Tea or Coffee Dyeing Tips
Notes on Tea & Coffee Dyed Papers
Are you confused about coffee & tea dyeing? – I was!
So I decided to try it out.
What fun! And what a mess! I hung the wet papers on my drying rack in the laundry & had drip spots all over the floor. But I felt as though I was still in kindergarten or primary school – what a feeling.
Since that day, I have learned a lot more.
Let’s get more serious.
- Tea or coffee – I do not think it matters a lot. If you want a deep shade, then strong coffee seems to work best. Tea is a more subtle shade.
What kind of papers? – Any. I love vellum for its translucent look.
- Vellum envelopes
- Envelopes in general
- Scrapbook papers
- Coloured papers
- Maps, ledger, texts, dictionary, script, alphabet papers
- Paper doilies look beautifully vintage
Make a jug of tea or coffee with hot water; let it steep. There is no suggested time. After your first dyeings & you have defined the colour you want, you will have more of an idea of the time & how much tea or coffee – 3 tea bags, 2 tablespoons of coffee.
- Pour the dyeing liquid into your dyeing container – I use a shallow baking dish that fits A4 paper. Add the paper – several sheets at a time – I usually find 2-3 sheets is more manageable. Hold down the edges if they curl until they stop curling – back of a spoon works well; press down on any bubbles of air if you want them dyed. Let the papers alone while they absorb the dye.
- Take out the papers. You can dry them in the oven at medium heat for approx 5 minutes with foil underneath to stop drips. I prefer to air dry them. Let the excess drips over the sink & then hang on a drying rack with a peg on 2 flat corners – paper towels on the floor. This will give an overall cleaner dye. To obtain a messy dye, add more of the dye into a spray bottle & add patches of colour to the paper. A cup with dye on the bottom will leave a ring.
- If the papers are wrinkled & you want them smooth, use a dry, low heat iron.
- Other tips:
- you can create other colours with inks
- if you want to stamp/print on the paper before dye, iron with plain paper on top
- a spray bottle with tea or coffee after the papers are dry works well
- Twinings Tea Infusions do not work