Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Crafting: Reusable Tea Bags

Last time I showed you two ways to make homemade tea bags perfect for gifts and favors, and as promised, here is part two, reusable tea bags. They are quick and easy to make, though you do need a sewing machine. These tea bags are great for the eco-friendly tea drinker and also make a great gift set when given with a few bags of loose tea.

What you'll need for each tea bag:
4" x 3" piece of lightweight untreated fabric (muslin, cotton, etc)
14" piece of cotton string (I use size 10 crochet thread)

With the fabric flat in front of you (back side facing up if patterend),
4" wide x 3" tall, punch two small holes on either side about 1/4" in and 1/2" down. You can use an awl, exacto knife or other sharp pointy object. Thread the cotton string through the holes as shown above. Fold the top fabric over the string and pin in place. Stitch along the edge as shown, this forms the drawstring.

Next fold the rectangle in half, inside facing out, and pin in place. Stitch along the bottom and the up the side, about 1/8" in. Be sure to keep your drawstring ends toward the inside folded edge of the bag so you do not sew over them.

Flip the bags right side out and you're almost done! The next step is to add a bead to the end of the drawstrings to keep them from coming out and to weight the tea bag.

I love using these metal tag-like beads I found at my local craft store but any bead with a large hole will do. First, loop the two strings over loosely, as if to tie the bag. Thread the two ends through your bead and double knot to secure. Trim any extra long ends.

Now you're ready to fill with your favorite tea and enjoy! Here I'm brewing a homemade blend of green tea, chamomile and bee pollen.

When you're done with the bag, loosen the draw string and hang it on the edge of your sink or elsewhere to dry. Once dry, you can easily dump the used tea and rinse if needed, though I often find it's not necessary. It's nice to have a half dozen or so on hand for company or to use while another is drying.

Aside from enjoying them yourself, a set of these with a few bags of loose tea and some homemade 'recipe cards' for blending suggestions would make a fantastic gift.

I promise one day soon I'll have myself together and get some PDF instruction sheets available for download on all my Crafting posts, and I'll be sure to let you know when they are ready. In the meantime, enjoy making some tea bags (I'd love to hear about how it goes!) and you can find other fun Crafting projects here.


Leila Marvel said...

That is the cutest thing I have ever seen!

jealousydesign said...

this is a great idea!

Melissa A said...

What a cute idea you have here. I was just talking to my husband last night about making my own tea out of mint I have growing in the backyard and giving it to friends as gifts. Now I have a beautiful way to package it. Thank you for the instructions and great idea.

Unknown said...

that is AWESOME! I've never been able to find a diffuser that holds in all the tiny leaf particles. I will be trying this. And what a great gift for tea drinkers! :)

Geek+Nerd said...

I *need* to do this! Thank you for sharing!

Unknown said...

hey, just wanted to let you know i made this, and i posted it with a link at www.jeanninesphotoart.blogspot.com

Radish said...

the pictures you have taken to support your instructions are just wonderful and so very helpful. Thank you for being so thorough! I will keep your website handy!

Erika Mulvenna said...

Hello! We think your crafty tutorial is great, and we want to share it with other sewers and quilters by featuring a link on www.WeAllSew.com! We’ll be featuring your tutorial at our "Free Stuff" page all next week. Please let me know if you have any questions about being featured at WeAllSew.com. Thanks so much-Erika

Vero of Tealovero Shop said...

Loved the tutorial you shared. I make myself those reusable tea bags and make it as gift for people who shop at my online tea shop. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Would the dye in the fabric leak at all? If it does, is it dangerous to ingest?

lillyella said...

Ive read varying opinions on the dye issue, but if you have any concern, you can use cheesecloth or looks for fabrics colored with natural soy inks.

Lu Ann said...

Oh my gosh! This is an adorable idea. So glad I stumbled upon your blog. :)

Lu Ann

soccerkez said...

I love this idea! I'd really like to make some with a cute pattern but am having trouble finding untreated patterned fabric - any suggestions where to look?

lillyella said...

Do a google search for 'organic cotton fabric' and you should find lots of options that work for you!

Unknown said...

Please can you let me know where you bought your fabric from?

I cant seem to find the floral type anywhere! Please help x

lillyella said...

Hi Kirsty,

I'm sorry, Im actually not sure where I got the specific fabric I used here, I had it for quite some time. You can just google 'organic cotton fabric' and find a variety. fabricworm.com has a good selection. good luck!

lillyella said...

Hi Kirsty,

I'm sorry, Im actually not sure where I got the specific fabric I used here, I had it for quite some time. You can just google 'organic cotton fabric' and find a variety. fabricworm.com has a good selection. good luck!