Tuesday, January 30, 2018

2 Valentine Gift Ideas for Your Tea-Loving Sweetheart (and they're both minimalist!)

Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Here are two Valentine gift ideas for your special someone. One idea is a set of homemade tea bags, and the other is a purchased tea gift. Both are usable, consumable items, perfect for that minimalist sweetheart.

First up, a set of affordable, totally cute, DIY tea bags.

Supplies for Six Tea Bags:

  • Three 8-12 cup automatic drip coffee filters.
  • Sewing thread, undyed just to be safe . . . wouldn’t want purple thread turning the hot water purple!
  • Tiny bits of cotton balls or batting for stuffing. One small handful will be enough for a set of six tea bags.
  • Scraps of colorful fabric for the tea bag tabs, enough for the front and back of six one-inch squares. I used finely woven cotton because it's less likely to unravel.
  • A sewing machine or needle.
  • A scrap piece of thin cardboard to make a heart template. I used a piece of a cereal box.
  • Scissors. I used regular scissors for cutting the filters and the cardboard, and a pair of pinking shears for cutting fabric squares.
  • Loose tea, whatever flavor you think your sweetheart would like. A typical sampler tin of 1.0 – 1.3 ounces is fine, or from a bulk bin about ½ cup loose leaves.
  • Tweezers unless you have super dexterous fingers that can stuff fluffy cotton into tiny fabric squares.
  • A teaspoon.
  • A pen for tracing the cardboard heart.

The How-To (the fun part!):

1. Fold each coffee filter into quarters so you end up with something that looks like a quarter of a pie.

2. Cut a heart template from the thin cardboard. The heart should be sized so that it barely fits on the folded filter. (It took me three tries to get the right size heart!) Trace and cut a heart from each four-layer-deep folded coffee filter.
You should end up with twelve hearts (the front and back for six heart-shaped tea bags).

3. With a long running stitch, sew two hearts together leaving an opening so you can tuck some tea inside. Decide where you want the string to hang off the tea bag; that’s where you need to end the sewing stitch. I chose along the upper side. Leave a long thread tail, about six inches, when you finish sewing.

4. Fill each tea bag with three teaspoons loose tea.
Filling the tea bags before sewing them closed.

5. To sew up the hole in the tea bag, start at the same place you started last time, but go in the opposite direction and finish in the same place you finished before. Again, leave a long tail of threads when you finish. You should now have four long tails of threads.

6. Braid the four long tails together (hold two of the threads together as one so you can do a regular three-strand braid), and tie off the braid in an overhand knot.
Braid the thread tails together. Hmm, I should really watch for shadows when I take photos!
7. Cut twelve one-inch squares of fabric. I used pinking shears to add a little interest to the edges. Sew squares wrong sides together along three edges. Stuff with cotton or batting.
Making colorful, stuffed, fabric tabs for the tea bags screams "handmade with love" by YOU!
8. To finish each tea bag, sew up the last side of the tabs, tucking the knotted end of the braided thread into the tab.
All done.:-)

Valentine Gift Idea #2

Not a DIY’er? No problem. Here's an idea from my friend K. Give your sweetheart loose leaf tea in a small sample container, and add a heart-shaped tea infuser. In our area, both are available at the health food store, about $12 total, depending on the flavor of the tea.
A thoughtful gift for your tea-drinking Valentine.

Make this day even better! Consider:

  • Have you ever read a book with someone special? Last month my daughter and I read Rachel Cruze’s Love Your Life Not Theirs. It’s geared toward millennials (which my daughter is), and it’s full of wise and accessible financial advice, kind of a Dave Ramsey plan for younger adults. I had fun reading it with her. For February, my Valentine (Dear Husband of course) and I are going to read an intriguing science fiction book together, John Scalzi’s The Ghost Brigades. Can hardly wait to sink into the sofa with him and read!

This was last month's book. February's book choice will be one DH and I can enjoy together.<3

  • And in other bookish news, this past week I blew away my novel writing word-count quota, woo-hoo! And then I realized I had strayed from my outline, rats. I spent the last two days trying to finagle the outline so I can get the story back on track. Needless to say, I won’t make this week’s quota unless I have a weekend Marathon writing session (which could happen I suppose), but overall I’m making progress! Happy writer.:-)


  1. What cute & frugal ideas. Now I'm scooting over to my library website to see if they have the Rachel Cruze book.

    1. Thank you, Linda.:-) Our library system has several copies of the book, so I guess it's kind of a popular read. Glad you stopped by!

  2. I made these one time for Hubs except he doesn't drink tea so I put in coffee grounds. He isn't a gourmet coffee drinker so he didn't care it wasn't the "right" way to drink coffee. I used square bags and paper heart shaped tabs with love notes on the tabs. It was a big hit!

    1. Coffee is a fun idea. Glad it was a big hit. Thanks for sharing, Sarah!

  3. Aw, those are so cute! My mum is a tea-drinker, and would love something like that!

    Way to go with your word count! :D (And as far as the outline goes, don't stress about straying from it - the best books stray from the outline, and your first draft will look NOTHING like the finished project. I chucked outlines a long time ago - instead, I have a basic idea and a list events/characters that are necessary to the book and then wing it.)

    1. Thank you, H.L.! And I wish you continued success on YOUR novel writing journey . . . you're on the 2nd draft I believe?? Anyway, I'm sure you'll continue to update your blog's readers from time to time. Glad you stopped by.:-)

  4. I love DIY tea bags. Very cute.

    And congratulations on achieving word count quota! That's fantastic.

    1. Yes, DIY tea bags are fun little gifts.

      Thanks re my word count. It's encouraging to see the number rising on my Scrivener project scoreboard thing!

  5. What cute ideas...I don't know how you came up with the tea bags idea, but it's brilliant. I hope you can get your lovely back on track x

    1. Thank you for the kind words about the tea bags.:-) My book is back on track, yay!


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