I learned a new thing – teabag folding

“What the heck is teabag folding? Why would you fold a tea bag? Aren’t they too full of tea to fold?” Those were my questions earlier today.

I just got back from the monthly meeting of the Book Arts Guild of Vermont. We meet up in Burlington on the first Wednesday of every month. The group is around 3 years old and there are over 200 people on the Email list for our group. Quite a large group of book arts lovers for such a small state as Vermont!

I love going to the monthly meetings. Members lead the evening programs and we learn something different every month. Tonight’s experiment was teabag folding. After spending all day on my computer, I was game for anything.

I learned that teabag folding originated in Holland and that you don’t actually fold teabags (duh). It seems that folks used small papers to wrap their loose tea. A woman named Tiny van der Plas decided to fold these papers for decorating greeting cards. A new art form was born. You can read more about teabag folding on Wikipedia.

Anyhoo, we started folding squares of paper into origami-esque shapes.

Teabag folding - square pieces

After completing 8 folded squares, we assembled them into a star-like paper thing.

Completed teabag folding - star

After feeling happy at having completed my starry creation, we then moved on to circles. More happy folding.

Teabag folding - circle pieces

Then we assembled the pieces into a super cool flower.

Teabag folding - completed flower

Overall, the folding was really relaxing…that is, after I knew what I was doing. I had many moments of “Whadshe just do?” I could see myself zoning out for hours, folding paper squares. What most appealed to me about the process was the symmetry and the precision involved.

I’m very much a structure girl. When I have clear and concrete directions to follow, I’m super happy. I’m not sure if it’s something I’d ever do again or incorporate into my bookbinding. It’s still cool to learn a new skill.

The weird thing happened on the drive home. A 40 minute drive home (alone) will get your brain going in weird directions. I thought to myself, “If someone put a gun to my head and told me that I’d have to be either a square or a circle, which would I choose?” I came to the conclusion that I’d have to be a square.

The thought of having no sides and no corners just sorta freaks me out.

8 Responses to “I learned a new thing – teabag folding”

By billiescraftroom - 5 June 2008 Reply

Hi Elissa

I found your site after you visited my blog, so I am returning the favour and found this post. If you would like some links to online tutorials and how to generate tea bags from your own art work just send me an email.

Great blog I’ll be coming back here šŸ˜‰

Best wishes

Billie xx

By Terri novak - 17 June 2013 Reply

I would really like to learn this new paper craft…it looks like fun and I like to different things to cards….always an adventure each time I make a special card for a good friend,sympathy,birthday,baby,etc. than you for the site. I enjoyed it.
Terri novak

By Charlotte - 26 May 2018 Reply

This is very interesting, I would like to learn this paper craft. I have no idea how to get started. Thanks you.

By Elissa - 6 June 2018 Reply

Charlotte –

I don’t have any experience with teabag folding beyond the short workshop I attended. I recommend doing a Google search to find tutorials.

Good luck!

By Kim - 19 July 2019 Reply

Wow šŸ˜Æ! Those are pretty amazing šŸ˜‰ Iā€™m definitely checking into this , thank you for posting šŸ‘šŸ¼

By Elissa - 22 July 2019 Reply

Kim –

Glad you enjoyed the post! Have fun folding!


By Susan Cartier - 2 August 2019 Reply

i find this fold very interesting and beautiful .. would love to see more of it please

thank you

By Elissa - 12 August 2019 Reply

Susan –

Unfortunately, I haven’t done any more teabag folding since I wrote this post.

Handcrafted Greetings has a bunch of tutorials – you should give them a try.

Have fun!

So what do you think? I'd love to know!

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