How to Dye Cotton Doilies Using Tea

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Things You'll Need

  • Kettle

  • Measuring cups

  • Glass mixing bowl or small baking dish

  • Tongs

  • Towel

  • Teabags

  • White vinegar

  • Measuring spoons

  • Microwave

Tea dyeing will age new doilies or create a cohesive vintage color to update old or stained doilies. A tea dye bath is inexpensive, and can be done with hot water and teabags right in your kitchen. The dye job can be completed in less than an hour, not including drying time. Whip up a batch before breakfast and it will be done by the time you finish your own cup of morning tea.


Step 1

Boil water in a tea kettle. Pour 4 cups of boiling water into a glass mixing bowl or small baking dish.

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Step 2

Submerge four or five cotton doilies in the water. Saturate them well. Remove the doilies with tongs and place them on a towel. They will be hot. Don't squeeze the water out yet.

Step 3

Soak 10 teabags in the water and allow them to steep for 10 minutes. Remove the teabags.

Step 4

Add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar to the tea mixture. The vinegar will set the dye in the cotton fibers of the doilies.


Step 5

Squeeze the water out of the doilies. Gently shake the doilies to loosen the squeezed folds. Submerge the doilies in the tea mixture.

Step 6

Place the bowl in the microwave on high for three minutes.


Step 7

Remove the doilies with tongs and place them in your sink. Rinse the doilies using cold water. If the color is not as dark as you want, place the doilies back in the tea mixture and return the bowl to the microwave for three more minutes.

Step 8

Place an old towel on your work surface. Squeeze the water out of the doilies. Arrange the doilies on the towel. Do not overlap the edges. Allow the doilies to air dry.


Wear an apron and rubber gloves to prevent staining your clothes and hands.

For quicker drying, spread the dyed doilies on a foil-lined baking sheet and place in a 200 degree Fahrenheit oven. Turn the doilies every 10 minutes using tongs. Watch the doilies carefully to avoid burning.


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