I’m sorry to say I’m not a big fan of loose leaf tea – it always finds a way to escape my strainer, so I was really happy when I found a quick hack for making my own tea bags. Coffee filters! We use them for coffee, so why not tea, right? Coffee filter tea bags are my new favorite thing and I plan on making some as gifts this Christmas. With a cute homemade tag and jar, I think they’ll make sweet gifts for tea lovers, and this way I can give someone multiple kinds of teas to try out.
I tried making tea bags a few different ways with coffee filters. First, I tried sewing them with my sewing machine, which worked pretty well, but I’m certainly not an advanced sewer, so they didn’t look as pretty as I would have liked. Then it dawned on me that store-bought tea bags don’t look sewn. Rather, they’re folded. So I did some Frankenstein work and studied a couple different tea bags to see how they were made, and it turns out that all it took was some quick folds to make a tea bag. Piece of cake. Really, the only part that is slightly difficult is attaching the string, but that’s only because you have to poke a needle through several layers of coffee filter and it’ll wear out your fingers a little, but I’m happy to report that these are easy to make and don’t require any special skills or supplies.
OK, now let’s make some tea bags…
- Coffee filters (1 per tea bag)
- Loose leaf tea
- String (something heavier than thread, such as embroidery floss)
First, fold the coffee filter in half. On the rounded side, fold over about a 1/2 inch (This step isn’t necessary, but it keeps your tea bags smaller. If you don’t make this fold, you will have wider tea bags). Then fold it again over to the other straight side of the coffee filter. Now you should have one long piece, about 1 1/2 inches wide.
Fold in half along the short side. Then fold it again about 1/4 inch about the existing fold and do the same on the other side, leaving you with three folds about a quarter inch apart. The middle fold should fold up and the other two fold down, creating a bottom for the tea bag to stand upright.
Use you scissors to cut off the top curve, leaving it straight instead. When you hold it open now, there should be two opening for your tea. Insert small spoonfuls of tea (about 1/2 teaspoon on each side).
Thread your needle with string, and poke through the top where you folded over the point. Leave about an inch of string and then poke the needle through the opposite side, creating a loop around the top. Repeat and then tie a small knot. Let out about 4-5 inches of string and cut. Also cut any remaining string from the knot. Ta-da!
If you really want to have fun with it, make small labels with the tea names! I just made these little circle-shaped tags for my tea and secured them to the end of the string with a staple. After all, that’s exactly what they do with some store-bough tea bags. Add your completed tea bags to a cute box or jar, and they’ll make a sweet homemade gift or stick them in your cabinet to enjoy for yourself. Happy crafting!