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How to Make DIY Reusable Tea Bags (VIDEO)

Why make your own teabags? We’d like to believe that the tea industry has it all sorted with safe sterile tea bags for the billions of daily cups of tea consumed around the globe. Unfortunately, this is not so as a recent study conducted at McGill University in Montreal, Canada has indicated. Researchers found that when a plastic teabag was left in 95 degrees centigrade water to make one cup of tea up to 3.1 billion nanoplastic, and 11.6 billion microplastic particles were released. That’s why DIY reusable tea bags make sense. And if you’re thinking, “Oh I don’t really need to because the teabags I use are made from safe material”, don’t forget that many manufacturers still use a glue containing polypropylene (another plastic) to stop their teabags falling apart in your teacup.

We have a quick and easy pattern to make your own cloth teabags using a safe organic cotton fabric that is not bleached with chlorine. Yes, some teabag manufacturers will bleach their teabag material with chlorine, and traces of these toxic chlorine compounds remain embedded in the paper. Who wants to drink tea with a bit of toxicity?

reusasble tea bags

People suffering from mold allergies are advised  by health experts to  rather buy loose leaf tea because certain teabags can, if not properly sterilized, cause an allergic reaction if mold forms on the teabag.

Now you have the health reasons for making your own homemade reusable teabags. Let’s see what you should be using to make your DIY teabags. A pure cotton is best, and the looser the weave the better the tea will steep. Cotton muslin is good and a pure cotton or baker’s twine for the drawstring is necessary. I prefer neutral colors because tea does stain, so the more natural looking the fabric is to start with, the better. You can even get natural fabrics printed with food-safe ink in pretty patterns.

diy reusable tea bags

Below you will find my step by step written tutorial with VIDEO instructions for all the visual learners.

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How to make your own teabag

Supplies and tools

supplies-for-reusable-tea-bags

DOWNLOAD: reusable tea bag pattern (Free PDF file)

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How To Sew Reusable Tea Bags

Watch the diy tea bag video first and then follow the written step by step instructions below.
Please enjoy and don’t forget to Like and SUBSCRIBE over on YouTube to be kept up to date with new videos as they come out.

DIY TEA BAG VIDEO TUTORIAL

DIY REUSABLE TEA BAGS INSTRUCTIONS:

STEP 1: Cut fabric

Cut your 3.5 x 4.5-inch fabric rectangles to use for the teabags, according to the pattern supplied. You can use scissors or a rotary cutter and mat. I would suggest cutting a few at a time to speed up the process.

cutting fabric for diy tea bag

TIP: I highly recommend using plain white or off-white fabric/muslin as the tea will color the fabric. If you decide to go with colorful fabrics, make sure to wash and dry them on high to prevent color bleeding.

STEP 2: Make drawstring casing

Fold down one of the longer side  just ¼ on an inch and fingerpress (or press with your iron).

Fold over again but ½ inch this time, to create a casing through which the drawstring will pass.

STEP 3: Insert string and pin

Cut a 9 inch length of string. If you are doing a few teabags at a time perhaps recut a number of these lengths.

Before stitching place the length of string inside the folded seam, tucking it up close to the fold, and pin in place.

pinned and marked stitching like for drawstring casing of the diy tea bags

STEP 4: Stitch the drawstring casing

Stitch along the edge, making sure your sewing machine needle doesn’t catch the string – it will need to draw freely through the casing.

STEP 5: Fold and pin the reusable teabag

Fold the short side to the opposite short side, right to right side of the fabric so you have a rectangle with the seam containing the string at the top. Line up the edges and pin in place.

pinned and stitched reusable fabric tea bag

STEP 6: Stitch

Starting at the lower left side along the fold, doing a back stitch when you start to secure the corner, stitch a ¼ inch seam along the bottom, then turn and go up the side until you reach the drawstring seam where you will again end with a backstitch, so the teabag does not unravel.

STEP 7: Snip the corners and turn around

Cut the lower two corners at an angle to reduce the amount of fabric when the teabag is turned right side out.

Turn the teabag right way out, using a chopstick or some other similar, non-sharp item to make sure the corners are turned out neatly.

trimming corners of the fabric tea bag

STEP 8: Attach the Charm

We are now ready to attach the charm. To do this pass the ends of the string through the holes in the charm. The charm gives some weight so the string does not easily fall back into the teacup or teapot.

Tie the ends of the string together at the back of the charm.

diy tea bag with attached charm

STEP 9: Fill the fabric tea bag with loose tea and enjoy!

You have completed an open ended teabag where you can spoon in the tea leaves needed for a cup or a pot of tea. Pull the drawstring to close the top of the teabag, place in the cup or pot and add hot water.

filling a reusable tea bag with loose tea leaves

Enjoy your favorite cuppa knowing that these DIY reusable teabags are going to help stop landfills from being cluttered up with  manufactured  teabags that could be leaching plastic and toxic compounds into the soil. The actual tea leaves you empty out when finished drinking your tea are easily composted and are beneficial to your garden. Natural tea leaves will break down to increase the quality of the soil, and better soil attracts more earthworms, creating improved nutrients for your plants.

Now that you have your first teabag complete, you’ll want to start making lots more DIY reusable teabags, and getting creative with the charms you add. Five or ten bags make a great gift along with a quality loose leaf tea. Imagine giving an ocean lover tea bags with a whale or dolphin charm, a garden lover one with ladybird charms, and for kids ones with dinosaur charms?

Please let us know how your reusable fabric teabags turned out by getting in touch via email or sharing a photo on Pinterest or social media. We’d love to see how creative you can get.

making your own reusable tea bag

FAQs, Tips and Troubleshooting:

  • Q: How do I clean my reusable tea bags?

A: You can either wash them in a safe biodegradable dishwashing liquid, rinse through with clean water, and then hang them out to dry – natural sunlight is best.

  • Q: How do I deep clean reusable tea bags?

A: Soak them in a solution of vinegar and water for a couple of hours – use white or apple cider vinegar, not dark vinegar. Rinse thoroughly and dry.

  • Q: Can I put my reusable tea bags through the washing machine?

A: It is suggested you rather wash by hand as you don’t want detergent residue on them.

  • Q: Can I tumble dry my reusable teabags?

A: Yes, as long as you don’t include dryer sheets –  you don’t want to risk any chemical contamination.

  • Q: Can I use cheesecloth to make reusable teabags?

A: Yes, you can. If the tea is very fine then you may have to use a double layer.

 

Do you like these DIY tea bags tutorial? Pin for later:

Reusable tea bags tutorial

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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 27 comments
Lauren Renee Sparks - February 8, 2021

I have a favorite loose leaf tea I buy from a local coffee shop and this would be so handy!

Reply
Linda on All Things Kitchen - February 12, 2021

I’ve learned something new about tea. What a wonderful idea. Thank you for sharing on the Classy Flamingos blog party.

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Ann - February 13, 2021

What a wonderful idea! Thank you for sharing at Party In Your PJ’s.

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Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love) - February 13, 2021

I love loose leaf tea but I’ve never thought of making my own reusable tea bags. What a great idea. Have pinned to give this a go some time. Thanks for sharing. #PoCoLo

Reply
    Helen - February 15, 2021

    It was only recently that I thought I can make some. I enjoy a cup of tea from time to time, and these eye candies make my heart sing every time I look at them

    Reply
Naush Samama - February 15, 2021

Not sure about the tea thing but these tiny pouches look stinkin cute !!!
Thank you for sharing with us at Meraki Link Party.
Naush

Reply
    Helen - February 15, 2021

    Thank you, Naush! I’m looking forward to sharing more cute things with you

    Reply
Shelbee on the Edge - February 15, 2021

This is a fabulous idea for so many reasons! I wish I drank tea more frequently because I would definitely appreciate reusable tea bags with loose tea leaves! Thanks for linking with me.

Shelbee
http://www.shelbeeontheedge.com

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chickenruby - February 15, 2021

another fab idea and I love how you can add labels to the drawstring to identify the tea or even use fabric that corresponds. Thanks for linking with #pocolo

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Stephanie 139a - February 15, 2021

I’m also thinking this will be super-useful. Thanks for sharing with #PoCoLo

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Sarita - February 17, 2021

Love this idea! Reusable teabags – I will have to make these with my girls for our next craft project. Thanks for sharing at The Homestead Blog Hop!

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    Helen - February 17, 2021

    You are welcome Sarita! I’m sure you’ll enjoy your tea time even more when using these reusable tea bags

    Reply
Donna @ Modern on Monticello - February 17, 2021

You definitely got my attention with this one about the glue used on tea bags. I will definitely be taking a closer look at what mine are made of. The reusable bag is such a great idea. Thanks for sharing it. #HomeMattersParty

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Kerryanne - February 19, 2021

Helen, I love these for all of the same reasons as you and I definitely need some DIY reusable tea bags.
Thank you for sharing your project at Create, Bake, Grow and Gather this week. I’m delighted to be featuring your reusable tea bag tutorial at tonight’s party and pinning too.
Hugs,
Kerryanne

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    Helen - February 19, 2021

    It’s so lovely to hear you liked these reusable tea bags as much as I do. Thank you so much for the feature, I’ll drop by!

    Reply
Zuzanna - April 24, 2021

I don’t know why I didn’t clue into the plastics in tea bags. They do not break down in our worm bin, after all! Thank-your for pointing this out.

Sewing little bags seems to be my next project!

All the best and may new and fun ideas keep popping up in your creative mind!

(Just a note, there is no link to your pattern.)

Reply
    Helen - April 27, 2021

    It’s just a simple rectangle of fabric, so I decided not to make a pattern. But since so many of you asked, I will make and upload a pattern 🙂
    Have a great day

    Reply
Lori Smanski - April 24, 2021

this is a wonderful post. thanks for sharing. i guess i never really thought about how they put together the little pouches. Very informative. Thanks for sharing. I do have one question. It says there is a pdf, but if you give the measurements of this little bag, do I really need a pdf?

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    Helen - April 27, 2021

    You can totally make it without a pattern. It’s just that some people find it easier to have one

    Reply
Kristie Anderson - April 24, 2021

Can I just cut the fabric squares to the dimensions listed? I don’t see a link for the PDF pattern. I just bought some loose leaf tea and can’t wait to make a bunch. Thanks!

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    Helen - April 27, 2021

    Yes, of course. I’ll add a pattern later today for those of you who prefer using one. Happy stitching

    Reply
SUZANNE - April 24, 2021

Hi there, Love this post and am ready to make a bunch. Great idea for gifts too!
BTW, I could not find the link to download a PDF of this file. Any help?
Thanks,
Suzanne

Reply
BONITA L THIEM - April 24, 2021

In the instructions you state to Download the PDF pattern. There us no downloadable pattern anywhere to be found. Why?

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Cheryl - April 25, 2021

These look great and easy to make. My only concern is not mentioning material types and how to prep it. I would think you would want to wash or soak the bags in very hot water before before using to remove any finishing on the fabric/string/thread and also make sure the dye does not run. I do want to try a few of these though.
Thank you for posting.

Reply
    Helen - April 27, 2021

    Hi Cheryl, you are absolutely right about washing or soaking the bags in very hot water. It would be best to use 100% white cotton fabric, if you want to be absolutely sure the dye won’t run. I always recommend pre-washing and ironing all fabrics you work with, so I missed mentioning that in this article

    Reply
Carol L - September 5, 2021

Thanks for this, it looks like a great idea.
As several have mentioned, there is no link for the pattern, or even measurements for no pattern. Also, you mention charms, but they aren’t listed in the supplies, nor is there a link to what type, size, etc. Could you provide a link to what you used?
Thank you again!!!
I’ll be waiting for a response to make these.

Reply
    Helen - September 6, 2021

    Hi Carol, the measurements are in step 1 – it’s 3.5 x 4.5″.
    I’ve also updated the supplies list to include charms. Hope that helps!

    Reply

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