How to Stain a Cheesecloth

Instant coffee granules
Instant coffee granules (Image: coffee image by Horticulture from Fotolia.com)

Some sewing and craft projects call for fabric, such as cheesecloth, that looks aged. Maybe you're making a Miss Havisham costume for Halloween and need a tattered, gauzy fabric, or you're creating an antique-looking shadow box with a fabric background. You can easily create that aged look with coffee- or tea-stained cheesecloth.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 cups water
  • Stockpot
  • Stove
  • 1 1/2 cups instant coffee or tea
  • Large wooden spoon
  • 1 yard cheesecloth
  • Rubber gloves
  • Sheet pan
  • Aluminum foil
  • Oven

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Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a stockpot on a stove burner set on medium-high heat.

Turn off the stove, and stir in 1 1/2 cups instant tea or coffee with a large wooden spoon.

Lower dry cheesecloth into the tea or coffee mixture, and allow it to soak for 20 minutes to an hour. Lift the cheesecloth out with the wooden spoon every 10 minutes to check the color.

Cover your hands with rubber gloves, and wring the excess liquid out of the cheesecloth when the color is slightly darker than the final desired hue. The cheesecloth will lighten as it dries.

Cover a sheet pan with aluminum foil, and spread the cheesecloth over the surface.

Slide the sheet pan into a preheated 200-degree oven for approximately 10 minutes. Watch the cheesecloth as it dries to make sure it doesn't burn.

Turn off the oven, and open the door to allow the cheesecloth to cool when it is almost completely dry.

Repeat the soaking process if the cheesecloth dries to a color that is too light for your project.

Tips & Warnings

  • Try adding a few tablespoons of flavoring or extract to the soak process to give the stained cheesecloth a pleasant scent.

References

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