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How to tea stain

Updated March 23, 2017

Staining paper or poster boards with tea bags can make the paper look aged. This technique is often used for school history projects or art projects, as well as for ageing photographs or shading paper craft projects. Staining paper with tea bags is a simple procedure. To make a more detailed and realistic tea stain paper, use ground coffee beans to create darker stains and a lighter to burn the edges of the paper.

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  1. Select the type of tea bags you want to use for the project. A red or white tea will produce a lighter pink shade of tea stain on the paper, whereas black teas will create a darker stain.

  2. Pour water in a pot or a kettle and boil it. Pour the boiled water into a cup.

  3. Place two or three tea bags in the hot water for a minute. Pull the tea bags out of the water and submerge them once again. This ensures that the hot water gets through the tea bags. Remove the tea bags from the water and place them on a plate.

  4. Place non-glossy poster board or paper down on a flat surface that will not stain from a tea bag, such as a kitchen counter. Lift one tea bag from the plate and squeeze it slightly to remove the majority of the water.

  5. Place a tea bag on the poster board or paper and drag it evenly around the poster board. When it starts losing some colour, repeat the process with the second and third tea bag. Continue until the process until the poster board has been covered in tea stain.

  6. Use a sponge to remove the excess water from the poster board or paper. This will speed up the drying process.

  7. Sprinkle some ground coffee beans on the paper. Rub the beans into the paper and remove the excess from the paper by placing it upright. Place the poster board down flat so it can dry.

  8. Place once edge of the paper between two pieces of wood with the edge slightly sticking out. Use a lighter the burn the edge. The wood will ensure that the fire does not burn the entire paper. Repeat this step with all four edges.

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Things You'll Need

  • Tea bags
  • Cup
  • Plate
  • Non glossy poster board or paper
  • Sponge
  • Ground coffee beans
  • Lighter
  • Wooden blocks

About the Author

Mary Jane

Based in Toronto, Mary Jane has been writing for online magazines and databases since 2002. Her articles have appeared on the Simon & Schuster website and she received an editor's choice award in 2009. She holds a Master of Arts in psychology of language use from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

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