Tag Archives: tutorials

DIY Teastained Decorations

Note: If this is your first time to TotalFluff, please visit this brief explanation. Thanks!

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?

DIY Miniature Painted Banner Tutorial

Note: If this is your first time to TotalFluff, please visit this brief explanation. Thanks!

Hello, Fluffsters! Happy Wednesday!

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been a bit busy crafting. (It’s been fantastically fun.)

The first thing that I made yesterday was a painted miniature banner.

Gold painted sun on dark blue miniature banner.

I really liked the gold paint on the blue.

The really fun part about it? It’s glow in the dark! That means that the sun motif disappears in the dark, and the stars that I painted on come out. This is my first attempt at painting a banner, and I think it worked really well. (If I do say so myself!)

DIY Miniature Painted Banner Tutorial


To start with, find any spare piece of fabric. I personally used a dark blue satin that I had. (I made a dress out of the material about two years ago, and never got rid of the scraps. What can I say? They sometimes turn out to be useful!)

A length of blue satin fabric to make a banner

A small piece of fabric.

Also, get a needle and some sewing thread. I happened to find some that matched the fabric almost perfectly. I love it when that happens! At the end, you’ll also need some paint that works on Fabric. I used either Martha Stewart All Purpose Paint, or Folk Art Acrylic. (I don’t remember which- sorry!)

So, just to clarify, you’ll need

  • Fabric scrap (Any size works. It depends on how big you want your banner.)
  • Needle & Thread
  • Paints that work on fabric


1) Cut a piece of fabric. I first trimmed it down to approximately a reasonable size. I think it was about 6×8 inches, but I’m not entirely sure. This is really flexible, though, and only depends on how large you want your banner to be. Whatever size you’re making it, don’t forget that you’re going to need to leave room for hemming. Unless you found a fabric that doesn’t fray, like I did with my red banner from yesterday. However, since this is for a sewn and painted banner, I’m going to assume the fabric frays.

That was a bit circuitous…

Oops. Sorry.

2) Shape the fabric. To get the banner shape, first fold the fabric in half length-wise / vertically. (Or “hotdog style” if that helps.) Next, from about 1/4 to 1/3 of the way up on the fold, cut towards the open edge corners. This gets the “splayed” banner effect. (If you want more of a shield shape, cut at an angle from the bottom of the fold up towards about 1/4 to 1/3 of the way up the fabric, at the edge side.)

cutting at an angle from the fold towards the bottom corners

Cutting the fabric into a banner shape.

It should look something like this when you’re done and unfold it:

a basic banner shape after cutting the fabric

unfolded splayed banner shape

Note: I didn’t iron this fabric before cutting. That was a mistake. Take the time and get the wrinkles out! It helps a lot with painting later on.

I also don’t show it here, but after this, I evened out the top edge slightly, even before stitching.

3) First pass with thread and needle. You don’t have to, but I found it easier to hem the non-angled bits. The way I did this was for each edge, I first did a simple hand stitch over a single fold of fabric. (This is more effective then pinning a hem in place.)

A single line of hand stitching holds a fold in place for easier hemming

Stitching only a single fold in.

As I’m sure you’re aware, fold towards the wrong side of the fabric, if you have fabric with a right / wrong side. Also, be sure to fold consistently towards one side. Nobody makes a banner to see the folded edges- that’s just silly.

4) Make it into a hem. What I personally did was I got one edge hemmed before moving onto the next edge. Looking back on it, it might make more sense to make a first pass on all the edges, and then convert them all to actual hems. If you try that, let me know how it works?

But anyway. For those who don’t know how to do that, basically just take your edge and fold it over (towards the same side) again. The point is to hide the unfinished edge so that it won’t fray. This is especially important with fabric like the type I was using that frays waaaay too quickly.

A partially hemmed edge. One part is only single-stitched- the other part is hemmed all the way.

An example of what the hemming will look like

As you hem, it should look something like the photo above.

Do this for all of your straight edges.

5) Deal carefully with your angled edges. To get them to work better, you’re going to want to make a slit up the middle of the banner. A small slit will do- this is just to allow you to hem each angle a little more easily, and still have a relatively tight corner there at the bottom. Then, repeat the steps that you did with the straighter edges. (You know. Fold once, stitch down, fold again, stitch again.)

Scissors cutting a slit in the fabric to let tighter corners be hemmed

Add the slit to your banner to allow for tighter corners.

6) Trim extra. When you’re done rolling / hemming the angled parts, you’re going to get a few awkward parts hanging off the end.

weirdly shaped corner part

Awkward corner.

Just trim that part, to make it even with the rest of that part of the banner.

even corner part

Trimmed corner part

7) You’re done with the stitching! Now, on to painting!

The fully stitched (unpainted) miniature banner.

Finished stitching! Paint, and you’re done!

As I mentioned, I just used craft paints of various sorts. I ended up freehanding everything. That’s primarily because I don’t own any decent stencils of any sort. Painting is completely up to you. The key thing to remember is to have fun! This is probably one of the cheapest crafts you can do, since in theory you’re only using leftover scraps. So yes, you’re paying for paint. But you don’t need that much for the motifs. In all, it’s fairly inexpensive.

As always, if you make one, please comment or send me a picture? My email is webmaster [at] totalfluff.com . (Clearly use the “@” instead of [at]. No spaces, either. Those are simply there to prevent spamminess, I hope.)

Happy Wednesday! And happy crafting!