and easy and at the end of the day you have a sweet collection of fun tea tags to play with.
The hundred count boxes of tea also have cardboard dividers that separate the tea bags. I like to get those dividers in on the tea tag party too….they make great border strips and bookmarks.
Step one: Treat the tea tags with gesso or paint or spray or whatever you have on hand. I treat my tags with a smear of gesso because typically tea tags have a coating on them and they’re slick. This varies from brand to brand. I am NOT NEAT about this and smear gesso on the strings as well. Gesso or thick paint (this is an ideal project for nearly dried up paint) creates an additional element of texture for your tea tags. It’s also just fine if you don’t cover the entire text of the tea tag. Anything peeking out adds interest. Allow your tea tags to dry completely.
Step Two: Spray or splatter or otherwise color the tags on the opposite side. I bought Heidi Swapp spray on sale at my local craft store. I normally cannot afford this stuff, but it was in the discount aisle. Spray or splatter or whatever some color onto your tags. Then allow them to dry. (I just realized this red splatter reminds me of The Walking Dead!- HA!) So now you’ll have a colored side to your tea tag and a gesso side.
Step Three: Stamping. I have these cool little stamps my sister gave me and they’re the perfect size for stamping on a tea tag. If you don’t have small stamps just use portions of bigger stamps. PLAY with it! You can draw or color or use marker on your tea tags.
Step Four: Now it’s time to treat the opposite side of the tea tag. Remember, you’re treating the strings too so don’t forget to give them some spray or paint or spatter love. This is NOT a project where being neat matters one iota. I used another cheapie on sale green spray to treat the opposite side of my tags (the gesso side) then stamped them with a text stamp.
Step Five: Allow your lovely tea tags to dry. Then peel them off the paper. Yep, some of them will stick but that just adds texture. BONUS: You are left with some super cool scrappy paper to play with!
Step Six: Use your tea bags for crafting or card making. I’ve tied them to Inspiration Journals, and also use them to tie to packages leaving my etsy.com shop. I use them in my art journals too for visual and moving interest. You can tie beads on to the strings for even more fun.
Don’t allow fun paper stuff to go to waste! Use your creativity to craft with what you have on hand. USE WHAT YOU HAVE! It’s eco friendly and so much fun!