How to stain paper with tea bags

Written by bree johnson | 13/05/2017
How to stain paper with tea bags
You can use tea bags to give plain paper a vintage appearance. (tea bags image by AGphotographer from

You can stain plain white paper to make stationary with the appearance and texture of vintage, parchment paper. While you probably detest tea stains on your teeth, clothing and carpeting, you may enjoy the effect a plain tea bag has on paper. Make any document look old when you stain the paper with tea bags.

Steep two or three tea bags in hot water for five to 10 minutes. Use inexpensive tea bags as long as the bag is sturdy and not easily torn.

Remove the tea bags from the water and allow them to cool completely before handling them.

Brush the front and back of the paper evenly with a tea bag.

Place the paper on a flat, stain-resistant surface.

Allow the paper to dry thoroughly and inspect it for any imperfections. If the paper is too light, repeat the steps until you achieve the desired colour. If the colour is too dark, use a paintbrush to apply an even coat of clean tap water and then allow the paper to dry.


If you want to stain more than one piece of paper at once, steep the tea bags in hot water for at least 20 minutes and pour the stout tea into a shallow baking pan. Insert the paper into the hot tea and allow it to stand for at least five minutes. Carefully remove the paper, separate each piece, and lay them out to dry. Use a calligraphy pen to write a note on the paper before you stain it to achieve the appearance of antique stationary. Roll the paper into a tube and scorch the edges with a lighter to give it a jagged, medieval appearance.

Things you need

  • 2 or 3 small tea bags
  • Plain, white paper

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