Wednesday, February 20, 2013


It is snowing again today (of course) and I don't want to go outside so I thought I would do some tea staining.  I need to work on some of the flour sack tea towels that I embroider so I need to have some tea stain towels.

I start with white 100% cotton flour sack towels. I get them from my local Joann's (love that store!).
flour sack towels

First I boil a pot of water. Then I put about 8 tea bags in the water and let them steep for awhile.

tea staining

Next I add the towels. Usually I put two in at a time. Then I start with letting them sit in the hot water for about 10 minutes to start with.
tea staining towels

I have found out that it depends on the towel and how it is made as to how it will take the stain. Sometimes it stains really dark right away and sometimes it takes more than 10 minutes to darken. I have had some towels that almost never get dark at all.

Next, I put them in the dryer to dry. Some people say don't dry them in the dryer, but I have  and do not seem to have any trouble.

Then I take the towel and draw on the towel. These are my own designs so I have the pattern already drawn so I just trace the design on the towel.
drawing pattern
Then I stitch the design on the towel and whalla.......a finished towel!
I really like doing hand stitching. I ususally work on this in the evening while I am sitting in my comfortable chair and supposedly watching TV.
Thanks for visiting and hope everyone has a great day!


  1. Great tutorial Colleen, thanks and love your towel, your design is wonderful! It is so unpredictable how the stain will take, isn't it? I just tea stained a cross stitch I did and ended up having to rinse it out within seconds because it was getting too dark! Mine was on Aida cloth though so that may have had something to do with it. Happy stitching! Deb

  2. I didn't know you can get flour sacks at JoAnns. Thanks for the tips.


  3. Love this tutorial. I love the look too.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Might have to share this on the OFG Team blog...hint, hint!
    Enjoy your day,

  4. G'day Colleen. I too like tea dying. I have made a few doll bodies this way. Love your design. Take care. Liz...

  5. Hi, I loved the tutorial.. I use coffee and vanilla with cinnamon.. but this was awesome for the lighter color in stain.

  6. I love your design of the house and tree.

  7. This is a beautiful design - reminds me of the antique tapestries I see on the Antique Road Show. You are very talented!


  8. This is such a gorgeous design and its really interesting to hear about your methods.. thanks for sharing! x

  9. I love that finished embroidery! Just lovely.

  10. Your sewing is very neat. Love the tree:)

  11. Your design is gorgeous! I've never worked with flour sacks before, I bet the material is quote versatile.

  12. Love your design, perfect for embroidery :)

  13. Very pretty, the embroidery is lovely.


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