Monday, October 15, 2012

Making Your Own Ephemera with Tea Bags & Stamps

     ~by Emily Cline
Cleaning my {overflowing and stacked to the gills} studio, I re-found my ArtFest goody bag. A generous soul named Robyn had given me a Collage Ephemera packet with three gorgeous tea bags, she had stamped with waterproof, permanent, archival ink.
They're so pretty and cute, I had to try to make and use them myself.

I had dried out old tea bags. I carefully pried off the teeny staple, dumped the tea, and gently opened the seam. (*Note: it's possible that Ms. Robyn pressed or iron the tea bags, they flat and unwrinkled. I'm leaving them more wrinkly.)
Setting up shop, I stamped in an orderly fashion with black ink, so I could cut the pieces or lines out and use them like washi tape. The ink seemed to set up fine -- no smearing -- but just in case, I gave it a shot with my craft dryer. The stamps I used were made by Renaissance Art Stamps (smaller scroll), Stampland (fleur de lis), Magenta (flowery vine), Leavenworth Jasckson (pointing finger), and Teesha Moore (numbers), and a basic star (no manufacturer). Ink pad is by Clear Box and the black fiber pad on the left is from Stampin' Scrub -- and old one, but a good one.
So here's what I came up with (on a limited time frame: my 6 year old is home!), with a little step by step:
   Gesso-ed the pages
   Painted on Golden's Payne's Gray, then rubbed it off with a rag
   Smeared Cyan from ink pad
   Rubbed Platinum colored ink from an ink pad
   Glued down my stamped tea bags (*note: I almost always use Yes! paste, but it seemed to come through the tea bag, so I switched to my Tombo stick)
   Glued down other ephemera: old book page, flower picture, sticker, buddha figurine
   Tattoo-ed a raptor (just because)
   Stenciled on Blick's green blue light and dark green light
   Spray painted white through a Teesha Moore stencil (the round star-burst thingies)
   Spray painted gold stars
   Rubbed yellow and dark blue glaze all over

It all went pretty fast and the tea bags were easy to do.  Have you tried them? Whaddadayou think?

***What's next?***

Join us Sunday, October 21, from 2:00-5:00 p.m. for our monthly Gather & Giggle crafting date. We'll explore visual journaling (as always), but if you have your own craft, bring it! 

Suggested donation of $10, though if it's your first time, please be our guest! RSVP, space is limited and filling up. Email for details and registration:


Also, join Emily in London January 12 and 13 at the ahhh-mazing Erin Faith Allen's Soul Portrait workshop. It's the same class she taught in Larchmont this past June -- it is incredible! Sign up *today*, October 15, and get the early bird discount. But hurry: space is limited!


  1. Very cool! Loved them:) Thanks for sharing Emily!!

    1. You're welcome, lady! Have you used tea bags?

  2. Hi, I am going to try this. I am in the process if drying my tea bags. I think I will do half ironed and half wrinkly. Will post on my blog when I an done.

    1. oo! I can't wait to see what you make! They're kinda gentle/ fragile, but such an interesting layer. xo