Tea Time: DIY Teabags, Vanilla Bean Infused Sugar and Personalized Spoon

     Hand-made Teabags, Vanilla Bean Infused Sugar and a Personalized Spoon is great for gifting to a variety of people.  Grandmas, moms, sisters, teachers, anyone who likes tea, or sugar, or hand-made gifts, or cute things would probably enjoy this.   You could even design it in a more masculine way and then the gifting becomes even more versatile.

Vanilla Bean Sugar takes about 2 weeks to infuse so you will want to plan ahead.  I would suggest making more than needed because when you try it, you will want it for yourself!  There are several tutorials about how to infuse sugar that seem to vary the amount of sugar to bean ratio.  I ended up using Food Networks Alton Brown's info because it landed right in the middle: 1 Vanilla Bean to 2 cups of sugar and let it infuse for 2 weeks.  Check it out for the details.

These little tins where purchased from Amazon.  They are 4 oz and are a great size though bigger or smaller would work as well depending on how much sugar you want to give and how much you will keep for yourself =)  They have a tightly fitting lid and were easy to imprint.  I just used a Hardened Steel Punch Set available on-line and in some craft/hobby stores.  My letters are 1/16, so they are pretty tiny.  A larger size would certainly work.  (Steel punches are not actually that expensive and can be used for a variety of metal projects.  They are neat because they create a permanent indent and because they are steel, will literally last you a lifetime)

I loved the idea of personalizing a spoon to go with this gift wet and use at tea time.  Using the same punch set, I hammered awayon these spoons.  Spoons are a lot harder to imprint than tine, but totally worth it.  You just need to put a little elbow grease into it.  (Hammering Tips Below)

Because of the concave shape and the shine of the spoon, catching all of the words was very difficult and though you cannot really see them in the picture, in your hand you can appreciate the fine, subtle detail: Love Cocoa - Sweet Tea - and Happy Joy.  The handle then says Happy.  It would be so cute to add a line from a song, or a Jane Austen quote...mmm...I may need to make these again really soon!

I chose dried mint leaves from my Grandpa's garden for my tea.  You could certainly just buy mint tea and then change out the packaging if this is too much work or not worth the effort. I then cut coffee filters into circles, sewed them leaving a gap, added my leaves and then sewed them up.   I used a simple, mini brown gift bag to hold my teabags and with two hole punches at the top, a piece of jute is easily tied and untied as needed to keep the teabags nicely inside.  If you prefer to put each teabag in its own packet, checkout FREE DOWNLOAD FOR A TEA BAG PACKET: from SC Johnson

TAG of the TEABAG:
 I used thick, quilting thread that I had on hand, looped it through the teabag and then taped the cut end to some scrapbook paper.  (Regular thread would also probably work just fine)  I cut scrapbook paper into 1 x 2 in strips, folded it over and then taped the end of my thread to the center using double-sided tape.  I added a staple for some extra support as well as visual appeal.

You could even make a paired set of spoons to give...maybe a "His" and "Hers".

To gift it,  an old newspaper printed paper bag works great.


 I would highly recommend practicing a little bit 
before you start the final project!

1.) You need a sturdy, hard surface to hammer against.  You can even use the floor - though carpet is going to give too much.

2.) Make sure the letter is right side up! and then with a steady hand put a lot of pressure down.
3.) I found that 20 hits for each letter on the spoons worked well while about 12 hits was good for the tins.  The number of hits depends on how thin the metal is you are working out.  It is possible to hammer too much and crinkle in the metal.
4.)  I also found that the letters were better indented when
after about 10 hits straight down, I would ever so slightly - not raising the punch! - tip it forward, then back, then side to side all while hammering at each point.  This helped the detail of the letter to be imprinted.
5.) And finally, if you do mess up a letter - it is upside down, or it did not imprint enough - you can grab the "Y" and with the bottom of the "Y" in the center of the mess-up, make a snow flake/flower shape.  You can do this by slightly moving the "Y" clockwise all while keeping the bottom of the letter in the same place.  I actually liked the design it made and did this purposefully to add some detail to the spoon.

As for the card, check out the 
Quick & Easy Card Method!

If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments.  I am more than happy to help you make your Tea Time Gift awesome.

Happy Gifting!

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