Thursday, April 19, 2012

Busy Bag/Tea Staining Tutorial

Pin It Now! I am thinking I want to post another Busy Bag Tutorial tonight.  Along with being a Busy Bag tutorial it is also a tutorial on Tea Staining paper.  
So are we ready?  

This busy bag is inspired by my son (10yo) and his buddy.  They have a secret language they have been working on learning so they can speak to each other.  Now what kid doesn't love this?  *I know when I was little we did this*  So I asked them if I could share it with the group I was making the bag for.  They said they thought that would be fun.  When we got talking about it though I realized this is from a book, "How to Train Your Dragon".  In the back of the book they have a dictionary to learn to speak Dragonese.  Almost all of the information and printables I used for this bag are available on the How to Train Your Dragon website.   

After doing tons of printing I had my stuff.  I knew I didn't just want to send out printed pages though.  As fun as it will be for the kiddos, the momma's won't be impressed.  *hehehe*  So I tried to think of a way to make them look old - used - but not ruined.  I thought about burning the edges, but the book is so little I didn't want to risk it.  Plus if the other kids are like mine these will end up in pockets, and the burnt edges will not hold up so well to that. The other alternative I have used before was tea staining.  I decided to use that. Then on the bright side I would get to make this tutorial for that too!  :)  So here we are off to stain the paper.  

black tea bags (4 bags per cup of water) 
bowl for the tea
cookie sheet(s) or cake pan(s)
clothes line and clothes pin / place to lay the papers out to dry

papers (I have done this on regular printer paper and cardstock.  
              I have also done this on fabrics but that is another tutorial)
helper (opt.) *my helper loved putting the new pages in the pans and 
                       getting the clothes pins out for me.  

The first thing you have to do is make your black tea.  You want it super strong... 4 bags to one cup of boiling water.  (I did 2 cups of water and then had to do 2 more to finish all my pages!)  I used a pint canning jar with some water in it to hold them down in the water, then let it sit for at least an hour!  

I poured half of the tea in one pan and half in another.  I knew I had to do a lot of pages and two pans would get me through faster.  

After letting first side sit for about 3 min I flipped it over to do the back too.  If you want the stain darker leave it in longer.  

I took advantage of the sun and the heat and hung them out on the clothesline. *a little note here: you do not want to fold the paper over the line, just clip it on close to the top.  
If you are not lucky enough to have a clothesline you can lay the papers out flat and let them dry.  Or you can bake them in the oven.  (200 degrees for 5-10 min.)

 When they come in from the line they will be rather crumply and wrinkled.  This is great if you are looking for just a piece of paper but to make it into a book I needed it to be a little flatter.  

So I used some magazines to flatten them out.  

I told you I had lots of papers... 2 stacks.  

Now on to cutting... and there was LOTS of cutting!!  

Here they are... the books and the packets with dragon information.  If I can get my printer to like me again I might be able to print some viking information also to send out.  If not I will send links for it all.  

This is the How to Speak Dragonese dictionary.  It is pocket sized.  :)  

Looks like fun huh?  

So what are you going to tea stain?  

Still Sane,
Mama V