How to make a tea chest

Written by christina gandolfo
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How to make a tea chest
Tea is one of the most popular drinks in the world today. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Once thought of as just a tasty and comforting drink, tea is now credited with several health benefits -- including lowering the risk for some cancers and lowering LDL or bad cholesterol -- due to the large amount of antioxidants present in white, green and black teas. Because of its satisfying taste and health benefits, tea is one of the world's most popular drinks. If you are a tea drinker or like to serve tea in your home, a tea chest is a lovely way to store and present your tea bags for serving.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Wooden box
  • 1/8-inch wood, notched
  • Felt or velvet
  • Wood Stain
  • Sealer
  • Wood finisher

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    Making the Chest

  1. 1

    Purchase a wooden box the dimensions of your choice from any craft or light-furnishings store. A typical tea bag measures 2 1/2 inches wide. If you are making a small teacher or personal gift, and want only two rows of tea bags, then you need a box width of 5 1/4 inches to accommodate two tea bags plus one wooden insert. If you were to go to a tea house and order tea, the waiter would likely present you with a tea chest that holds four tea bags across with two rows of tea bags. You need a box that is 10 3/4 inches wide to hold four tea bags across.

    How to make a tea chest
    Determine how many tea bags you want the box to hold across and measure accordingly. (Jupiterimages/ Images)
  2. 2

    Cut wooden inserts to the box dimensions, keeping the notched bottoms lined up so the inserts are even across the top. If you want one row of tea bags, you only need inserts to divide columns; if you have two rows, you need another insert to divide the them.

  3. 3

    Sand the wooden box and inserts so there are no rough edges. All pieces should fit back together smoothly after sanding. Use a soft brush to sweep away all wood particles so they don't get caught up in the finishing process.

  4. 4

    Stain the box and inserts in the colour of your choice. Depending on your budget, choose an oil or water-based stain; oil-based stains are more expensive. Seal and finish the chest to prevent the stain from running and to protect the wood.

  5. 5

    Attach a piece of velvet or felt to the inside of the lid using wood glue. Choose a fabric colour that harmonises with the wood and stain.

Tips and warnings

  • For a simpler version, or an easy teacher gift, make a smaller tea chest out of a purchased cardboard box and cardboard inserts sized to fit a standard tea bag.
  • If you prefer loose tea, fill each compartment with a different loose tea and provide a key inside the lid to identify each type.
  • Before staining the wood, remove any latches or hinges so they don't get dirtied while you stain. Reattach them after finishing the wood.
  • If you fill your tea chest with loose teas, your wood finishing products should be food-safe.

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