Told you guys I’ve been on a coffee kick lately… I may not drink it, but of course I love using it to make body scrub, and who doesn’t enjoy spending some quiet time at a quaint cafe like this or this? Today I’ve got another use for coffee — and tea, too! Natural dyeing. We’ve done flowers and black beans, and now we’re on to coffee and tea. It’s easy, effective, fun… and it smells delicious.
All you need are some tea bags and some coffee. I used Colombian ground coffee and two types of African rooibos tea.
Just brew your coffee and tea as you normally would, then turn off the heat, and submerge your material for however long you like. I would certainly recommend at least an hour to start seeing results. The more concentrated the coffee and tea, the deeper the color, as well. To check the color, remove your material every so often, ring it out, and rinse the excess liquid off. I dyed some cotton string, which I’m using for decorative purposes only — not to wear — so I didn’t do a full rinse of the excess color. Instead, I just wrung it out and then hung to dry — this way, the color would remain as dark as possible.
The white string seen on the left is the original. Then, moving from left to right, we have a classic African rooibos tea (dyed for 1 hour), a chocolate rooibos & vanilla tea (dyed for 1 hour), Colombian coffee (dyed for 2 hours), and the same Colombian coffee at 2x concentration (dyed for 2 hours). Different types of coffee and tea will certainly yield different colors. Rooibos tea gives a red/orange color, but you can probably get anywhere from yellows to grays to greens to lavenders, depending on the type!
Once dry, I decided to use my string to make a little dream catcher. For the circular portion, I used the mini wreath that Meredith from Terrain made for me here!
I love seeing all of the dyed string together. The subtle color differences look so gorgeous next to one another.
I also used the leftover teabags and coffee to stain some card stock. I did this by squeezing some excess tea out of the teabags, as well as dipping different-sized mugs into the leftover coffee, and pressing the rim onto the card stock.
I love this as an idea for a homemade card — especially for someone who loves coffee or tea.
Have you guys ever tried dyeing with coffee or tea? Share some tips with us!
More DIY ideas from the BLDG 25 Blog
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