Monday, 29 April 2013

Hand Crafted Butterfly Teabags

I saw this idea around the blogosphere and my first thought was 'Oh my God that is so nice, but that's a lot of work.' But then I realized that although I wouldn't invest that sort of time for myself, it's the sort of thing my mother would love, and I'm willing to invest the time for her.  With Mother's Day coming up, I set to work.

I'll show you how I made them after the cut.

I found a butterfly graphic I liked, sized them and then printed them out on cardstock. The wingspan is 2 1/2 inches.

I watered down some dollar store acrylic paints and gave them a quick swipe with two colours. I was going for a watercolour look.

One of the ideas I had seen was to use organza for the teabags and while I loved the look of the fabric, there were threads falling off everywhere, so for me, that was a deal breaker.  I had planned to use coffee filters and then this jumped out at me at the dollar store.  Oh dollar store, how I love you, my pretty.

This is 4 1/2 inch iridescent ribbon (you can't really tell, but my Lord it's totally iridescent, and it's completely dreamy!) that doesn't shed threads! Love!  So I folded it width wise, and sewed 2 1/2 inch bags, leaving the top open.  I cut them apart after sewing - it's easier that way.

This is 4 1/4 inches wide, by 2 1/2 inches high, cut in half after sewing.

I filled each teabag with a very good quality Jasmine loose tea, and Chinese green tea, about one well rounded teaspoon.  By the way, loose tea can be steeped at least twice, sometimes three times.  You should do that!  There's no shame in it!

I used coordinating coloured embroidery floss for the string.  I cut seven inch lengths and knotted both ends.

Then I placed the string at the half way mark of the open end of the teabag, and sewed it shut.
I cut out the butterflies and brushed clear school glue on one side, stuck the string down, brushed a bit of glue over the thread, and stuck another painted butterfly on top. You could skip the second butterfly, but I wanted the string covered because I'm obsessive that way.

Edit: If you are obsessive like me, glue the butterflies the opposite direction from this photo ( head facing the teabag) and that way, when it's hanging down from your teapot or cup, the butterfly is facing upward rather than upside down in a nose dive. 

My mother is going to flip when she sees these. Flip!

Rosebud Tea

Tutti Frutti Tea

I might break down and make a few for myself one of these days (no I won't.)
 How pretty, right?

I had read a comment left by someone on another blog post about these teabags, and how there are chemicals left on thread after processing and my God! you better wash your thread! and I imagine the same can be said of the ribbon, and to that, I say, 'Seriously? I mean, Seriously?'  I have bigger fish to fry.  They probably contain mercury.

Also, I received a comment in a craft community, saying that since this ribbon doesn't shed thread, maybe it's fused and therefore the tea won't steep (hmmm valid concern!), and I did a test on one of the teabags, and it steeps perfectly well.  I think the tea tasted better than usual due to the addition of a butterfly.

Packaged and ready to go.


  1. Found your post through the Hope Studios blog link party. What a cute and creative idea, perfect for a gift! Thanks for sharing. I'm you newest follower.

    Sarah Lynn @

  2. Lovely! The idea is so cute!
    Have a wonderful week!
    Hugs from Portugal,

    Ana Love Craft

  3. Oh wow, what a lovely idea. This is so creative. Thanks for joining Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  4. Such a cute idea and lovely way of gift. Would like to have a go.

  5. Wonderful idea--they're just delightful! I may have to steal this idea for Mother's Day!!! :-)

  6. Thank you all for your lovely comments, I appreciate each and every one!

  7. So cute! I know some tea drinkers would would absolutely love this!

    I'd love if you shared these at my Show & Tell party going on this week.

    1. Thank you so much for inviting me to link up!

  8. These are beautiful. Thank you so much for the tutorial!

  9. These tea bags are so pretty! you are one creative person!

  10. Great idea! Blue and purple are my favorite but they all are super cute! I would love to try one of those teas :)

    1. The tutti frutti makes excellent iced tea in the summer. The Chinese girl who gave me the rosebud tea told me 'it's for women' and I never looked up to see why that would be!

      I have steeped one teabag five times so far, and that's insane - the tea is still perfect each time!

  11. This is absolutely lovely!!! So cute. It would be so cool if you could join my Link Party today and if you are into hps I have a Pin Hop on Thursdays.

    Hope you are having a lovely day

    Cami @ TitiCrafty by Camila

  12. The butterflies look adorable

  13. What a sweet gift idea! Love it! Thank you for sharing at Rock N Share Wednesday! Hope to see you again soon! Blessings, D@TheShadyPorch

  14. Beautiful Concept! I will be doing my own in inspiration of yours for the upcoming holidays.
    Thanks for sharing!