Tuesday, January 04, 2011

New Year's Resolution and Tea-stained Paper

Happy New Year to all my blog readers! I have just decided that my New Year's Resolution is to post more regularly here on my blog - no less than once per week. I used to be able to manage a weekly post but last year was slack; so, I resolve to do better this year!

I'll try to catch up by posting some things that I meant to post last year. There were several projects where I took pictures with the intention of sharing them here on the blog - but never got around to it. One such project was my first attempt at tea-staining paper - the results were quite good. I realize that introducing tea will make the paper non-archival but I wanted some old-looking paper and this seemed the best way to achieve the effect.


This is how I did it...

I made some strong tea and put it in a shallow pan. I crumpled the pages and tossed them into the tea. I did not fully submerge the paper.


I removed the papers, flattened them a bit, and laid them out to dry.


When they were all dry, I had a stack of paper like this,


Which I put into the press, and got this:


I used this paper to make some thick signatures - here they are on top of some regular signatures made from the same paper (unstained).


I used the thick sections to make some journals in the style of the Nag Hammadi books. I've discussed this book style before so you can read more about the history in some of my earlier posts.

One of these with the stained paper was included in the December BEST book swap and another is pictured here. I think the old-looking paper was exactly right for these journals.


If you have any suggestions for improvements to my tea-staining process, please leave a comment and tell me about it.

11 comments:

Emily said...

Beautiful! They turned out great:) And I love that you turned them into signatures for books... I've been thinking a lot lately about making some books again. Took a class in college and have been intrigued ever since. I also, just tea-stained some coffee filters (ironic, I know) for vintage looking snowflakes, and tea stained some flour sack towels and then stencilled them for gifts. Love your blog and look forward to upcoming posts:)

luthien said...

wonderful!! i love tea stained and coffee stained papers!! i love doing them only i have no space to dry them and they take ages to dry :) love the shades on your papers :)

Carol said...

Happy New Year Rhonda, to you and your family. Your tea-stained paper looks great and came out so well that I think it was perfect for your book. It's many years since I tea-stained anything and then I think it was fabric, so I have no insights to offer.

Cynthia Schelzig,Cynnie said...

Your stacks of tea-stained papers ...wow....They will look great in a book! I know that Ranger has an ink color...tea dye or tea stain and another one called Old Paper in their Distresss ink line. Maybe it would hold the test of time better than real tea?

Useful Books said...

Did you see Karleigh Jae's article about making tea stained papers archival? I'm doing a tea stained wedding book this week and plan to test her method out: http://karleighjae.blogspot.com/search/label/Archival%20Tea%20Staining

michellaneous said...

They look beautiful! What sort of paper do you use?

Hilary Blackwood said...

What if you opened the tea bags and sprinkled tea grains over the wet paper as they dried---you might achieve a foxed look? Or actually placed the tea bags on the paper itself as it dried, allowing to pool into darker areas--similar to what you get with a coffee ring...speaking of coffee, it generally makes a much darker stain. Staining with Kool-aid is fun too. Well, I'll stop now because I could go on and on with possibilities.

Rob Ross said...

This is really cool. By the tea making it non-archival, you mean that the acid in it will eventually degrade the paper, right? I'm still kind of new to the craft. Is there an acid-free way of staining / antiquing paper?

Rhonda Miller said...

thanks Emily, luthien, Carol, Cynnie, UsefulBooks, michellaneous, Hilary, and Rob.

Usefulbooks, oh right, I did see that article once and had forgotten. I will go check it out again.

Cynnie, some ink would probably be less harmful to the paper than the tea, i suppose. But I don't know much about working with ink - that would take some experimentation for sure.

michellaneous,for this particular prooject, I was using some cartridge paper.

Great ideas for varying the colouration, Hilary.

Rob, yes, that's the problem. Check out the link posted by UsefulBooks above for a solution.

Felicity said...

I need to try this!

Rhonda Miller said...

have fun, Felicity!