I’m going to share with you the first project I ever did.
The finished part of it, anyway. At the time, I didn’t have a blog and had no reason to take pictures of the process. But it’s what got me into the whole DIY thing.
First, I’ll explain that I grow my own herbs. One of which is chocolate mint. I started growing it in April and I only bought it because it smelled nice, but I had no idea what to do with it. I was constantly trimming it (mint grows fast, you guys) and eventually I just let it die. Then in September, I brought my plants inside so they could get used to my apartment before I started blasting them with the heater (not that I ever have to turn it on–the lady who lives below me usually turns hers up so high that I have to keep my windows open all winter…not exaggerating, that’s really what happens…but it keeps my gas bill down WAAAAY low, so no complaints!). Anyway, having the plants in the kitchen gave me a little push to take better care of the herbs, so my mint grew back. And I decided to make tea with it!
But I didn’t want the clean-up of loose tea leaves. So one weekend when my husband had gone to visit his godfather (I decided not to go because they were going to spend basically the entire weekend geeking out over Pink Floyd–I like Pink Floyd, but not that much), I decided to learn how to make my own tea bags. I also think one of the reasons I did this project was because Zach had the car, so I needed a project that would involve me not having to go somewhere to get supplies.
It was fairly easy (though it would have been easier with a sewing machine).
What you will need:
- coffee filter
- tea leaves and spices
Step 01: Fold your coffee filter in half. From the crease, measure about 3 inches up and 2 1/2 inches across. Draw a rectangle.
Step 02: Start sewing around the rectangle. Leave the top (where the coffee filter opens) alone–do not sew it yet. If you’re sewing by hand, this will take a while. You can choose to cut the extra coffee filter off before you sew or after, whichever is easiest.
Step 03: Fill the tea bag with loose tea leaves (I haven’t quite perfected the art of tea mixing yet, so best not to ask me for advice on this).
Step 04: Fold the two top corners in, placing a piece of thread (regular or embroidery doesn’t matter–you could also use ribbon) under one of the flaps. Then take the pointy, triangular part that forms and fold it down. Staple this all together. (Though, you will see in the first picture that I sewed my corners down instead of stapling them. And in both pictures, I sewed my thread through instead of stapling it. Do whatever works. …I also forgot to fold the top down in the second one…. Oops.)
Step 05: Add something to the other end of the thread to tag the tea bag–buttons, paper, whatever you want.
Here are my pictures! They aren’t very good quality. It was late at night, I decided (for some reason) to keep the lights turned off, and they were taken with my phone.
I made that tag out of card stock and then colored it with a pink highlighter. Don’t ask what the tea mixture is. It was nasty. And mostly just there to see what it would look like. And sooooo nasty.
I made that tag out of the rest of the coffee filter. I folded it up and sewed. It was supposed to be a spider web, but I’m very bad at hand-sewing and I was starting to get frustrated and lazy. Plus, folded up coffee filters, after they’ve been folded too many times, are very difficult to sew through. I don’t recommend this method. By the way, I don’t remember what the tea mixture was, but I remember that it wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t a strong enough flavor. With both mixtures, I wound up getting an Earl Grey from the cabinet and sticking it in the mug with my handmade tea.
I have to post this because I adore this mug. And this picture. I got the mug at Barnes and Noble, by the way.
As I said, I didn’t go anywhere to get the supplies. I had everything already here in my apartment, so this project cost me nothing. I mean, I’ll need to buy coffee filters again eventually…but that’s for my coffee. I’ll be doing that anyway.