DIY Teastained Decorations

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Hiya, Fluffsters!

I am very happy to be providing you with a tutorial today!

In case you hadn’t noticed, I kinda have a bit of a fantasy theme going with my room. And one of the major advantages of fantasy is that you can never have enough decorations!

You either have too few, or too many, but never “enough”?

Something like that.

But this means that when I have free time, I can work on more decorations for my room, and it works!

I’m not completely done with the current project yet. For starters, I haven’t quite figured out how I’m going to display the project yet. But I still like the way they’re turning out!

Here’s a picture of segments of part of them, to show you part of what the tutorial will work towards.

Three tea-stained doodles.

Three pieces from the new “Tea” collection… Or something.

So, here we go!

Teastained Dorm/Room Decoration tutorial


To do this, you’ll need:

  • paper (Parchment paper looks pretty nifty.)
  • something to draw with
  • A cup for hot water
  • A tea bag. (I used Earl Grey.)
  • Hot water. (approximately 1-4 ounces.)

3 easy Steps

1) Cut or rip paper to appropriate size. I quartered my parchment paper. This gives you more to play with. Also, I don’t really like doing full-size paper thingies. So it works out for me. But make it whatever size you want. If you’re going to make a masterpiece you don’t want to lose any/much of, leave some space around the sides.

You’re going to rip the paper there towards the end of the process, so don’t worry about cutting paper perfectly or anything silly like that. You could rip it to look cool first, but I find it harder to draw on. So for laziness’s sake, I like drawing, and then ripping. (It looks more authentic, too.)

1b) Start your tea steeping. You should probably have done this before you start tearing your paper. You want really strong tea, to get a stronger color.

2) Draw your picture. Or write your poem, or set of proverbs. If you’re lacking inspiration, Fluffy did just share a set of… odd… proverbs and sayings. You can choose what type of medium to draw with. Pencil stays about the same. Ink runs, for a beautifully smudgy effect. (See picture below.)

3) Distress your paper. There are several ways to do this, all of which are variations on “Crumple, uncrumple, wet with oversteeped tea, and tear.” The steps can be rearranged, to different effects.

If you tear before you get the paper wet, the edges look a little rougher. If you get it wet and then start to tear, you have a lot more control over the torn edges.

Crumpling and then submerging the ball in the cup of tea also gives a cool effect.

A smudgy ink tea-stained dragon.

Ink also gives a fun effect! This is “normal” (non-parchment) paper.

This was one that I submerged as a paper-ball. It’s also one that I used ink on. I love how the ink ran into the creases! I haven’t torn this one yet, but I’ll be doing that after it dries. (I want the rougher edge look.)

Distressing your paper without submersion. This can be done in a variety of ways, for a variety of effects.

1) Painted on / sloshed / sponged.

distressed paper with a sketched mug and poem.

Sloshed / sponged / painted tea stain effect.

I used a paper towel to sponge the color on at this point. I then used another paper towel to blot it. Clearly, this is one where I crumpled and tore it after putting tea on it.

You can see the final version of this one peaking its head out in the first picture I shared. (I clearly later added more tea, and ripping effects.)

Spotting / spatter / drip

This is also easy. I took the teabag out of the cup, and bounced it on top of the picture. My story for the picture I did this of is that someone has fond memories of a convict, and therefore has the “wanted” poster snippet nearby. Whoever was keeping the poster will be quite peeved when s/he discovers somebody splashed some tea on it.

A splashed "wanted poster" of parchment paper.

Inspired by Once Upon a Time’s Snow. I know, it’s not obvious. But I tried…

As you can see, the pencil stays clear throughout the entire process. Well, as much as pencil ever does. The spotted coloration here is much more subtle than the complete submersion. Or painted effects. But it’s still fun.

And then, because I’m pleased with how it turned out, here’s a picture of another submerged Ink one.

An old-looking piece of parchment with a weird alphabet on it.

I wonder what ancient civilization’s poetry I found? 🙂

After it dried (somewhat) the first time, I put more tea on the center. That adds a vari-colored effect. But doesn’t that look positively ancient? Or at least, older than 36 hours old?

Well, have fun! I found this a great way to entertain myself.

I think my next set of tea-stained “poetry” will be monologues from “William Shakespeare’s Star Wars.” The poetry within deserves a display like that! And I truly mean that in the best way possible!

So, Fluffsters, do you have any recommendations for how I display this?

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