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A Tutorial in Tea Staining

Lloyd Interhouse didn’t just require construction skills (see my past post, "Behind the Scenes of Lloyd Interhouse"), there was also quite a bit of art and décor that went into it. A project I ended up spearheading was making flyers to be posted all over the houses and the olive walk. Back in middle school, we had a project to study the American Revolution where we all had to decorate our own American Constitutions. Imagine, cute little Alison, scribbling pencil crayons all over an 8.5×11. Adorable, I know. I always remembered my friend’s project though. She took a scroll of paper and turned it into an aged, frayed, dog-eared piece of super-authentic-looking parchment. It was beautiful!With this in mind, I set out to make my own torn-parchment flyers for Lloyd Interhouse! What better way to keep up the pirate theme? In this post, dear readers, I will be giving instructions, along with a load of pictures, as to how you can make your own frayed pirate Constitution flyers! (Or other aged documents). Enjoy!

  1. Collect materials
  • As many paper flyers as you would like. Make sure there is no kind of coating on the paper.

  • Tea bags – black tea is great. Fruit teas of different colors can get pretty funky too, try it! You will need at least one normal sized tea bag or scoopful of tea for every two pieces of paper you plan on staining for a light stain. To stain darker, use more tea bags, less water, and let the papers sit for longer in their solutions.

  • Large heat proof mixing bowls.

  • Baking pans bigger than the size of your paper when flat (preferably bendable). Disposable aluminum trays worked great for me!
  • Spatula or butter knife
  • Oven (or a really hot sunny day)
  1. Preheat oven to 230 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Boil water. You will need at least enough to fill your containers 1” deep.

  3. Use a knife or scissors to open all of the tea bags. Empty tea leaves and other contents into the mixing bowls.

  4. Pour boiling water into mixing bowls. Stir briefly. Let this mixture steep for at least 10 minutes.

  1. Let papers soak in trays on a countertop for about ten minutes. Then carefully place them into the ovens and set a timer for 30 minutes. If using solar power, sit containers outside in a sunny place for several hours.

Remember: any time is a good time for tea time.


Alison Lui