Friday, January 15, 2016

i started painting on used tea bags this week.  i have

saved stacks of bags because i thought they would

be perfect  a possible project.... but i did not have

a project until i saw jeanne-marie's tea bag girls.

she painted 365 last year and said it changed her life.

even though i am only on tea bag girl # 7,

i have had a lot of questions on how these are 

done.   i told my friends that there are good tutorials online

but they encouraged me to do my own.  so here we go.

i  started simple with these

basic supplies 

used tea bags, dried and the tea emptied by cutting a tiny

slit in the back.  i am experimenting with various brands and  sizes

gesso ~ white, black,  clear.  

i started with white using a wet brush, applying it to the

emptied, dried tea bag, letting it dry on wax paper to prevent

sticking to the surface.  if the brush is too wet, which mine were,

you will need two coats.  i read that clear gesso helps prevent

wrinkles.  i also find that after applying the gesso, whatever color,

smoothing the bag with the brush helps.  also check out the bags 

during the drying process and resmooth if necessary.  

various size brushes

water container

watercolor, acrylics, water soluble pencils

i started with watercolors then  to 4 colors 

of  derwent intense blocks.  the watercolors needed 

several coats after it dried.  because of the texture

you could not tell what color it would turn out until it dried.  

it resulted in  a soft dreamy feeling.

the intense blocks gave more intense, immediate colors.

today i tried acrylics.  i use acrylics so much that

it was a familiar medium, without many surprises

diluted white gesso, watercolor

diluted white gesso, watercolor and intense blocks

black gesso, white acrylic and pencil

white gesso, clear gesso, charcoal, acrylic

i am always available if you have questions and

would love to see what you do with these mini tea bag canvases.

also if there is anything that is unclear, let me know and i will

try to clarify.

thank you so much for visiting today!

posting with paint party friday


  1. This looks like a fun project, great results. Hugs, Valerie

  2. How incredibly creative you are! These paintings--so tiny, are enchanting and whimsical. Just beautiful.

    1. Hello Beth! Thank you for your comments. I have enjoyed these little pieces of art so much.
      ~~ Irene

  3. I save teabags too but have always used them as either texture on pages or a canvas or I just plain stamped on them. Looks like painting on them is worth a go-yours are wonderful!

    1. Hi Linda, They are definitely worth a go. I was surprised at the versatility that could happen in these little canvases. I hope you give it a whirl.

  4. Wow these are so inspiring... what a process though. I am ALWAYS amazed when people work this small...these are fabulous!! Each with their own personality.. Love it!

    Hugs Giggles

    1. Hello Dear Giggles,
      You know, I was a bit reluctant because of the size but as it turns out, they are not intimidating at all. It a very relaxing process that I look forward to every day.

  5. Thank you very much for sharing your beautiful artwork along with your how to instructions!
    I have a huge tea bag collection and have done various things with them, but have never painted on any.
    Now I am totally inspired.
    This is my first time joining PPF.

    1. Hello Patty, Welcome to PPF. I have found this such a warm and supportive group. Thank you for commenting today on the tea bags. Won't you give them a try?
      ~~ Irene

  6. Interesting paintings in sepia shades.
    Hapy weekend xx

  7. Fantastic. Shame I'm allergic to tea...

  8. Love this! The images are lovely and give the feel of bigger works. xo

    1. Hello Dea, I agree. It was a delightful surprise to find that so many details could be painted on such small real estate :)
      ~~ Irene

  9. These small gems are large in beauty! Love em.

  10. Further to yesterday's comment, I began to wonder about coffee filter papers instead as must be a similar if not identical sort of paper. They turn out to be an interesting fan shape when opened up so shall take a look at the work of my favourite artists using the fan shape and have a go!

  11. There are so many things you can do with teabags. You have shown yet another method. Super fun!

  12. Irene, it's amazing how different they look from one another. And obviously, these are small "canvases" if they're done on teabags! Beautiful work. Thanks for sharing your process. xx