How to Stain with Used Tea Bags

Using Used Tea Bags to Stain Paper

If you like to use paper that looks antiqued for your journaling, scrapbooking and other creative paper crafts, it's possible to give paper that aged look at home. You don't even have to buy special paper or dyes.

Staining paper with tea is inexpensive and versatile because it allows you to experiment with different shades of stain on different types of paper using materials you already have at home. All you need are some tea bags and water to transform your existing paper into something unique. While it is easiest to tea stain loose leaf paper, bound journal or book pages can also be stained by separating the wet pages with sheets of waxed paper or aluminum foil [source: Aisling].


To start staining your paper or journal, brew a batch of tea. Soak three bags of black tea in two cups of warm water [source: Spatone]. When the tea is ready, apply it by dabbing the paper with the tea bag or by dipping a paintbrush into the tea and brushing it onto the paper. You can also fill a shallow pan with the tea and soak the entire piece of paper in it [source: Aisling].

After you have stained the paper to the desired color, set it out to dry. Put a pane of glass or a nylon screen on top of the paper so it will dry flat [sources: Spatone, Aisling]. This will prevent the edges from wrinkling or warping. Once your stained paper is dry, use it to create all of your paper crafts!

But if you prefer to fashion things from fabric instead of paper, read the next page to learn how to stain fabric with tea bags.