Tea bag folding is a paper folding craft used to embellish greeting cards & scrapbook pages. It folds small identical square paper in a specific pattern & then either interlocked or lay side by side to forms miniature kaleidoscopic designs. All squares (generally in a group of 8) are folded in exactly the same way.

Tea bag folding was originally done with tea bag wrappers, hence the name. This craft was discovered by an origami artist in Holland named Tiny van der Plaas. She was in a need of a birthday card when she started folding tea bag envelop on her table & a new craft was born. Infact, tea bag envelops then in Europe had attractive designs on them.

Today, decorated/pattern paper are commercially available for the craft or one can take any decorative paper & cut them in small identical size & patterned square. Some crafter have begun to also use octagonal and round tiles and to vary and complicate their folding techniques.

The basic tea bag folding design is a kite fold which creates rosettes in 3-D version. There are many other folds and designs evolved in last decade. Typical designs show birds, butterflies, flowers, etc.

Courtesy: http://www.handcraftedgreetings.com/teabaginst.php http://www.cardinspirations.co.uk/tech/teabag_folding.htm

Though, like Origami, there are no specific tools used for Tea Bag folding, one can use following tools for folding

  • Cutting mat
  • Craft knife
  • Ruler (preferable metal edged)
  • Scissors
  • Paper adhesive

Tips:

  1. The paper used for iris folding should be small & of identical size
  2. Select same pattern on each square piece (tile)

Basic steps to be followed for Tea bag folding.

  1. Cut decorative paper into small, square sheets called “tiles”.
  2. Fold the tiles in a desired pattern.
  3. Glue the folded sheets side-by-side to form a rosette called “medallions”.

Refer to following web page for step-by-step folding lessons

1. http://www.circleofcrafters.com/teabagfolding/basickitefold.html

2. Lessons by www.paperprintables.com – on how to fold tea bags

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2P0B3mHeoEsed_Images.htm
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cm1mCVfdoZc
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDin4m4Qm-c
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBeseyA3Qfk

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