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Hey wehearters, ready for another Crafty How To? Once again, the clever Katie, has found a way for wannabe DIYers to join in the fun with a simple project, Aged Gift Tags. It’s a craft project with countless uses – hang these adorable tags from the next bottle of wine you bring to a dinner party, use them to dress up bagged lunches for the family with a little note or just tie one around a gift (and don’t forget to store a few with your gift wrapping supplies.)
Today’s lesson also serves as an introduction to the great craftster art of dying with tea. Used to great effect to “age” these vintage garden inspired gift tags, this technique can also be used for party invitations, scrapbooks, secret treasure maps and much more. Once you have mastered tea and paper, you may feel inclined to move on to tea and fabric!
For now, grab the following materials and let’s get started:
• 2-8 tea bags (depending on how many tags you want to make)
• Inkjet printer
• Cardstock (Tip: Quality counts here, do not go cheap on this!)
• Scissors or a craft punch
• Cream acrylic paint
Boil your tea. If you just want to make one page of tags, two family-size teabags (or four regular) will work. If you plan on making more, go up in increments of one family-size (or two regular tea bags) per sheet of tags, with a limit of six family size (or ten regular).
Print the page of tags that I’ve made for our project. I chose a secret garden/fairytale theme and all of the images are from antique books – cool, huh?
You can use your regular inkjet printer for this. I tried some tags in color but those don’t work out so well because the color bleeds. So, I think black ink is better but I always encourage you to experiment! Also keep in mind that the quality of the cardstock matters, if you use cheaper paper/cardstock, it will not hold color as well.
To print the Vintage Gift Tags, click on the link below and then save the image to your desktop to print.
Cut out your tags. I used a scallop tag craft punch, but you can just use your scissors and cut any shape you like.
Place your tags into the tea. If you are just making a couple, you can use a mug. If you want to make several, pour your tea into a larger dish with some depth. Also, this method is good if you want to separate your tags so they don’t touch each other. That will provide more even dyeing. However, I found that I prefer the tags to be touching each other or sticking out of the tea some. This creates random light spots or streaks that I think contribute to the aged look. This part is up to you and this is where the fun comes in!
Anything that is touching your tag as it sits in the tea will leave a lighter design. So, have fun with it! (i.e. cut out a heart and place that on your tag as it dyes). Leave sitting in the tea for several hours. Overnight is easy but if you want to wait, four hours should do it. If you don’t leave it long or streak/splash the tea on instead, it gives a watercolor effect, which is pretty too.
Punch a hole in your tag and tie a bow. Ta-da! You’re done. You now have pretty, vintage style tags.
Optional: Need a sturdier tag?
1. Glue a sheet or two of phonebook or newspaper pages to your tag, and then trim to size.
2. Paint both sides of the tag with cream or white paint. Let dry.
3. Place in tea just like the above instructions. I love the effect! The cream paint leaves interesting streaks and it doesn’t look like it’s painted at all (see the last image).
Have fun with this everyone! See you next month for another How To to help find the crafter in all of us!
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