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D.I.Y. Tea Painted Card with Free Printable

Hello lovelies!  Just in time for the coming Spring (or Fall for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere) I have put together a simple little tutorial with a bonus freebie printable for you all to enjoy.

A few years ago I discovered that in place of watercolors you can actually use tea (the kind you drink) to paint with.  I thought I'd show you how to use this super easy technique to make a pretty and natural looking note flat that would be perfect for giving to a special friend or loved one to brighten their day.  Of course you can use tea painting freestyle or feel free to print out the Printable Teacup Note Flats I created for you, and follow along.

Download: Free Printable Teacup Note Flats (prints three to a sheet)

Step 1: Collect up a variety of teas to use.  I've had some nice results in the past with pomegranate and other fruit teas, but only had black teas on hand for this project.  Each flavor will yield different results, so have fun testing them all out.

Step 2: Brew the tea bags in a separate glass for each flavor using only an inch or so of hot water (don't add any sugar or cream).  More than one tea bag can be used for stronger color saturation.  I left the tags on so I'd remember which was which.

Step 3: I created a quick color guide for each tea flavor and labeled it for later reference. Painting with tea is similar to painting with watercolor in that the depth of the color builds up with each new application.  So the three samples I created were to show the range from between one to three layers of tea painting.  To do: just paint 3 small circles in a row for each flavor. When dry, paint a second layer over the last two circles in each row.  When those try, paint once more atop the very last circle in the row for a third layer.

Step 4: Print your note flats onto heavy-weight card stock paper or watercolor paper (if your printer can process it) and cut out.  I left a thin white border around the outside to give it a nice effect when it is completed.

Step 5: Dip your brush into your tea and begin filling in your cards with strokes of tea in the areas you'd like colored.  Start with a thin layer of tea.  Once it has begun to dry you can apply additional layers of tea for definition.  Remember that each coat will become slightly darker so you can use this for "shading" and other fun effects.  I'm not sure how your printer ink will react with the moisture from the tea, but I loved that mine softened with each coat of tea.  Yours may do the same.  Even if you were to only brush tea all over this card the effect would still be lovely, so don't worry about messing up.  You can print as many as you want so just be creative and have fun with it.

Tip: If you want to give this card to multiple recipients (for a shower invite perhaps) but don't have the time to paint that many, you can paint one original version and have it color copied onto quality paper for instant handmade cards!

Alternately: If tea painting isn't your thing, the free Teacup Note Flats still make a great starting place for a fun card.  Use colored pencils, markers, or standard watercolors and enjoy!

For non-commercial use only please (creative personal use is encouraged though). Alteration of the file does not void the copyright. The PDF file is not intended to be hosted on your own site - please link to this post for the download. Please feel free to print out copies to share with your friends and family, and of course a little shout-out for my blog is always very much appreciated too! Enjoy! xo Ez

This post was kindly sponsored by Pip & Estella - Vintage and Antique Boho-chic Decor:

Reader Comments (28)

what a fun idea! i love the thought of using actual tea bags to color them in!

March 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteralex

I love this.
How can one not try painting teacups with tea.
I will be trying this.

March 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNancy Cook

Oh god....that is the sweetest card hun! So beautiful & I love it both ways! Thanks for this hun!

March 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa de la Fuente

Yes! This will be perfect for these little frames I want to put in my entry room.

March 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCassey

That's a great idea.
You should check this out. It's painting with coffee.

March 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMandy

that is just too cute. i will for sure have to start painting with tea.

March 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkendal croix

This is so cute! I love it!

March 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSteph R.

this is the sweetest idea ever! i'd like to make my friend a card using all of her favorite teas.thanks for sharing!
marsha spaniel

March 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermarsha spaniel

Great idea! Love this!

March 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKenziepoo

this is seriously one of the best ideas ever. thank you, thank you so very much for sharing/giving us this project! i can't wait to try it and send little notes along!

March 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkelly m

This is such a brilliant idea, I can already imagine putting together tea related presents decorated with teacups painted in tea... Thanks!

March 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

wonderful idea!

March 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercindy

thank you these teacups are so adorable!

March 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkatie

new here! So darling!! xoxo

March 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertaylor

Oh hurray! Thank you all for your lovely comments! I hope you will have a blast trying the project out. xox Ez

March 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEz

this is so cute - you are very clever!!

March 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteranastasia

awesome :)

March 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterchoc_coffee

This is so sweet! What a great idea!

March 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJutta

This is one of the cutest ideas I have seen in a long time! I love it, and really want to try it :) it would make such a cute invitation for a tea party!

March 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCaitlin

Thanks for the adorable tea cups! So cute...

March 6, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjulie

this is the loveliest idea. can't wait to try.

March 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmberLee

Oh my goodness, this is brilliant! So pretty, and such fun. Thanks!

March 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdomestikate

Thank you for the lovely Tea Cup Cards. The tutorial is great and so fun!

May 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterb00kmark

thanx for these beauties!

May 13, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersaffiertje

just love it, i took the permission to feauture it on my blog (like 1 or 2 articles) in french with a link to your blog for french people to discover it and visit your website, i gave few instructions in french so french readers dont get lost, i hope you dont mind, please let me know, i really admire your work and your website !

May 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersocha

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