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How to Tea Dye Paper for a Vintage Look

I love to use tea or coffee dyed paper in my journals. Depending on the look you are going for, you can run the dyed paper through your printer or use it as is. Tea dying paper is fast and easy and you can get different effects with the same paper and tea, just by varying the way you combine them.


I got 3 totally different looks from the same boring white cardstock, just by making a few changes to each as I dyed them.


The crumply one on the left is my favorite!

Supplies for Tea Dying Paper

Cardstock -- I used 110 lb to make these, but 90 will work as well.

Strong tea or coffee, just brew like you'd drink it, 1 big mug full will do

Cookie sheets with sides

Mixing bowl


How to Make Vintage Looking Paper


Heat up your oven to 225. We'll be baking this paper so it is ready to use right away.


The papers above were all made at the same time. The only difference is how they were prepared/set in the tea.


Smooth, Even Tea Dyed Paper

Use this method to create vintage looking paper that is smooth and that can easily be run through a printer or decorated with stamps.




For the smooth, even vintage look, pour warm tea or coffee into the cookie sheet. Add 2 sheets of cardstock and make sure they're submerged. Let them sit for about 10 minutes, then remove to anther cookie sheet. Place in the oven to dry for about 15 minutes. Paper is ready to use when it is completely dry.


Crumpled, Textured Paper


This paper is a little more textured, and makes an interesting surface for a lot of different embellishments. If you iron it with a hot iron, you can still feed it though the printer, too!




To make this aged looking paper, pour tea or coffee onto a cookie sheet, then add 2 sheets of paper. Let them soak for 10 minutes. then remove them.

Before you put them into the oven to dry crumple them into small balls, about the size of a golf ball. Let them sit a few minutes, then smooth out and pop into the oven. They dry with all that cool texture in place -- as seen above.


Heavily Textured Paper

This one is my favorite because it looks most like handmade paper -- and I love the varience in color and texture. This one is lovely for backgrounds and anywhere you want a rustic look but won't go through the printer well.




You'll still use tea or coffee, but this time. crumple the cardstock up into a ball before you immerse it. Some areas will get more dye than others, which creates the varigated look. Put the crumpled paper into a bowl. then add coffee. Let sit for about 5 minutes, then turn it over to make sure all surfaces are saturated.

Spread out the wet paper then dry in the oven. You can press with a hot iron to smooth it out once it's done.


I prefer using tea or coffee dyed paper and this is the fastest and easiest way I know to do it -- and it yields completely different results depending on which method you use.






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