Friday, July 24, 2009

Tea Stained Paper

Tea stained paper has a lot of uses. I am putting some into regular glass frames to use as white boards. This will prevent the boards from having that drab "office" feeling.

To make it, start with a white or antique white paper. You don't have to use linen paper or anything of that sort. Regular copy paper will work and is sturdy enough to withstand the process.

Heat some water and soak your tea bags in it for a minute or so. Use either less water or more bags than you normally would for tea--you want it concentrated. Different colored teas will give a different look to the finished paper so experiment away. When ready to stain your paper, squeeze the bags over the steeping water just enough to prevent them from being drippy. Dab the tea bags randomly over the paper's surface until the page is wet and mottled. You may want to use paper towels to dab pools of tea that collect on the surface.

If you are going for an uneven edge, as in the picture, the best time to tear it is while the paper is still somewhat damp. Turn the paper over and carefully tear the edge. Putting a ruler down to define your rough edge will help you to gauge your tearing work. After it has been torn, dab the torn edge with the tea bag and it will soak it right in, giving a darker color to the edge.

To make dark stained creases, you need to crumple the paper. Once the paper is dray (or at least somewhat dry), crinkle it up and smooth it out. You can do this a few times for more creases. Once you are satisfied with the creases, drag your the prepared tea bags along the surface of the paper until you've dampened the whole thing again. The dark tea will sink into the creases giving a truly aged look. Allow to dry.

For a smoother finished product, you can iron the paper between layers of scrap cloth. Steam may aid this process but protect the ironing surface as some tea may stain it.

No comments: