Sunday, February 14, 2010

Tea Dying

With the bookcase done, and most of the accessories in place, we're now in the process of finishing up the small things.

One of those small things were the 3 boxes, pictured below that are on the bookcase.


I new I wanted to cover the top of the boxes with some sort of cream and black patterned fabric. We've got the cream on the bookcase, and the cream and black toile on the photo boxes

But finding the perfect black and cream fabric proved to be much more difficult than I thought it would. What I did find was a collection of black and white fat quarters at AC Moore. They were going to have to do...


Not wanting the start white, I decided to tea dye them... Here are the materials needed:
  • Fabric
  • Hot Tea
  • Container to "brew" the fabric in
  • Rack to dry the fabric on.
I started first by cutting off just as much fabric as I would need, I didn't want to dye the whole fat quarter incase I went to dark or had other issues.

Poured the tea into the dish:

Then submerge the fabric in the tea:

Let sit for about 5 minutes, the longer you leave it, the deeper the color.
Remove fabric from the tea and repeat with the other pieces if you're doing more than one.

Place fabric on rack to dry. (You could also rinse the fabric, but since they looked SO close to the color I wanted, I didn't want to risk lightening them at all.)

And here are a couple of comparisons with the dried fabric, these didn't photograph too well, you're likely looking at them wondering what on earth the difference is and why I bothered... but in person, the difference is just what I wanted. It really turned the white to cream and knocked the starkness of the contrast down.




(Yeah, I know the difference is subtle, but if I hadn't done it, the glaring white fabric would have bugged me.)


  1. That looks great. It just took the edge of the white. I have never tried dye anything with tea. I might have to give it a go now.

  2. Another thing you could do is distress the fabric with brown ink pads. I do it with paper a lot, and love the effect.

  3. I have tea dyed several times, including yards and yards of muslin that I used as wallpaper in my husband's den. You are right, the effect is subtle but it makes such a difference. I have several photo boxes, all different colors and this is the perfect project to make them all blend together... thanks for sharing!


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