Homemade Tea Bags And Mug Cozy

We had so much mint from our little indoor herb garden this year that I decided to make tea out of a bunch of the dried leaves. And of course, that meant I needed to make homemade tea bags as well!

Handmade Tea Bags

It’s such a simple and easy thing to do; if you grow your own mint (or chamomile, or whatever) you should definitely give it a try!

Homemade Tea Bags

Here’s what you need:

  • light-colored muslin (or some other loose-weave fabric)
  • tea
  • baker’s twine and paper for tags (optional)

Start by washing your fabric. This step is important because you don’t want to drink tea made in these bags if the fabric is dirty! (If you plan to add strings and tags to your tea bags instead of just leaving them plain, you’ll want to wash the string too.)

Cut two rectangles from your fabric. If you are making individual tea bags, cut smallish rectangles (1″-2″ on one side and 2″-3″ on the other). If you are making tea bags to steep an entire pot at a time, cut your rectangles slightly larger (2″-3″ on one side, 3″-4″ on the other).

Put the two rectangles together and sew around three sides, leaving a small seam allowance.

Handmade Tea Bags

Fill the bag with tea through the open side. The amount of tea you add depends on the type of tea, how strong you like your tea, how large your mugs are, etc. But here are a few basic guidelines:

  • For white teas, maté teas, rooibos teas, or herbal teas – 1 1/2 teaspoons of dried tea per 8 oz cup
  • For black teas, green teas, or oolong teas – 1 teaspoon of dried tea per 8 oz cup

If you are planning to make iced tea with your tea bags, double those amounts. If you are planning to make a larger tea bag to steep an entire pot of tea at a time, just calculate the right amount of tea based on how many 8 oz cups your teapot will make. Also, remember that most coffee mugs are bigger than 8 oz…they’re more like 12 or 16.

Note: If you like your tea stronger, add more tea to the bag rather than steeping your tea for a longer period of time. Your tea will just get bitter if you steep it too long, rather than stronger. 🙂

Handmade Tea Bags

If you want to make just a tea bag, sew the open end closed and you’re done! If you want to add a string and tag to your tea bag, cut a piece of string about 8″ long. Tie a knot in one end, then place that end inside the tea bag.

Sew the open edge shut, making sure to leave the knot inside your stitched line. The knot will keep the string from pulling out of the bag in the future.

Handmade Tea Bags

Tie a paper tag onto the other end of the string, and you’re done! Steep these little guys in hot water and enjoy!

Again, steeping time varies by type of tea, how strong you like your tea, etc. But here are some basic guidelines:

  • For white teas, steep 4-5 minutes (if your white tea is flavored or scented, cut that time down to 2 minutes)
  • For green teas and flavored/scented green teas, steep 45 seconds to 1 minute
  • For oolong teas, black teas, and flavored/scented black teas, steep 2-3 minutes
  • For maté teas, rooibos teas, and herbal teas, steep 4-6 minutes

If you’re steeping an entire pot at a time, you can try steeping the tea a little bit longer (up to double the time). If you’re making iced tea, double the steeping time for maté teas, rooibos teas, and herbal teas. For all other teas the steeping time is the same regardless of whether it is hot or iced.

Handmade Tea Bags

Handmade Tea Bags

On a separate note, I had so much fun with Craftaholics Anonymous’s handmade gift exchange last time, that I’m participating in again this winter! I made a bunch of these little tea bags for my exchange partner, and I also crocheted another mug cozy for her as well.

It’s the same sort of idea as the crocheted mug cozy I made earlier, except that it’s a little simpler. This one is just a bunch of single crochet stitches that go back and forth in rows to make a long, skinny rectangle. Then I added a button, edged the cozy with some pink yarn, and made a button loop the same way as before. For the full tutorial, go check out the first cozy I made!

So the homemade tea bags and the crocheted mug cozy were my gift for the handmade gift exchange this year. I hope my exchange partner likes them!

Have you ever used loose-leaf tea before, or grown your own? Have you ever made your own tea bags? They would make great gifts for tons of occasions; I saw the cutest idea for making your own personalized tea bags as wedding or shower favors, how fun is that?!



I link up at these awesome parties!

Jessi Wohlwend

I believe that anyone can do crafts and DIY projects, regardless of skill or experience. I love sharing simple craft ideas, step by step DIY project tutorials, cleaning hacks, and other tips and tricks all with one goal in mind: giving you the tools you need to “do it yourself”, complete fun projects, and make awesome things!

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Reader Interactions

  1. Kate says

    10 years ago

    What a great idea!

  2. Lucy says

    10 years ago

    What a great gift idea! Thanks for sharing. I am visiting from Under the table and dreaming. Have a great day.

  3. Kei says

    10 years ago

    Wow, I never thought of making my own tea bags. Yours are really cute. We have some mint growing in our garden, so it’s tempting to nip out there and harvest some!
    When you say to wash the fabric, is that just with ordinary detergent on a normal wash cycle?

    • Jessi says

      10 years ago

      Yep, just wash it like you normally would! It’s not so important to make sure the fabric shrinks, it’s just important to get it clean so you aren’t steeping weird fabric dyes etc. into your tea. 🙂

  4. Shannah @ Just Us Four says

    10 years ago

    What a great idea! Thanks so much for linking this up today at the Pinworthy Projects Party!

  5. Betsy @ Romance on a Dime says

    10 years ago

    Love this idea!! Wish I knew how to knit – I want to learn soon. Thanks for linking up at Romance on a dime.

  6. vanessa says

    10 years ago

    This is a lovely gift. I am sure the person that is getting this gift is going to enjoy it.


  7. Jill @ Create.Craft.Love. says

    10 years ago

    Love this! What a great personal touch, to make your own tea bags! Thanks for linking up to the Keep Calm and Link Up! Hope to see you back next week!

  8. PJ says

    10 years ago

    I love tea, and this is so cute!!! Your coffee cozies are on my “to make” list for the ladies of my life this year!

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