There is no better way to share your love of the garden than to give gifts made from products that you grew in that garden for the holidays. Dried flowers, herbs, barks and berries combine beautifully to create a variety of unique teas sure to satisfy the taste buds. Recipes are everywhere, but why not create your own unique blends using equal parts of some of your favorite flavor combinations?
Some of my favorite combinations are spearmint and chocolate mint; passionfruit, spearmint and raspberry leaves; raspberry leaves and spearmint and – my very favorite – rose scented geranium, lemon balm, black stem peppermint and pineapple sage. I usually use equal parts of each ingredient but that is not a hard-and-fast rule. You can use the ingredients in any amounts you prefer. Taste test your combinations, keep accurate notes and see what you prefer.
Once you know what ingredients you are going to combine, go ahead and grind the dried leaves up. Put them into a canning jar with a lid. For those who prefer not to make their own tea, you can buy pre-made tea bags that will work with the tea bag favors or buy pre-combined tea leaves and scoop them into your own bags.
The next step is to create the outer shell of the tea bag favor. All you need is paper and glue. You can be as creative as you want and add ribbons, glitter, whatever suits your fancy. Here is how I created mine.
First, I chose my paper and cut it down to size using my handy Cricut paper cutter. This way all the edges were perfectly straight. I chose to cut all the paper to size first.
Once the paper was cut, I need to create folds at the top and bottom of the paper that would go on the outside of the tea bag. To make sure I chose the right places to fold, I laid the tea bag inside the paper where I wanted it to lay when I was finished. My paper was marked inside too, so that made it easy to use my finger on one side to mark the spot where the crease would go.
Once the creases were made, I folded the paper and made sure the tea bag would fit before I moved on to the next step.
Next I wanted to create an opening in the middle of the paper so the tea inside the tea bag was visible. To do this, I used a Spellbinder die in my Cuttlebug machine. This particular die created a large opening and a lacy stand alone piece. I knew right away that I wanted that piece added back to the front of the tea bag for the overall effect.
I turned the paper over and glued a piece of vellum paper to the inside of the tea bag favor. Then I turned it right side up and glued the cut-out lacy piece back in place making sure the markings on the paper all lined up. I then set the entire piece aside and allowed it to completely dry. During this time, I filled and sealed the tea bag.
Once the glue was dry, I put the tea bag inside and folded the bottom flap up, then folded the top flap down.
I chose a butterfly sticker that looked good with the paper to secure the flaps. You could use a sticker, ribbon, tape or whatever you wanted as long as the flaps remained closed. I found that my tea bag favor held the tea bag tight enough that I did not need anything on the sides of the favor to keep the tea bag from falling out. This may not always be the case, so be sure to turn your tea bag favor from side-to-side to make sure you do not lose your tea bag.
Have fun with this project and do feel free to share photos of your homemade tea bag favors. I would love to see them!