Make A Collage Using Tea Bags

(Using Tea Bags–originally from Wabi-Sabi Art Workshop by Serena Barton–was featured in Adventures in Mixed Media Art edited by Amy Jones, published by North Light Book, copyright 2014. It is republished here courtesy of North Light Books and CreateMixedMedia.com.)

Old, dried tea bags can add magic to your artwork. It’s no joke. Each tea bag has a different pattern of staining. Some tea stains are subtle, while others are more obvious. Tea bags containing berry teas are particular favorites of mine due to their rich crimson stains. I use tea bags to create an aged look, to mute a too-bright color and to add texture. I like to tear off the telltale edges of the tea bags before I use them. Once they’re on a piece, they won’t look like tea bags at all, but rather like a mysterious vintage surface. In this project you’ll get to play with this inventive technique.

Materials List

  • acrylic paint—Buff, Green Turquoise, Nickel Azo Gold, transparent Red Iron Oxide, red, sky blue
  • glaze medium
  • paintbrushes
  • paper towel
  • pre-gessoed wood panel, canvas
  • or canvas boards
  • scissors
  • used tea bags, dried
  • vintage book pages and newspaper
  • watercolor crayon
tea final

Casa de las Palabras Mixed media on board

 

tea step 1

1. Using a pre-gessoed panel, canvas or canvas board, paint a layer of Green Turquoise acrylic paint over the top of the piece.

tea step 2

2. Paint a layer of Buff acrylic paint over the bottom of the piece.

tea step 3

3. Collage a variety of text: pieces from vintage books, newspapers and dictionary pages. Use pages that have small illustrations on them.

tea step 4

4. Paint a layer of Nickel Azo Gold paint and glaze medium over the entire piece and blot it. When the gold layer is dry, add a layer of transparent Red Iron Oxide paint and glaze medium. Wipe the area lightly with a paper towel.

tea step 5

5. Mix some Red Iron Oxide with gel medium and paint an uneven horizontal line above the text area.

tea step 6

6. Take a dry used tea bag and cut off the top under the staple. If you have a lot of patience you can remove the staple with needle-nosed pliers instead. Open up the tea bag at the seam and empty the tea into a container. Repeat with other tea bags as needed. Collage the tea bags and torn pieces over the top area of the piece. Look for interesting tea stains to include.

tea step 7

7. With a small brush, dash down a small area of bright red acrylic paint on the line across the piece.

tea step 8

8. Brush on a short line of sky blue paint below the red area.

tea step 9

9. Handwrite text in the upper gold area with a watercolor crayon. Rub gently to partially obscure the text.

(Using Tea Bags–originally from Wabi-Sabi Art Workshop by Serena Barton–was featured in Adventures in Mixed Media Art edited by Amy Jones, published by North Light Book, copyright 2014. It is republished here courtesy of North Light Books and CreateMixedMedia.com.)

T2369_AdventuresinMMArt_CM.inddTo learn more about or order a copy of Adventures in Mixed Media Art edited by Amy Jones, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

W8061_wabisabi-cov.inddTo find out more about Wabi-Sabi Art Workshop by Serena Barton, click here.

 

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