Hello my friends and welcome back to the craft room! Today we venture into something completely different and way out of my wheelhouse, tea dyed paper! My sister’s newest crafty fun has been creating junk journals. For Christmas she asked me to create some ephemera items for her to use in them. Since I don’t make junk journals, I had no idea what to make but I jumped right in and gave it try! After running straight to YouTube for ideas the first thing I wanted to do was tea dyed paper.
It was interesting to learn that different types of tea produce different colors on the paper. Surprisingly, not the colors I would have guessed either. Of course regular black tea produces a lovely shade of brown. So it was natural to think green tea would offer a light green tinge. With that in mind, other flavored teas would produce the color that the water is in my cup; red, orange, or even yellow.
Green Tea Dyed Paper Results
My first attempt was with some raspberry green tea. While the bags were steeping in a cup of hot water, the liquid turned a beautiful shade of red. Ohhh, that was going to be such a pretty color!
I gathered a short stack of copy paper and a couple of pieces of thicker pattern paper from my stash. Pouring the hot tea into a baking dish, I added the paper one piece at a time, fully submerging it into the tea. I let the paper sit in the tea for a few hours. I could have dipped the paper in and out quickly, but I wanted the red color as deep as possible. While the paper soaked, I dug out a plastic table cloth and some stencils from my stash. When I pulled the paper out of the tea I was shocked and confused that the paper came out gray. Ummm Gray???? What the what?!?!?
As it turns out, green tea, and green tea based flavored teas, turn paper gray. I placed stencils down onto a few pieces of paper and sent up a little prayer to the crafting gods. I had no idea what the results were going to be as I had never done this before. Letting them sit undisturbed overnight to dry I had to resist the urge to take a peek.
The next morning all of the pages were dry so I carefully pulled back the first stencil. I may have squealed like a school girl at how pretty that first page was! The color is rather dark, so I’m curious what it would look like if I just did a dunk and pulled it out. And I wonder if perhaps the red of the raspberry tea would have shown up that way? Below are a few of the examples from this experiment.
Black Tea Dyed Paper Results
The next day I thought I would try another stack of paper with black tea. Again I let the tea bags steep in hot water for a while to get as much color as possible from them. I also let the copy paper sit in the solution for about as long as I did the day before. When the papers came out of the tea, I placed stencils on some of them and left the others blank. The difference this time, after the stencils went down I added a bit more tea to the area’s inside the stencils to see if the image would be more pronounced. As you can see that really helped bring the images to life!
Side By Side Comparison
The difference in the color between the green tea on the left and the black tea on the right, can really be seen when the paper is side-by-side. You can also see how adding more tea to the stenciled area helped brighten the image as well.
After the paper dried, they were tucked between some heavy books to flatten the wrapping a bit. I didn’t know for sure how my sister would use these, so I didn’t really try to get them new – paper flat. This was such a fun experiment that I will try it again. I really love the look of tea dyed paper created with plastic lace placemats, so I will for sure be on the hunt for some of those!
Thank you so much for dropping by the craft room today. Have you ever tried dyeing paper with tea or coffee? Did you soak the paper for a long period of time, or did you give it a light wash of color? Let me know your tips and tricks in the comments below and I’ll see you again soon.