Our living room makeover was a success, but when it came to curtains, I was stuck until a girlfriend suggested tea dyeing. Because we rent our place, I wanted lovely but reasonable options for our temporary home. A little DIY curtain project sounded perfect.
Tea dyeing instructions turned out to be extremely limited on the web and after several hilarious but unhelpful YouTube shorts, I decided trial and error was the best path. Turns out tea dyeing is super easy and economical.
I experimented with synthetic netting, paper and cotton. Different textiles produce different results, so have some fun experimenting. I started with curtains and moved to kraft paper tags and finally a crocheted doily.
What you'll need:
- netting, paper tags or crocheted doilies (really, the possibilities are endless)
- black tea bags
- a kettle
- a sink or baking dish
Arrange tea bags in a sink or baking dish depending on the size of the items you're dyeing. For two curtains I used 50 tea bags, for paper or a small cotton item, use five to 10.
Boil water and fill the sink or dish about 3/4 of the way full. Steep the tea for 15 minutes, then remove the tea bags.
Soak the items in the tea. The longer you leave it, the darker your results. Synthetic fabrics take much longer than natural materials. I left our netting in overnight. For the doily and paper tags, I left them in for 10 minutes.
Rinse the fabric items and lay them flat until dry.
Before and after:
We ended up with enough tea bags for all of England but also with some whimsical curtains and a great new DIY way to add a vintage, antique touch to all sorts of things.