Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tricks for Tea-Dying: Easy Tutorial!

For some of my stitching projects and home decor designs, I like to create that distressed, antiqued, and aged look on the fabric I use. One of the easiest ways to do that is to tea-dye the fabric. Here is an easy tutorial to help you achieve that same antiqued look:

1. For a mottled and lightly-dyed effect as shown in the design above, simply steep one or two tea bags in a very small pot of boiling water for 5-10 minutes. Remove the bags, then crumple a fat quarter or more of muslin and place it in the pot.

Leave the fabric there for a half hour or so, (leave it longer for a darker color) without moving it around at all. The smallness of the pot seems to keep the tea from distributing through the fabric evenly, so as to get a mottled and splotchy effect. Wring out and let dry naturally, then press to remove wrinkles.

2. Now for my favorite way to tea-dye! To create a darker, stained, tea-dyed effect as shown on this Merry Halloween design, run hot water over a tea bag for a few seconds. Dab the tea bag over muslin that has been placed on a cookie sheet. Repeat as needed.

Dry fabric for approximately 10 minutes in a 200 degree oven, watching closely. Repeat process for darker muslin. You can also squeeze the water-soaked tea bag over the fabric to create a splotchy, stained look. I would recommend dying it this way before you stitch, but it can be done after as well.

Be sure to drop me a line if you have any questions!


  1. It is all so cute. Here is my question. Or maybe just a thought: in a perfect world you would still be my neighbor and I could still come over and see all your darling projects in person. I miss you Friend. Love Ya and so happy you are feeling better. :) Dana...

  2. I used your instructions from your free pattern, I believe a while back to do my first tea staining and it came out great! Thank you!

  3. I'm Dana's friend and I click over sometimes to have a peek. Thanks for the tutorial! Now I finally have a use for those tea bags my kids give me for mother's day from school (since we don't drink tea...) :) Your stuff is SO cute!!


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