How to Repurpose Used Tea Bags into Homemade Potpourri

How to Repurpose Used Tea Bags into Homemade Potpourri

How to Repurpose Used Tea Bags into Homemade Potpourri

Introduction

Reusing old tea bags to make homemade potpourri is a great way to reduce waste and fill your home with natural fragrance. With just a few simple steps, you can transform used tea bags into a fragrant potpourri blend.

In this comprehensive guide, I will walk you through everything you need to know to repurpose used tea bags into homemade potpourri, from choosing the right tea bags to drying and storing your finished potpourri.

Choosing Tea Bags for Potpourri

The first step is selecting which tea bags to reuse for potpourri. Here are some tips:

  • Flavor – Opt for strongly flavored or scented tea bags like Earl Grey, chamomile, mint, or fruit-flavored herbal teas. Avoid mild teas.

  • Quality – Higher quality, whole leaf teas tend to have better fragrance than lower quality tea dust or fannings.

  • Caffeine – Decaffeinated or herbal caffeine-free teas work better than caffeinated black or green teas.

  • Bag Material – Paper, mesh, or other biodegradable bags are ideal. Avoid plastic tea bags.

  • Open bags – Open the bags and pour out the moist tea leaves to dry before use. Tie bags back up once dry.

Drying the Tea Bags

Before using the tea bags in potpourri, they need to be fully dried:

  • Spread open tea bags out in a single layer on a baking sheet.

  • Place in 200°F oven for 30-60 minutes, until crispy dry.

  • For quicker drying, use a food dehydrator on low heat.

  • Avoid overheating, as it destroys the aroma.

  • Store fully dried tea bags in an airtight container until ready to use.

Creating the Potpourri Blend

Once you have a supply of dried tea bags, you can create your own potpourri recipe.

  • Use 3-4 types of dried tea bags for a complex aromatic blend.

  • Mix with dried flowers like lavender, rosebuds, jasmine or citrus peel for rounded fragrance.

  • Add dried herbs and spices like cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, star anise or lemon verbena.

  • Essential oils like vanilla, pine or eucalyptus complement the tea fragrances. Use sparingly!

  • For visual interest, include dried fruit slices, pinecones, or silver dragees.

Blending and Storing the Potpourri

Follow these steps for blending and storing your finished potpourri:

  • Mix all dry ingredients together in a large glass jar or bowl. Combine until fully blended.

  • Place one tea bag in the center of small drawstring bags, then fill with potpourri blend.

  • For loose potpourri, store airtight glass jars away from direct light and heat.

  • Enjoy the aroma of your homemade potpourri for 3-6 months. Refresh with new tea bags as it fades.

With this simple project, you can reduce waste while crafting beautiful potpourri from tea bags you’d otherwise throw away. Get creative with your own signature blends!