teabag art, greetings card, re-usable greetings card, collage

lend me your ‘shell-like’

this girl dislikes pink

innovate for her


Ronovan’s Haiku Prompt words this week are PINK and SHELL.

Yikes – how to marry that with what I had already planned for our Photo Challenge prompt of WASTE.

It is the extra creative challenge I like to give myself each week. Well Miss E does not like pink – I know that card does have a bit of pink on it but ……. hey! I did my best!


Anyone who has been reading my blog for a while knows I’m an obsessive recycler AND like to try new crafty things, so this week’s Photo Prompt is right up my street!


Life-cycle of a tea bag once it enters my house:

It sits in its box in a cupboard full of all manner of black, white, green, herb and fruit teas. I have at least 12 different varieties in there.

Then in it goes –  into my favourite mug

Nevis design from Dunoon

This is a mug from Dunoon. I wanted a big white bone china mug. I contacted Dunoon and asked if I could have the Nevis Design in plain white – I could! and for about £10 cheaper than the decorated ones – I got two. I LOVE them. ❤

After first use the tea bags sit in the little coloured dish to be used, three together, for another cup.

I told you – obsessive recycler!

And now, courtesy of Pinterest, I have discovered there is a whole new world of art materials to be explored – used Tea Bags! I was astonished to see how much amazing art has been created with used tea bags. You can see some examples on my Pinterest Page, ‘Art Tea’.

Of course I had to give it a go.

So instead of going into the compost after their second use, the tea bags are now emptied and dried. (The leaves still go in the compost) My bean-sprouter works well as a drying rack.

drying teabags for tea bag art

Cutting or tearing some and leaving others as two ply paper

prepared tea bags

Now ….. how to turn them into art ……


A bit of collage using some paper napkins and some hand and machine stitching.

The circular tea bag has a picture of a cup stuck on the inside with Modge Podge and  is re-stuffed with a little wadding. I downloaded the picture of the cup from this Education Site


I’m wondering about this art form – it nudges towards the “just because you can, do you think you should”. I tried putting it on canvas to go with my ‘making art with found and discarded objects’ collection, adding and expanding on the Beach Clean Art theme. Using waste in art.

I’m not sure it stands up as an artwork so I turned it into a greetings card, with packaging paper put between the layers to stiffen the card so that it will stand upgreetings card of teabags with machine stitching

A little pocket for a gift (in this case a fresh teabag) or message. Then it can be recycled once more and re-used as a card with a different message in the pocket.

And then I realised there was a certain person about to have her 10th birthday – perfectre-usable greetings card, tea bag art

She was thrilled with it and her friends intrigued.

I’m really not sure if my experiments will produce ‘art’ that I feel worthy of exhibiting , but has been fun to try and I can’t throw a teabag away at the moment –  I’m amassing quite a collection, so I’ll have to come up with something arty to do with them.


Coincidentally, I’ve just seen that there is a programme on BBC2 tonight about the making of tea bags: http://www.radiotimes.com/tv-programme/e/fsq8rq/inside-the-factory–s3-e1-tea-bags/

and here is the programme on BBC iPlayer:


The sheer scale of tea bag production is mind boggling – and I’m shocked to discover that 25% of the materials used to make tea bags is plastic – Yuck!





39 responses to “Waste

  1. Pingback: In a Watering Can on Monday | Wild Daffodil

  2. Pingback: Photo Challenge Round-Up: July | Wild Daffodil

  3. Such an interesting post Sandra, on lots of different levels – thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You took a great idea and ran with it! I love your artwork! 😍 That’s something I never would’ve thought of 😁 Thank you so much for sharing. ~ Tina 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Not wasteful at all 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love the haiku and your tea bag art is pretty impressive, especially on the card! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Fun experiments and who knows where it will lead! Maybe you’ve found your medium!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Interesting idea. You have so many arty ideas. I don’t use tea bags very much myself. I always buy loose tea if I can!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Murtagh's Meadow

    I am all for recycling and I do think it is art! Will have to check out that pinterest site.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Am grateful to know I’m not the only more-than-once per tea bag user! Hope the programme tonight is interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. How interesting that we both went for recycling, rather than pure waste! I much prefer your teabags to my prunings! think it’s a very nice card, I wondered if the tea bag paper would withstand some watery paint?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hurray for recycling and re-using! The teabag paper is happy to be painted – some people seem to spend hours making really detailed painting on them – can’t quite go there, but sploshing it about might well be a the way I go.

      Liked by 1 person

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