Last summer I shared with you that I love tea
I grew up drinking at least a cup a day, guided by my mother who throws
down a pot or so in the same time frame. One of the things I treasure
most about get togethers with my mom, brother and sister-in-law is
enjoying a pot (or two) of tea together, especially since I’m usually
the only one in our little nuclear family who gets excited about brewing
Since my relatives enjoy tea so much I
decided last year to make them handmade herbal tea bags. I found some
recipes online and used this tutorial
as a guide to creating my own tea bags. It was a super cute idea (and I
was super excited about it!) but alas, I completely underestimated how
much time it would take. The bags weren’t nearly as pretty as I wanted
them to be. And I cut my time so close to Christmas that I didn’t really
have time to taste-test and adjust my recipes. Ultimately some of the
bags turned out well but most of them were forgettable (if not bad).
Such a bummer…
So I promised myself that I’d try again
this year – and that I’d start much, much sooner. So the week of
Thanksgiving I paid a visit to our local health food store
and picked up a couple dozen bags of various herbs and spices. Ever
since I’ve been experimenting with and adjusting herbal tea recipes. My
goal was to develop at least a dozen unique flavors. I didn’t quite make
it there, but I’m really pleased with the six recipes that are ready.
know that sometimes we make homemade gifts because they’re inexpensive,
quick or simple to make. (And there’s nothing wrong with that.)
Although they hold potential for the exact opposite, I feel like
sometimes today’s homemade gifts are a little impersonal. I really
wanted these teas to be the antithesis to all of these things, both to
make them a sweet gift and simply for the joy of creating something
That’s how I stumbled into the idea of
making an advent tea set. I wanted to make something pretty to look at,
meaningful and enjoyable to use. I guess I won’t know for sure if I hit
the mark until my not-to-be-mentioned-till-they-receive-this relative
provides a review. Meanwhile, I’m excited to share the results with you.
I’ve included all of the information and
printouts you need to make an advent tea set for the tea lover on your
Christmas list. Here’s how it works: Every day has a handmade tea bag.
The tea bags are stored in a pre-made container. I wanted to use a
Christmas tin but none of the stores I visited had quite what I was
looking for. Instead I settled for this super cute box from the holiday
section of Wal-Mart. (If you hurry you might be able to buy the same
day’s tea bag has a tag with the date on it. Each bag is also preceeded
by a divider card. The divider has the date on the face and a
Christmas-oriented scripture on the backside. The idea is that every
December morning before work (or perhaps every evening as you unwind)
the recipient can read and reflect on an inspirational card while
enjoying a cup of tea. There are 25 cards (and 25 tea bags) to last you
all the way until Christmas Day. The divider cards are printed on
heavy-duty photo paper and should be sturdy enough to last for several
years. That means next year I’ll be able to supply a stash of 25
handmade teas to be ready for the following Advent season.
A few more details… the tea tags are
attached to bakers twine because it comes in pretty colors but won’t
leach color into hot tea. I bought some Christmas-y twine in the dollar
section of Target and found even more colorful varieties in the party
section (near the plates and cups). The bags themselves are made from
regular (cheap!) coffee filters. My sewing machine broke down just as I
was beginning to sew these so I had to improvise. I ended up figuring
out a no-sew folding technique that looks just as cute and actually
saved me a ton of time. I’m excited that anyone – even crafty folks with
no sewing machine – can make these.
Advent Tea Set Tutorial
Supplies & Equipment Needed
- 25 coffee filters
- bakers twine
- 9 sheets of photo paper
- 3 sheets of cardstock
- assorted herbs and spices (click here for recipes which list amounts for a single serving)
- measuring spoons
- craft glue
- tea container (mine came from the holiday section at Wal-Mart)
- Tea Dividers printout (click here to download)
- Tea Tags printout (click here to download)
Make the Tea Bags
1. Cut a piece of bakers twine into a 6? length.
2. Fold a coffee filter in half.
3. Fold the filter in half again. Reopen to previous half-fold position.
3. Fold each side into the center line created by step 2.
4. Fold each side in again to meet the center line.
5. Staple the bottom of the bag to help it retain it’s form.
6. Mix a single-serving of the tea recipe in a small container.
7. Use your fingers to pry the opening of the bag open as wide as possible without completely unfolding it.
8. Transfer the mixed herbs into the bag. Using a 1/2 teaspoon may help.
9. Carefully tap or shake the bag down
so that the tea is compacted to the bottom. This will make it easier to
close the top. You can later disperse the tea more evenly throughout the
10. Laying the bag flat on a hard surface, fold down the top-right corner of the bag.
11. Place the bakers twine onto the bag
and fold the top-left corner down over it. This will create a point at
the top of the bag.
12. Fold the point down toward the
bottom of the bag being careful to keep the twine secure under the
flaps. Fold the twine up straight across the point (now pointing down)
and up past the top of the bag. Secure both the top of the bag and the
twine by stapling across it.
13. Create tea tags by cutting out two
of each number. Place one tag face down and add a few small dots of glue
to the center and the corners. Place the top end of the twine on the
center glue dot then cover the entire thing with the second tag (face
Make the Divider Cards
1. Print the Tea Dividers, preferably on photo paper or card stock.
2. Cut each divider along the dashed
line (top, bottom and sides) and fold along the dotted line. Once
folded, the number should be on one side and the scripture should be on
3. Line the three open sides of the divider with mono adhesive and press it together.
4. Repeat for all divider cards. For Christmas Day (Day 25) there are three options to choose from.
Assemble the Advent Tea Set
1. Place the #25 tea bag in the bottom of the container.
2. Place the #25 divider card over the #25 tea bag.
3. Place the #24 tea bag on top of the #25 divider, followed by the #24 divider.
4. Repeat this process until all tea bags and dividers have been added.
5. If you haven’t already, print the Advent Tea Recipes
card. Cut it to fit into the container. Slide the card inside the
container flush with the back side (behind the tea bags and dividers).
6. Close. Give. Smile.
I really enjoyed making this, and I can’t wait to give it!
Did you enjoy this article? Visit www.arcadia-farms.net for more info on eating healthy, saving money and buying locally.
Posted by Katie
@ 04:46 PM EST