Natural Dyeing With Coffee And Tea

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.

Dyeing with coffee and 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.

Dyeing with coffee and tea

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!

Dyeing with coffee and tea 6

Dyeing with coffee and tea

I love seeing all of the dyed string together. The subtle color differences look so gorgeous next to one another.

Dyeing with coffee and tea

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.

Dyeing with coffee and tea

I love this as an idea for a homemade card — especially for someone who loves coffee or tea.

Dyeing with coffee and 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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9 years ago

The color combo together is so rustic and pretty. Thanks for sharing!

9 years ago

rinse with basic white vinegar to set the dye, I do this with natural dyed clothing before the first wash to set the dye and keep it looking vibrant

9 years ago

SO fun! I would love to do this!

xo, Juliette Laura

9 years ago

You can also darken your hair with these materials. It’s a subtle change and you have to deal with little coffee grounds in your hair for a few days, but it smells nice.

9 years ago

A tutorial on that dream catcher, PLEASE!!!!

9 years ago

I’ve dyed paper and dresses with tea. I let the dresses soak for half the day in the bath tub, then wipe the tub with vinegar afterwards. I think tea gives them a vintage color.

9 years ago

Wow this is stunnning. Ive always loved dream catchers but never thought of making one of my own! Magical xoxo Thank you!!!

8 years ago

I’m gone to convey my little brother, that he should also pay a visit this weblog on regular basis to get updated from newest news.

8 years ago

Can you wash it afterwards??

8 years ago

Hi! I’ve included these in a COFFEE inspired DIYs blog post :)

7 years ago

Has anyone ever used the tea or coffee dye in the washing machine? I have a twin size quilt I’d like to make antique-looking. Any thoughts?

4 years ago

Hello. I missed the use of mordient here. Usually, mordient for wool yarn is vinegar. It makes it happen (the dyeing process).