A Tea Party to Dye For

You can pour yourself a cup of tea, if you wish. 

Are you wanting an "aged" vintage look in fabrics, lace, and even paper? Look no more than to your kitchen. It's an old art I use to do "many moons" ago when I wanted new fabric and lace to look aged when working with hand crafts. It's really fool proof and no real recipe to get the vintage appeal you are looking for. 

"Aged" paper and hang tags are perfect for scrapbooking projects, journals, place cards, and gift tags. I am using my hang tags for retail sale price tags, since I couldn't hop back into time to an early 20th century Paris flea market and grab a few. 
Passementarie Price Tags
The best results for fabric dying is good ol' cotton muslin, as well as cotton lace. Cotton prints work fine if you are looking to soften and muting some of the more brilliant colors of prints. Of course, I would always do a test square of fabric first when using the prints for the desired effect. Fool proof. 

First, you will need five tea bags (or four or six). I have found usually tea bags that have mainly black pekoe tea works the best. About 2 or 3 cups of hot water, and again this depends on how much you want to dye. If you have a lot of fabric, just use more water and more tea bags. Depending on how much of a tea staining solution you are working with, an old glass casserole pan or an old plastic storage container will work for small projects and the kitchen sink will work with larger ones. You can leave the bags in the tea and work around them or remove them depending on your space. I personally like to take the bags and give them a good squeeze back into the solution before I dump them. Fool proof. 
Selected projects from Pinterest
Now, toss your items that you want stained into your solution and let it do its magic. Leave your paper, lace, or fabric in longer for a darker color or less for a lighter touch of vintage. When finished, wring out the lace or fabric, and with paper products, just let them drip off back into the tea solution. Fool proof. 

Let your selected fabric and lace dry outside or on a rack in an area with a good air flow. For paper, let dry on several paper towels or an old cloth towel you don't care if it gets stained, as well. Depending on the weight of the paper, it may take a day or two to dry, and be sure and give the paper and/or tags a turn here and there. Fool proof. 

Coffee is also a good source to use to "age" fabric and paper. Use your leftover breakfast coffee, or I use to keep a small jar of cheap coffee crystals for such a task. Always use more coffee than as per the instructions on the jar. If you want to add a little something special to either of your tea or coffee dying brews, add a hint of liquid vanilla and a few sprinkles of cinnamon; and it will make your project smell - - well - - your project will smell rather tasty. Also, I have noticed that coffee will add a coffee house aroma to your dyed projects, where the smell of tea is very faint or not at all. Fool proof. 

Did I happen to mention that tea dying is, "Fool proof?" 


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