When I got my issue of Quilting Arts Magazine June/July 2017, I was interested in trying out the tea bag thread painting technique.
At first, of course, it was easy...make a pot of tea using tea bags and save them. I dried them and emptied out the tea by making a small hole at the bottom of the bags.
I cut a small piece of muslin to fit inside the bag, this helps stabilize the paper bag and sews your design easier.
Using watered down white glue like "Elmer's" or PVA glue and a cotton swab, I painted the cut edge closed and let it dry.
Next, I cut bits from my scrap bag and placed them on using a dab of glue just to hold them in place to sew over. I wouldn't suggest using an elaborate design with too many pieces and elements as the size of the tea bags restricts your design and too much sewing will tear up the bags.
Once you've sewn down all the elements, paint the entire surface with the thinned glue and let dry completely. You will be able to sew the entire bag onto a larger piece once it has dried.
This technique is strictly for items you are not going to put through the wash. I made magnets out of these using those annoying advertisement magnets that come in the post. Why throw them away? I cut them to size and glued them onto the back.
Using them as an applique, I made 2 eyeglass cases for my sunglasses as well. This project was strictly an experiment and I don't expect these to last forever because they are just paper, but I like them and if I can be careful with the use, they will last a while. Applying a couple thin coats of the glue wash helps in preserving the integrity and dries clear. I used a fine pigma pen to write on the tea bags.