Tea sets are a classic, timeless toy. But have you ever noticed that almost no toy tea sets come with tea bags? In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to make felt tea bags designed by contributor Laura Hopper of @sonicstitches to bring any toy tea set to life!
Skill Level: Beginner
Time: One hour per bag
1. Print the Felt Tea Bags Template above onto freezer paper. Iron onto corresponding felt colors using medium heat. Cut along the template lines.
As an alternative to freezer paper, print templates onto cardstock and use a chalk marker or disappearing ink pen to trace around them.
2. The pieces to make one complete felt tea bag are a tea bag template, two labels with flavor designs, strips of scrap felt to make tea and ribbon.
3. This tutorial creates four felt tea bags in different flavors: Peppermint, Lemon, Green Tea and Honey. Each tea bag will have the flavor stitched onto both sides of the label. Stitch the pieces as follows:
Peppermint - Backstitch each Peppermint Back circle onto label pieces. Then, backstitch the Peppermint Front pieces onto the circle.
Lemon - Backstitch each Lemon Base circle onto label pieces. Using three strands of white embroidery floss, bring the needle up from the center of the circle and stitch one long straight line extending to the previous backstitches. Repeat until there are six white lines from the center to the backstitches, forming triangles. Using three strands of tan embroidery floss, create one lazy daisy stitch in each triangle to look like seeds.
Green Tea - Backstitch each Leaf shape onto label pieces. Using two strands of a darker green floss, fly stitch down the center of each leaf.
Honey - Backstitch each Bee Body onto label pieces. Using three strands of black embroidery floss, begin by creating antennae by stitching two straight lines from one short end of the body. Add a French knot to the end of each line. Create stripes on the bee by making four long stitches across the entire width of the body. Add one small straight stitch to the bottom of the bee for the stinger. Add the Bee Wings with one long straight stitch in each wing.
If you have trouble stitching small pieces of felt, use a small amount of Tacky Glue to baste the pieces onto the label base, then follow the stitching instructions above.
4. Cut a 7" piece of silk ribbon or baker’s twine and use Tacky Glue to glue it between both sides of the label, wrong sides together.
If you use silk ribbon and it is wavy or creased when you unwind it, use a hair straightener on a low setting to quickly remove the waves. A dry iron on low heat works as well.
5. Blanket stitch around the entire label.
6. Using metallic silver thread, add a straight stitch towards the top of each tapered side of each bag about the length of a staple.
7. Press the tea bag in half with right sides together. The knots created in Step 6 should be facing up. Using the tea bag template as a guide, press the felt out in the opposite direction, creating an accordion shape. Pin or clip the bag in shape.
8. Begin blanket stitching the felt tea bag closed. Start at the bottom of one fold created in Step 7, blanket stitching up.
When you reach the area where the two folds meet, continue stitching down the other fold as shown below.
To finish stitching up the first side of the bag, pass the needle through the last stitch in the fold and up to the area where the folds meet. Pass the needle through the thread twice to create a knot.
Continue blanket stitching up the side of the bag, knotting the thread off just before reaching the top of the bag.
9. Before blanket stitching the other side, use Tacky Glue to secure other side of ribbon to the inside of the tea bag. Be sure the length of ribbon will be about 6" from the top of the tea bag to the bottom of label.
10. Blanket stitch up the other side of the tea bag as in Step 8. Stop stitching when at the bag’s side, but do not knot off the thread.
11. Instead of using Polyfil to stuff the tea bags, use scrap felt cut into small pieces. Polyfil will make the tea bag look puffy, but small scraps of felt will help give it the look and feel of having real tea inside. Cut strips of scrap felt that are about 1/8" to 1/4" wide. Cut the strips into small square pieces. These pieces do not have to be cut evenly.
12. Add the scrap pieces to the tea bag until satisfied with the look and feel. Do not overstuff - the tea in tea bags tends to be in the bottom quarter of the bag only.
13. Finish blanket stitching the top of the tea bag and knot off the thread.
Even if the felt tea bags look good enough to steep, do not mix them up with your regular tea bags, unless you like the taste of wet wool tea!
Now your favorite tea set is complete! Store your felt tea bags in a real tea tin for an added fancy touch to your favorite kid’s next tea party.