I know many people love pretty things that are crisp and white.....lace, paper, flowers, linens, clothes, and so on. Me? I take all of those pretty white things and give them a tea bath. White-white is just not for me. My poor mother's heart would take a serious beating if she saw what I'm getting ready to show you. I can hear her now, "I swear to my time! You're gonna ruin that! OMG, I can't believe you'd do that to a perfectly nice tablecloth!". (I'm not making fun of you, mom, but you know it's the truth!)
Let's get started. There are lots of ways to give a bit of age to your wares. I like to use coffee when I want a richer color, and tea when I simply want a piece to look 'anything but white'. Here is my weapon of choice.
I like this tea because it gives a nice wheat color without looking 'tea stained'.
I start by filling the sink with hot water. I put 12 bags in (these are big bags) to get a good color. I let them steep for about an hour, or until you have a rich color. (Tip, if I want spots that look darker than the whole piece, I'll leave the bags in the water.)
There actually is a lot of water in this sink. I just have a very deep sink!
Next, go raid the house and find some items you want to stain. I can always find something that needs a bath in my sink. Saturate it thoroughly.
I know, that lace is beautiful the way it is, right? Sorry, but I have to do what I have to do.
Ahhhh, in a few short hours I'll have a beautiful tablecloth. Well, not so much. Let's just say it went in the sink as a tablecloth. Doesn't mean that's what it'll be when it's done. Not in my house anyway.
To be sure the item doesn't float to the top outside of the tea, I usually weigh it down with a cookie sheet.
I stir it about every 30 minutes to be sure I get even color. I usually let my items soak for about 3 hours.
And here's what I get after it's done.
From bright white to brilliant in an afternoon!
I'll come back later and show you what that tablecloth turned in to. I have to finish the project first, but I can tell you, you'll love it.
(If you want you items darker, simply add more tea bags or double you soaking time.)
Here's another project that benefited from the sink bath on that same day.
From pretty and white.....................
to Polly perfect! (perfect for Polly, that is!)
And here's what I do with those:
Here's one of my favorites. I made a tabletopper out of burn-out fabric, and added a small ruffle to the edge. I then washed it to relax it, and then of course, I drowned it in my tea vat.
I told you, nothing escapes the tea bath in my house!
Hope this project motivates you to 'have a little tea' in your house today!