Use Natural Elements to Color a Greeting Card

by Iris Rodriguez

Use Natural Elements to Color a Greeting Card

Got tea? I do and I like to make art with the left-over tea bag paper. After the tea bags dry, you can take out the dried leaves you are left with an awesome substrate. Tea bags are versatile, translucent, luminous, and have an awesome vintage look and feel. I made a card using tea bags and Walnut Inks Cornflower and Willow; both awesome inks look great on tea bags. Not only are you making cool cards, but you are upcycling your tea bags.

Skill: Beginner
Time: 1 day for drying tea bags, 30 mins for the card, 5 mins to take apart and clean one tea bag


Step 1

Begin by allowing your tea bags to dry. I place my tea bags on a ceramic plate with a paper towel and allowed them to dry for several days. The color of your tea bag will be determined by the type of tea use. On this project, I started with a light color tea bag because it is Ginger tea.

Step 2

The tea bags are very delicate so a soft touch will be required to take them apart. Remove the tag by pulling it off. Remove the tiny staple with your nails. Rip open the seams. Take out the dried leaves by sloughing it off. Tear off the seams, otherwise, you’ll see it in your art. Do so, by tearing off the edges on the long side of the rectangle.

Step 3

Lay the tea bag on a nonstick surface; such an as craft mat, or wax paper. Spray a small amount of the Cornflower Walnut Ink on your craft mat and mix with water. Brush on the ink. Allow the bag to dry or use a heat tool.

Step 4

Repeat the same process in step 3, using the Willow Walnut Ink.

Step 5

Stamp or stencil images over a piece of scrap paper. The ink will go through the tea bag and stain your paper; it’s best not to stamp on your main card. The Willow Walnut inked tea bag was used to layer an image over the main substrate tea bag. Heat set.

Step 6

To adhere the stamped tea bag to the watercolor paper or main card, brush on a very thin layer of GlazOn Clear Layer Protectant to the back of the stamped tea bag. Finish the card by adhering it to the main card. I hope you enjoyed this project and will give it a try.


  • Used tea bags
  • Watercolor paper – 140 lbs
  • Joy Clair – Butterfly Kisses stamp set
  • Key Stamp
  • Crafter’s Workshop – Bird On Branches, Moving Vines – (6 x 6 inches)
  • Hero Arts Stamp – Old French Writing

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