Wednesday, February 10

It's All About the Tea

Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage.
~Catherine Douze

Here it is... the tea bag tutorial.  This is such a fun project to make and give.  My daughter loves the tea bags I made her, so much so that it inspired me to make a tea party set for her friend's birthday.  Now it is my pleasure to share these with you as well.  (And a special thank you to Julie of St. Louis for encouraging me to get this tutorial posted.)


The great thing is you can customize these for the recipient.  For the first bags I created for my daughter, I made pink bags with bright pink stitching (middle image above).  Having learned my lesson that the contrasting stitching shows off the "homemade" nature of my stitching (in this case being code for sloppiness), I used a thread that matched the felt for the tea set tea bags.  They still have that sweet girliness (left image above).  Now I am working on a set for a friend's daughter.  In this case I chose to do white bags with maroon stitching (right image above).  What I love about this latest version is that it is a bit more gender-neutral.

TUTORIAL:  FELT TEA BAGS
Supplies:
  • Felt in whichever colors you choose  (As I mentioned above, you can have fun customizing here.  I have generally used pink felt for the bags and white for the tags.  However, in this case I am using white for both.  Have fun with it.)
  • Embroidery Floss (maroon here)
  • Ribbon (maroon here)
  • Cardstock for template
  • Cotton Balls
  • Scissors
  • Needle
  • Pins

Directions:
  1. If you've read any of my tutorials, you know that I love templates.  I love them do to lessons learned when free-handing previous crafts.  So, we are starting with a template.  Cut out a tea-bag shape from cardstock.  Also cut out a small square for the tag.
  2. Pin your template to the felt and cut out.  Repeat.  You should not have two pieces of felt in a tea-bag shape.  Next pin your tag template to the felt and cut out a square.  Repeat.  You should now have two tag pieces as well.
  3. With contrasting-colored embroidery thread, stitch the word "TEA" on one piece of felt.  Or don't.  You could embroider an initial or a flower.  Have fun with it.
  4. Now using your thread color for the edging (white here to match the tea bag), use the blanket stitch to begin stitching the two pieces of felt together.  (FutureGirl.com has a great tutorial on the blanket stitch.)  I recommend that you start with the left side and stitch toward the top.
  5. Before stitching the top, cut your length of ribbon and position it between the two pieces of felt.  Continue with the blanket stitch across the top, making sure to sew through the ribbon at least once (preferably twice). 
  6. Continue the stitch until you reach the bottom right corner.  At this point stop.  Stuff a cotton ball inside through the open bottom.
  7. Stitch the bottom closed and knot off your thread.
  8. Next is the tag.  Using your contrasting thread, embroider a design on the tag.  For my daughter's, I chose to stitch a different design on every tag: her initial, a leaf, a flower, and a heart.  For the tea gift set, I stitched the birthday girl's initial ("V").  In this case, I am stitching "VT" since my friend is a big Hokie fan (thus the maroon instead of pink).
  9. Next, put the two squares together and begin to blanket stitch them together.
  10. When you reach the side that you want to connect with the ribbon, repeat the method that you followed with the tea bag.  Place the ribbon between the two pieces of felt.  Make sure to sew through the ribbon at least once, preferably twice.  Finish sewing the tag and knot your thread.  Voila... you are done.


Now, if you want to go a step further, you can create a little pouch for the tea bag as well.  This was my husband's idea (I love that man!) to mimic the individually wrapped pouches.


TUTORIAL: TEA BAG POUCHES
Supplies:

  • White Felt
  • Contrasting-colored Embroidery Floss (Dark Pink Here)
  • White Embroidery Floss
  • Button
  • Scissors
  • Needle

Directions:
  1. Cut a rectangle of fabric wide enough to fit the tea bag and still stitch the sides and slightly more than three times longer than the tea bag.
  2. Fold two-thirds together and blanket stitch each side with the white embroidery floss.  This should make a nice pouch to fit the tea bag.
  3. Fold the remaining third over and mark where you want the button.  Cut a slit in the piece that folds over, just big enough for the button to fit through.
  4. Sew the button onto the piece below the cover.  You should now be able to button the pouch shut.
  5. With the contrasting floss, embroider anything you like on the fold-over cover, making sure to do the side that is visible when the pouch is buttoned.  For my daughter, I decided to embroider different names of teas... Ceylon, Herbal, Earl Gray, and Mint.  (If you want a good laugh, check out the really bad "B" in Herbal in the picture of the pouches above.
I hope you have a great time making these.  I certainly have.  And if you make your own versions, let me know how they turn out.  I'd love to see your variations.

This project is linked with:
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8 comments:

A Contrarian's Way said...

Thank you so much for posting! I have two cookies done, and will begin working on a couple of these for Valentine's Day! Thanks again for the inspiration...great tutorials! Julie

Hunted Treasures said...

Been waiting to see how the tea bags where made. You are amazing, I started with the Valentine cookies and some how ended up making Ginger bread men they came out nice if I do say so myself. I found out today you stuff with cotton balls, this is nice to know. I am off to making tea bags. Thank you for your inspiration and creativity talent you have.
Hugs,
Maria & Ruth
"Hunted Treasures"

fawnda said...

these are adorable... what fun! : )

kirstin & jordan said...

What a terrific idea! I love tea, and think I need to make some of these!
If you're interested, tomorrow we have a friday fun find party that we'd love for you to link up to!

CJ {Pink Tea} said...

Thank you Kristin & Jordan. I'd love to link-up tomorrow.

Kim said...

Just adorable - who would have thought? I love your header, too.

Angie - treasuresfortots@gmail.com said...

Love it! Come link your cute tute at my party: Thursday's Treasures!!
http://treasuresfortots.blogspot.com/2010/02/thursdays-treasures-week-10.html

Angie - treasuresfortots@gmail.com said...

This is so cute! I linked on my Treasures for Tots blog sidebar!
http://treasuresfortots.blogspot.com/

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