Tea Dying Curtains

Friday is finally here!  I feel like I’ve been on a roller coaster all week and I’m ready to get off!  My computer is finally chilled out and we are back to civilized conversations. 🙂  Since I cleaned off an excess of almost 4,000 pictures (yea, that’s the real #) my computer loves me again!  These were duplicates of duplicates of duplicates where I dump my phone and don’t clean out repeats.  Oops!  Something to get better at – always improving!

On to the dying, with the tea!  Here’s a little back story as to why  I’m tea dying curtains in the first place:

A friend of mine recently moved to another state and started a job teaching 3rd grade writing.  This is her first teaching job and it’s in a whole new state!  In recent conversations with her, we discussed her need of curtains for the classroom.  I volunteered to make that happen!  I already had everything needed to get the look she was going for.  The curtains I’m repurposing are a sheer white standard panel that used to be in my living room.  We need them to be more antiquish, so that is how I got to tea dying!

Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links.  See Privacy Policy for more information.

What you need:

  • A big pot – the biggest pot you have!  If you don’t have a pot big enough for what you are dying, boil tea separately and pour into the container you’re using.
  • tea bags – I used black tea, but you can use whatever kind you want to, you can even use old coffee!
  • things to hold down fabric – As you’ll see in my picture, my fabric was very “floaty” and I had to get creative!
  • material to be dyed – natural fabrics work best, but it will work on synthetics because I’m fairly certain my curtain is polyester.  Just test it out!
  • water


  • Fill pot with water and add tea bags.  I used Tazo Iced Black Tea which was hanging out in my cabinet.  I’m almost certain I found mine at the
    Dollar Tree and since it’s a big bag, I just used one!  If you can’t find it near you and want to use it, I also found it on Amazon, here.
  • Put the pot on the stove and bring it to a boil.  Once the water starts to darken, you will know if you need to add more tea bags.  This just depends on the effect you are going for.
  • Let the water cool to room temperature and take out the tea bags.
  • Add fabric to the pot.  As I said before, if you need a larger container, pour the tea into that.  You may have to do it in batches to get the color you want and have enough to cover the material.
  • Place random items on top of the material to hold it down!  I jammed one curtain panel at a time into my pot which trapped a bunch of air in the fabric.  This made it not want to sink!  Different material, different container, will probably equal different results.  Just be prepared to hold it down!




  • Let it soak for as long as it takes to get the effect you want.  I let mine soak for an hour and checked on it.  That was all I needed to get the affect I wanted.  You kinda have to experiment a little to see what you like.  Since it’s just tea, you can wash most, if not all, of it out and start over if need be.
  • Rinse it to get off any loose bits of tea, then hang it out to dry.  I suppose you could put it in the dryer, but since my curtains are synthetic it really wasn’t necessary.

Note:  You may get patches that are darker than others, especially if you jam it in a smaller pot (like I did).  I just rubbed them with a wet cloth to even it out.  This may not work on more natural fabrics.  You could also try running water over the spot while rubbing it together.

Here’s my before and after:

curtainbefore  curtainafter

As you can see, the tea just gives it a slightly aged look instead of stark white.  Be aware, if you wash something that’s tea dyed, it will probably all come out.  It’s just tea after all!

Here’s a little sneak peak at what we are doing for the window treatment:


Her windows go almost to the ceiling and have blinds with a kind of a flat plastic front at the top.  I will be adding sticky velcro to the back of the burlap loops so she can stick them up and thread the sheer curtains through.  Hopefully I’ll get a picture (Hint, hint!) when they are all hung up to share with ya’ll!

Want to learn something else new?  Whether it’s perfecting your cake decorating skills or piecing your first quilt, Craftsy has a class for that!

Currently, I’m enrolled in Free Motion Quilting a Sampler with Leah Day and I’ve already learned so much!  I’ve wanted to try free motion quilting for the longest time and I did, on my own, with little success.  Now I know what I was doing wrong and I love it!

These are video tutorials you can keep in your Craftsy account to use whenever you want.  There is also an area to keep notes and ask questions if you need a little extra help.  You can even watch it on your phone or tablet (except Kindles – hey Craftsy, can we fix that please?), so you can take it to your creative space and work along with the class!  I really love their classes and I think you would too!

Right now they have 50% off of their top classes, so what are you waiting for?  Feed your brain some creative knowledge!

Ya’ll have a fabulous weekend and come back Monday to see what the final outcome was for the chair I’ve been teasing about!  (It’s at the bottom of the post I linked to!)  What are your plans for the weekend?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Leave a Reply