Now that I’ve put together a handy little travel tea set, I realized that I need something to keep it all in. My inner Girl Scout leader decided to get a bit crafty. Why not use tea to make prints on a tote bag? I had never thought of doing this before but two teas immediately came to mind because of their large leaves: Mauna Kea Organic Premium Green Tea – 2014 1st Flush and Wild Tea Qi Mengku Rich Valley Raw Puerh.
Water-based acrylic paint is the best kind to use for this type of project. It cleans up easily in case there is a spill or mess and the final product will be fairly durable. The colors that I chose are DecoArt Dazzling Metallics in Splendid Gold and Festive Green. I purchased them at my local Michael’s but they are pretty easy to find at other stores as well.
Step 1 – Make the Tea
You’ll need to get your tea leaves soft and completely unfurled so the first step will be to make some tea. The puerh tea took several rounds in the gaiwan while the green tea only took two teapot brews to reach the right consistency.
Step 2 – Select Your Leaves
Now comes the fun part. Sort through your spent tea leaves and try to pick out the largest leaves that are the most whole. Connected bud sets will work well too. Lay them out on a wet paper towel to prevent them from drying out while you work.
Step 3 – Paint Your Leaves
Working one leaf at a time, gently brush the acrylic paint onto your leaves. Make sure that you get a thin and even coat without making them too gloopy.
Step 4 – Print Your Leaves
Gently press the leaves onto the surface of your fabric. If you press too hard, the leaves will tear and the paint will smudge. There’s no rush to get it all done at once so take your time with this step.
Step 5 – Get Creative
This is where you can let your imagination run wild. I alternated colors and scattered my leaves all around the tote. Have fun with it!
Step 6 – Admire Your Handiwork
I liked the effect of the puerh leaves a bit more since they were quite a bit larger. If you give this project a try, I’d love to see what you come up with. Send me a picture and I’ll add it to this post