Monday, October 3, 2011

DIY Tea Staining

This is Super Mario's Toad. My kids have decided, this year for Halloween, they all wanted to be characters out of Super Mario world. A. has chosen to be Toad this year.

So, you are probably wondering why this post is about Tea Staining. I searched high and low for a beige shirt in A.'s size. After going to half a dozen stores and googling online like crazy, I was out of luck. The costume only comes with a cheesy vest and hat.

Therefore, I decided to make the rest and bedazzle the vest a bit. Back to the tea staining. Since my search was all for none, I had an idea that I could just stain a white shirt to make it beige. First, I boiled a pot of tea.

I found a couple of packets of breakfast tea and black tea in the cupboard.

I added some salt to the pot. I'm told that it helps it absorb more evenly. I don't know how, but seeing the contestants on Project Runway do it when they are dying their fabrics (last week's episode Anya was pouring salt over her muslim fabric as she was dying it) made me think it was a needed step.

Before staining the shirt, I rinsed it in cold water. I read online that it helps with even dying as well. I wanted a darker shirt so I let it sit in the pot for about 15 minutes, stirring every so often. You can soak it less for a lighter color.

Afterward, I rinsed the shirt in cold water again to remove the excess tea. It's hard to see the color change in this picture, but there was a change.

I then, threw the shirt into the dryer and out came a beige shirt.

You can definitely see the tea stained color against the white door. Total price for the shirt - absolutely free. We had the shirt and the tea bags already on hand. I've sewn the pants and fixed the hat. I just need to add some trim to the vest and this costume will be complete!

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