Friday, January 15, 2016

Tea Dyeing

I've been tea dyeing.

I bought a bunch of old flash cards at garage sales and most of them were stained.

We all tea dye for different reasons.  I like the warm, antique look of something that has been dyed.

But the main reason I do it is because it's wonderful at masking those stains.

So at 3:15 am yesterday, I was baking tea dyed flash cards in the oven on 200 degrees for about 5 minutes, just long enough for the heat to dry them so the wet cards would not mildew.

Once I started, I had to keep going till I got to the end of the stacks.  It was like an assembly line so it went pretty fast.

The edges like to curl up a little.

So that's when the heavy crock came in handy.

I normally leave the whole stack under this crock; then separate them individually and put them at the back of heavy books.  Linens are so much easier because all that is involved is throwing them in the dryer, then iron.

This is a large lace tablecloth that I bought at a yard sale for only $1 because it was stained.  I think it will be a nice enhancement to my booth table as I drape it over a tea dyed sheet that is used as a table covering.  I let it set overnight and it became a little darker.

It's funny.  I've been tea dying since the 80's and I still do it differently each time.  I never measure.  I fill my 25 cent yard sale stock pot up with what looks like a good amount of water then I start plopping in bags of Dollar Tree tea bags.  Sometimes I throw in some instant coffee.  Most times I add splashes of vanilla.  Every once in awhile I'll add dashes of cinnamon.  Kinda like Grandma Goins taught me to cook.

While I do enjoy tea dying, I don't do it very often.  I stockpile all kinds of things that need a good staining.  Then make a day of it... or in this case a night of it.  I didn't quite make it to the booth tags, only about a dozen.  So they will be up tomorrow.

I was disappointed in how light the tags were when I pulled them out but once I put the new tags by it... they don't seem so light.  And the tea dye always darkens as it dries.

If you haven't dabbled in tea dyeing, I suggest you start.  It gives a beautiful and warm antique patina.  I have saved so many linens that were destined to the trash because of stubborn stains that just will not come out.  The tea dye really does mask those stains.

My first show is less than 2 months away.  These flashcards will be displayed in wire baskets with 3 for $1.00 signs clipped to the sides.

Will be moving on to the next project once the tags are ready to go.  Thank you kindly for stopping in for a visit.

~ Enjoy your journey ~