How it all started…

I was so honored when Justine responded to my inquiry about her possibly being a guest blogger on my website.  My first in fact! I had been reading her fantastic articles about all things tea and I love tea! I live in sunny, hot, Florida and I literally drink gallons of straight up, plain ol’ black ice tea, no lemon, no sweetener.  Occasionally in our three days of chilly winter weather I will go rogue and try all kinds of different hot teas. Justine has inspired me! 

I am definitely going to be looking for some of the teas I have read about on her blog: The Tea Chest  

Meet Justine

Let me introduce you to Justine if you haven’t already met this gifted lady.  She’s based on the West Coast of the North Island of New Zealand. She is highly knowledgeable and passionate about all things tea related. She loves to travel, sail, garden and read.  It is amazing to read a blog from someone halfway across the world and yet have so much in common.

Inspiration is Literally Everywhere

What really piqued my interest was a piece she did on rubber stamped tea bags. I instantly loved the idea of merging two very different loves I have(rubber stamping and drinking tea) into one project.   I have been an avid stamper for years, I was even a regularly featured project designer and contributor for Rubber Stamper Magazine years ago. So, when Justine said yes, I was excited to try my own stamped tea bags. (see end pics) When I asked her about adding them to her guest spot she said that would be amazing!  (Honestly, she is one of the most gracious and talented bloggers out there.)

Painting Tea Bags…From Cup to Canvas  By Justine Warne

Art, it is all in the eye of the beholder so I’m told. And this form of art is definitely something you either appreciate or don’t. I find the use of a material that we would normally discard quite refreshing and the beauty that can come from such an item is incredible. Artist Ruby Silvious has opened my eyes to a whole new art form. She started to collect her used tea bags each day to transform them into majestic art pieces. Each tea bag is slightly different and with the staining from the tea it has a unique quality right from the beginning of the process. In 2015 Ruby collated a series called 363 Days of Tea and has gone on from there to create several more series as well as Kimonos put together all with painted tea bags. Have a look at her website, she is extremely talented and depicts a variety of visual delights such as nature, landscapes, portraits and architecture. https://www.rubysilvious.com/

I found this quick YouTube clip to show just how beautiful this art is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-J8lrXhW00I

Alka Mathur is another artist who uses tea bags as part of her mixed media designs. Alka says her art is inspired by nature. She uses the actual teabag to stain parts of her art and has also taken to using the dried tea bags as a sort of day to day diary; which has been integrated into her larger works as well as being displayed just as the entries. Have a look at this quick YouTube clip to see how it looks – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sipfmoOcbo

Stamping teabags is another way of creating art pieces using used tea bags. Firstly have a cup of tea (personally my favourite part of the process), dry out your teabag(s) for a few days, cut along an edge to remove the tea leaves, using pigment based ink (so it won’t run if you paint over it) stamp a design onto the teabag surface.

Go on to add to a mixed media piece of art, scrap-booking, make a card or create something completely unique. I would love to see any of your creations ♥

I Gotta Try This…

Here are my Justine inspired tea bag pieces.  I even used her logo in a couple of my designs to pay homage and thank her for the inspiration.  

My garden pansies and Justine’s Butterfly Blue-Pea Flower Tea piece inspired this piece. You can barely tell its a teabag!

This post contains some affiliate links from Amazon for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)!  Read my full dislosure policy

The inspiration for this one came from Justine’s Piece on blooming teas. I knew I had to try to capture the essence of my garden flowers in a stamped tea bag piece, if only in color alone! Rose lovers (AKA- Eve) be sure to see Justine’s post about this special tea.    Opening the tea bag and reserving it for later felt super weird but I couldn’t just pitch innocent tea. I then used the entire length of the tea bag and dyed it with a chartreuse, indigo and pinkolicious colored ink.  My “shout-out” to Justine was a mini print out of The Tea Chest logo inside the bag. I also applied some Pearl Ex pigment powder to the indigo layer of card stock.  Then as a finishing touch I added beads to the tea tag string. It would make a perfect whimsical bookmark to read while sipping your favorite tea.  

Made a custom rubber stamp for this custom tea bag project

In this piece I even made my own rubber stamp just for the occasion!  I used my Glowforge laser and laser safe rubber to craft a teapot stamp. Then, I saved a used, tea stained bag from my FAVORITE ice tea.  I cut it open and dumped out the wet tea leaves and allowed the bag to dry for a couple of days.  Next, I got busy using my rubber stamps and chalk ink (my favorite) to embellish the tea bag. I stamped my custom stamp on some cardstock and cut it out and placed inside the tea bag because it gave an ethereal look that added texture and dimension to the piece.  The finishing touch was distressing a color copy of Justine’s logo and then I layered it on top of the stamped tea bag.  

Fall leaves or Tea leaves?

Fall leaves, cool breeze…unless you’re in Florida.  Then not so much, but it doesn’t deter my love of autumn colors and pretending like our temperatures will get cooler.  Lol. Here I used the same colors as the actual tea and just added darker ink tones to it. I copper embossed the center leaf and added an acorn to the tea tag just for fun.  

Could this be a Christmas trend?

Who doesn’t love Christmas?  So that got me thinking…what about an entire tea themed tree???  It would be super cute by your tea serving area or kitchen. It wouldn’t have to be big.   You could decorate it with tea strainers, painted tea bags, like the one I stamped and watercolored above. You could also use unopened tea bags for guests, little honey dippers, mini tea cups or tea pots. It would definitely be something special for the tea lover in your life.  

The Moral of the Story…

So, the moral of this tea bag stamping DIY is…you never know where inspiration will come from!  Maybe 8,000 miles away from a tea aficionado like Justine or right in your own backyard. Either way, grab it and use it to create something amazing!  Justine already said she would love to see what you make based on this and now, so would I!!! Please show some love and share, subscribe, like, follow and pin The Tea Chest.  Who knows what’s next? Maybe I will try my hand at some tea time worthy recipes??? Subscribe below and find out.

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