Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Let's Play: Stamped tea bags

I woke up this morning, realizing it was Tuesday again! Time to join Let's Play, where Carolyn Dube's challenge this month is to use something that we would normally throw away. I've been collecting used tea bags for a while, so I thought it was time to put them to a good use! I needed a quick project for this post, so I decided to just stamp on them, but there's so much more you can do with these lovely, vintage-looking pieces! I will be exploring different uses in the future, for sure, but for now I'll just show you the results I got from simply stamping on them with black archival ink.

Here's my collection of dried tea bags, both square and round. I only drink rooibos (redbush) tea, which produces these lovely, reddish stains on the bags, though that's not the only reason I drink it!


The stains on one side of the teabags are always stronger than the other (the side it lands on while drying), so I use that side, and cut the other to remove the tea leaves. Of course you can use both sides, if you wish, but I like to keep the perforated edges and they're difficult to separate, so I usually sacrifice the 'paler' side and use the other. Here's one of my 'gutted' tea bags:


It's a good idea to iron the empty bags on a medium setting to get rid of any wrinkles and creases, unless, of course, that's the look you're after! For stamping, it's better to make them flat. You'll end up with these beautiful, randomly distressed, unique, mini canvases!


I used black archival ink to stamp on my tea bags, but you can experiment with all sorts of other media. I like archival ink because I know my images will not shift if I use them with wet media in collages later. You'll find that these tea bags are quite "thirsty" so make sure there's plenty of ink on your stamps to get a crisp image. I used both image stamps and background stamps. The stamped images will make good focal points, while the backgrounds will be great for layering. I will either glue them or staple them to my projects. 



Here's a closer look at one of the stamped tea bags:


Don't forget to save the paper towel used for dumping the wet tea bags on, either! They have beautiful colours and textures! 


Thanks for visiting today! If you are interested in seeing more playful projects, please hop over to this week's Let's Play link party and consider linking your own! 


Let's Play!