Thursday, 4 October 2012

tea bags for play - tutorial

really they should be called super scrap busting overly sweet but really loved play tea bags but i am sure even the best search engine would be boggled by this.

to complete this project you will need

a sewing machine
scissors (or a cutting mat and rotary blade)
fabrics (details below) and co-ordinating thread
iron and ironing board

for each tea bag you will need

for the tags
out of your scraps cut one 1x2 inch rectangle, if you can do this one the bias you will reduce fraying
out of your bonding medium cut one 7/8x7/8 inch square

for the string
cut one 5 inch lenght from either 1/4 inch or 3/8 inch ribbon

for the 'bag'
cut one 2 1/2 x 5 inch rectangle from tulle

for the tea leaves
about a teaspoon of fabric and thread trimmings
i recommend tossing your tea trimmings together to loosen the dusty flecks
putting it all together....

to start reduce your stitch length under 2 mm ( i used 1.6mm)
fold your tulle in half and stitch a quarter inch seam down the two sides that meet the fold, leaving a completely open edge at the top

trim your threads and turn each 'bag' inside out
fill each bag with your tea trimmings

..... move onto your tags and strings

get all the bits up on the ironing board and place your tag fabric face down and place one end of your string at one end overlapping by a 1/2 inch place your small square over the string and press to fix in place

remove the backing and fold the fabric over to meet and press to fix in place
pop back to the sewing machine and stitch 1/8 inch seam around your tag
cut threads
i have this dark washi at my 1/4inch seam line it does help spotting your tulle

to put everything together

fold the top open edge of the bag inward enclosing your trimmings
at the folded edge begin sewing an 1/8 inch seam pausing before you reach the middle

lift your presser foot and insert the tag string a 1/2 inch into the bag, lower the presser foot and continue with the seam until you reach the folded edge again
to secure your string stitch a second line across the top of your tea bag.

now just trim up your threads and enjoy

now i have made some assumptions - dangerous i know

always use stay stitches at the beginning and the ends of your sewing
and that you are not going to drive yourself nutty if thing are not perfectly square, the tulle does slip a little - if you ever find a young one who produces a protractor and measuring tape when you present them with a handmade gift do let me know

feel free to use this tutorial to make these for giving and selling but please link back to this tutorial.


  1. Just discovered you :). I thought I was the only one with a strip of washi on my sewing machine

  2. ohh the washi, i wish i could to the computer keys but sadly my keys are black, how sad.

    and i think ethel would be an excellent name for your typewriter!

  3. Hi. I have oodles of nylon tulle and am wondering if it would be safe to use nylon tulle and real tea for real bags. Do you know/have an opinion about wheter or not that would be "food-safe?" Thanks!


thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment or ask a question. i will answer each and every time as best i can.