Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Herbal Tea 'Watercolors'

My son ripped open a packet of Wild Berry Zinger herbal tea a few days ago... still not sure if he was trying to make tea or just trying to make a mess...  In an attempt to clean up, he dumped some of the dry mixture in the kitchen sink.  

Later, when I discovered my tie-dyed sink, I thought 
~ that is really prettythen washed the colors away.

This morning as I stood at the sink doing dishes, I thought ~ why not try recreating my colorful sink on paper?  Actually, I'm surprised I didn't think of it sooner.  Like... all the other times I've noticed my sink
                    or counter top stained with tea.

So I gathered some supplies for my 'experiment'... 

1.  thick paper, like cardstock
2.  2 packets of Celestial Seasonings herbal tea (Wild Berry Zinger & Country Peach Passion)
3.  a spray bottle of water

First I sprayed the paper somewhat evenly with water.  I opened the packets and sprinkled the berry tea contents on the top half of the paper ~ peach tea on the other half.  I then lightly sprayed a few more times to make sure everything was wet.

The longer it stood, the more the ingredients in the herbal tea 'bled' on the paper.  I admit I like to see a result quickly, so I turned the oven on to 'broil' on high and placed the paper on the MIDDLE rack to dry for a few minutes (with the oven door cracked open so I could see inside).

After the paper was dry, I brushed most of the dried bits off (they wouldn't all come off, and I liked the look anyway).  My finished paper is at the top.

Once I got the process down, I asked my daughter to come in a make her own creation, which she was excited about... "I get to spray the water?"  She had fun making her own patterns and spraying the water (of course).  Here's how hers turned out... 

When I look at these I see autumn leaves, but maybe you see something else.  I love how you can't really 'mess up' and the result is always something beautiful.  I don't say this often, but... I'm glad my son made that mess in the kitchen!!

Feel free to save our artwork to your computer 
and use in a digital collage or your own artwork... 
but I think the much better idea is to make your own!

Have fun!!


  1. how very inspired and creative of both of you! Just gorgeous colour you've captured!

  2. that is so cool...ill have to go try it too...I see a field of wildflowers.

    - KAT -

  3. Thank you Christine ~ it's funny how one day an idea just 'hits'! The colors are so pretty, it makes me wonder what the other herbal teas would look like... good excuse to stock my cupboard :)

    Kat ~ I'm seeing wildflowers now too! Thanks for your insight :)

  4. I love "found" art. - Thanks, Mosk

  5. Megan ,this is GREAT! I'll let Victoria try some too. I see fall leaves but I also see an impression painting of a summer flower garden...larkspur, pink delphinium, butterflies...
    Thank-you for passing this along. I'm painting too (my son Matthew's room:) Do you think the season plays a part in the colors we choose. I chose burnt orange. It was the only color he and I could agree on, but I realized after I chose it that it is very 'autumnal'.
    In the spring the girls room got a treatment of purple, sort of a deep lilac...h-m-m-m-m.
    Well, my break is over. Victoria is practicing her piano lesson. when she is done with that I'll surprise her with this art idea...

  6. Janet ~ I can definitely see the summer flower garden with little butterflies... isn't it wonderful how an abstract painting can be interpreted in so many ways?

    I love that you're painting his room burnt orange... my parent's living room is in that color, and is so warm and inviting... especially with a fire going in the fireplace :) A lot of colors in their home are autumnal also... wish I remembered what season it was when they painted! My mom is more traditional, dad a little more edgy, so he's always trying to slip robin's egg blue accents in, while mom prefers earth tones :) (Mom usually wins!) The deep purple choice sounds interesting in the girls room :) My walls need painted badly... so many scuffs and marks from kids and toys!

    Hope you and Victoria had fun!!

  7. Wonderful idea ,Meghan.Reminds me of the Master Painter who can always turn our mistakes into a thing of beauty if we allow it!Too often I just want to forget about it and move on.
    Go Janet, Matt will love his room (so will Alex) :)It's good I read these blogs it"s amazing what I find out :)

  8. I'm sitting here with my son, and I asked him what he saw in the pictures. After a moment of study, he shouted, "A big BOOM!!" Now I can see an explosion/fire too :)

  9. Lucy, I never thought of it like that ~ but you're right!! Thank you :)

  10. Love the original technique! I'd use the resulting beautiful art as backgrounds for greetings cards. Why buy decorative papers when you and your children can produce equally beautiful papers? Faye

  11. Thank you for sharing and the encouragement to try it ourselves, it really does look awesome.

    1. Thanks, Sandra! The kids and I recently used this technique again ~ this time in combination with my "October's Party" clip art (assorted leaves). It really gave them a colorful fall look :)

  12. A much safer way to complete your project faster is to use a blow dryer - paper in the oven on broil scares me...LOL I love you level of excitement about the result!!! This looks like a fun thing to add to my experimenting with watercolor effects that I do with my children's art classes. Thanks!


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