DIYdiy projectskate pruittvalentine's day

diy project: valentine’s tea, three ways

by Kate Pruitt

I come from a family of die-hard tea drinkers, so I am naturally predisposed to liking pretty much anything tea-related: teapots, mug cozies, you name it. Last week, one of our readers, Austin-based blogger and crafter Emma Hadzi-Anitch, shared an adorable idea she had to make her own teabags for an easy and simple Valentine’s Day gift. I loved the project so much, I had to experiment with it, and I went a little crazy . . . too much Irish Breakfast pumping through my system, I guess.

I’ve included three different teabag designs, each one easier than the last. Whatever your time, budget or skill level allows, I guarantee you can whip up a whole batch of love tea for your Valentine before next Monday. I’m so charmed by these teabags that I might just make my own tea from now on, although I’ll gladly accept a box of Samovar’s Earl Grey or Yogi’s Ginger Tea any day. Thanks for the fantastic project inspiration, Emma, and Happy Valentine’s Day! — Kate

Floral arrangement by Studio Choo

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!


  • scissors
  • paper (white, red and/or any patterned paper you like)
  • cotton string
  • sewing needle and natural-color thread
  • lightweight cotton muslin (look for natural unbleached muslin, which should be available at most fabric stores)
  • heart-shaped paper punch
  • glue stick (or any craft glue)
  • loose tea (you can buy this or make your own)
  • pen


Teabag Design #1: Heart-Shaped Teabags

1. Cut a 2.5″ square of cardboard, fold in half and cut half a heart shape against the fold to create a symmetrical heart template. Use the template to trace and cut heart shapes out of the muslin fabric.

2. Take two muslin hearts and stitch them together using the needle and cotton thread. Start at the bottom point of the heart and work your way around the edge, making your stitches very close together to prevent leakage. Stop stitching when you have just sewn past the second hump of the top of the heart, and leave the thread and needle hanging.

3. Fill the heart with about 1 tablespoon of loose tea, gently tapping the heart to settle and pack the tea inside. Pinch the heart shut with your fingers and sew the remainder of the edge to close up the heart pouch. Cut loose thread.

4. Thread the needle with the cotton string and pull through the center of the top of the heart. Make a knot to secure the thread to the teabag.

5. Cut a 0.5″ x 1.5″ rectangle out of paper and fold in half to make your tea tag. Write a cute note inside, or label with the type of tea. Poke the needle through the center of the tag fold and double knot the thread to secure the tag on the thread. Cut loose string.

6. Repeat all steps to make more teabags.

Teabag Design #2: No-Sew Teabag

1. Cut a 5″ x 5″ muslin square. Remove any long stray threads.

2. Fill the center of the square with 1 to 2 tablespoons of loose tea.

3. Roll the muslin into a tube, and fold the tube in half, tapping it to shift the tea to the bottom of the pouch. Pinch the two ends of the tube together, and tie a cotton string around the neck of the tube, right above where the tea sits inside. Knot tightly to secure the pouch. Cut extra muslin off the top of the pouch.

4. Cut a paper heart for the tag. Thread your needle onto the loose end of the cotton string and thread through the top center of the heart. Tie a small knot and cut the loose string.

5. Write a cute note or the type of tea on the back of the heart label.

6. Repeat all steps to make more teabags.

Teabag Design #3: Customized Pre-Made Teabags

1. Remove the paper tag from a store-bought teabag.

2. Cut 0.5″ x 1.5″ rectangles out of paper and fold in half. Use a heart punch to make small hearts from a contrasting color paper. Glue the heart onto the center of the tag and write a cute note inside.

3. Thread a needle with cotton string that is already attached to the teabag, and poke the needle through the center of the fold on the new tag. Knot inside the tag and cut extra string.

4. Repeat with other teabags.

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  • i loved this idea!!!! I’ll make them for a friend that LOVES tea. but i’ve got a question… did the heart fray when you put it in the water?
    lovely idea! thank you for sharing

  • I love this. So much so that I made the heart shaped bags for my daughters at college today. I designed custom tea tags for them that have a phrase we use all the time to sign off on our emails, picked up a couple of cute mugs at Anthropologie and a wonderful pomegranate/green tea blend to put in the bags. A neighbor is taking them for me when she heads to Austin this weekend. Thanks for a lovely idea!

  • Started research into making the tea bags and my local craft store said that the muslin needs to be unbleached, natural muslin otherwise it is not “food safe.” I am now making my heart shape tea bags out of paper coffee filters. They sew together just fine and are safer to use when consuming. Make sure you check your muslin is safe for consumption.

  • Just read this for the first time and had to share. Could make the perfect note to accompany this gift:

    Carol Ann Duffy


    I like pouring your tea, lifting
    the heavy pot, and tipping it up,
    so the fragrant liquid streams in your china cup.

    Or when you’re away, or at work,
    I like to think of your cupped hands as you sip,
    as you sip, of the faint half-smile of your lips.

    I like the questions – sugar? – milk? –
    and the answers I don’t know by heart, yet,
    for I see your soul in your eyes, and I forget.

    Jasmine, Gunpowder, Assam, Earl Grey, Ceylon,
    I love tea’s names. Which tea would you like? I say
    but it’s any tea for you, please, any time of day,

    as the women harvest the slopes
    for the sweetest leaves, on Mount Wu-Yi,
    and I am your lover, smitten, straining your tea.

  • Wonderful! I made the heart shaped ones for my boyfriend for Valentines day and they are perfect! Thank you! <3

  • I’ve been wondering about the ‘food safe’ aspect, as well.. I am for sure going the coffee filter route, now I am just unsure about the thread.. thoughts?…..

  • I love this idea! I made these as thank you gifts for a fundraiser I did and everyone loved them! Such a wonderful Idea!!!! Thank you!


  • I had my 8 year old son stitch some of these for teacher appreciation day. He also made some plantable wildflower paper for a card and the whole thing can be planted. His teacher was so impressed and loved the heartfelt gift. We also made one for his soon to be step mom for mothers day. I absolutely love these, they are simply lovely.

  • i am doing the bags for christmas gifts for teachers. got muslin at hobby lobby plus burlap thread. we made 25 already but wondered about food safety… now I am also concerned about exactly what type of safe string and cloth should be used… thanks

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