We have been wanting to make a tea bag ornament for some time.
Tea Bag folding is a paper crafting technique from Holland, where tea
bags are traditionally wrapped with a decorative paper. The simple
folding technique is part Origami and part paper airplane. Individually
folded squares of paper are assembled into a dimensional design and
usually mounted on a flat surface. Our tea bag ornament variation is a
little different. It is double-sided to create a lacy, hanging
The entire trick behind this tea bag ornament is selecting a dazzling
paper. We sifted through dozens of specialty and hand-made papers,
looking for a textured, medium-weight paper that would hold a fold. We
chose one that had web-like translucent streaks through a field of
We designed this tea bag ornament around a bold vintage image of a white cat on a red background, discovered during our VIC Creative Challenge for November 2011, with the theme of "Christmas Cats." We thought this cat from a Victorian "Pussy White Cigars" label was purr-fect!
Materials for our Tea Bag Ornament
images (FREE PDF download) printed on glossy photo paper, heavy
presentation paper or white card stock.
Light to medium weight, textured white paper (see Tips).
Scissors or paper cutter. A paper cutter makes it easier to cut accurate paper squares.
Decorative-edge scissors. Something frilly.
Hole punch, regular or decorative.
Paper glue or white glue.
Ribbon or cording, 12", for hanging. We used narrow red metallic ribbon.
Glitter or sequins (optional).
Cut the white paper into 16, 2 1/4" squares.
Use the decorative scissors to trim away 1/4" from two adjoining
sides of each square. This will reduce the dimension of each paper
square to approximately 2".
Punch a hole in the corner of each square, where the decorative sides meet.
time! Follow the diagrams below to fold all 16 pieces into "half-kite"
folds. We didn't show the decorative-cut edges in the folding
illustrations, but your squares will look something like this:
Fold the square paper corner to corner on the diagonal (corner D to corner B). Open it flat again.
Fold the sides DC and and BC in to the center fold line.
point C up to meet points D and B. Place a piece of tape across this
"tail" to hold the folds together and create a small pocket. The open
pocket is what will give the papers some dimension when they are
Okay, now fold and tape the remaining 15 pieces in "half-kite" folds and lay them face (flat side) down.
Keeping the flat sides down, arrange 8 of the folded pieces into
a circular octagon "snowflake." You'll have a 2" octagonal opening in the
center. Tape the aligned edges of the pieces together. Repeat with the
remaining 8 pieces to create a second snowflake.
Cut out the two cat images from the FREE vintage image sheet. On
the backside of one, securely tape the ends of the loop of ribbon
behind the top of the cat's head. Align the second image over it and
glue the two images back to back with the ribbon sandwiched between
Apply a thin bead of glue around the octagonal opening on the
back of one snowflake, center and glue it around one cat image.
dry, turn it over, and repeat by gluing the second snowflake around the
image on the other side, rotating the snowflake slightly so the
projecting points alternate with the first snowflake. Let all of the
That is one adorable Christmas cat to hang on your tree!
Any kind of paper that can be easily folded will work. We
wanted the snowflake effect, so we chose an icy, white textured paper.
But you might enjoy a red and green plaid pattern, or alternating red
and green segments, or silver or gold metallic papers. Use up that scrap
paper you have been hoarding!