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Tea Bag Folding: A Cornucopia Of Style

Aug 17, 2007
The increase in health awareness and organic living has helped spark the resurgence of tea drinking across the globe. In the United States alone, tea sales almost tripled from less than two billion dollars in 1990 to over six billion dollars in 2005, according to the Tea Association of the United States.

At present, you will surely find a variety of tealeaves, such as oolong, rose, vanilla, jasmine, mint, and even fruit teas, including lychee, lemon and mango, in local supermarkets and coffee shops. Even tea bags have evolved from the common rectangular shape to the new circular or pyramid-shaped bag that is infused with long tealeaves instead of dust, which are indistinguishable tealeaf particles.

Along with the rise in the popularity of tea drinking over the years is the emergence of tea bag folding. Tiny van der Plaas, a woman from Holland, was the one who created this tea bag envelope inspired paper craft. She came up with the idea, which is commonly known as Miniature Kaleidoscopic Origami, when she started to fold up a fruit tea bag envelope while thinking of a novel way of creating a birthday card for her sister.

Tea bag folding can be compared to origami, a popular Japanese paper craft, in the sense that both hobbies make use of paper to create various designs. However, these creations are usually just used to decorate cards and are made using small matching paper squares. In contrast, the Japanese origami cannot only be used as decorations for cards and gifts, but also to produce paper replicas of different animals, flowers, and almost anything under the sun.

In the past, only tea bag envelopes were used for this paper craft technique. As more and more people all over the world learn of this paper folding art, however, paper manufacturers have started to produce specialty papers exclusively for miniature kaleidoscopic origami. Tea bag folding aficionados all across the globe have also modernized this paper craft art by coming up with more magnificent and intricate geometric designs and innovative and unique materials.

Kaleidoscope papers come in various colors and designs, such as flowers, stars, musical instrument, snowflakes, dragons, spirals, and even soccer balls. Most tea bag papers available in the market are printed in 90-100 grams per square meter paper.

Uses of miniature kaleidoscopic origami

Tea bag folding was traditionally used to decorate birthday cards. Now, you can use this colorful and wonderful paper craft as decorations of greeting cards for all occasions. Some people utilize it to decorate photo frames, wall frames, wall clocks, and even scrapbooks. With just a bit of imagination and creativity, you can make use of it to decorate almost anything and everything.

Moreover, tea bag folding can be considered as a relaxing hobby. If you feel that you are on the edge, stressed out because of too much work, try creating some designs, and you will definitely loosen up a bit.

The most important material of this craft is tea bag envelope - if you want to be traditional - or colorful paper. For a more intricate effect, you might want to choose paper with geometric designs and elaborate patterns.

Other essential materials of tea bag folding are cutting mat, scissors, ruler (preferable metal edged), knife or cutter, and paper adhesive.

Popular Designs

For people who are interested in starting a miniature kaleidoscopic origami, you can find a lot of materials and reference over the Internet. There are also some scrapbooking stores that carry tea bag folding materials and books that could help you learn this paper art. If you are on a tight budget, you can even just print designs that are available on the Net.

If you are a neophyte tea bag folding practitioner, you might want to start creating tea bag rosettes. This is a colorful flower-shaped design that can be used to decorate gifts, cards, and even bookmarks. Another beautiful design that has caught the hearts of many is the starburst design. You can use glitters so that your paper star design will look more brilliant and vibrant.

Tea bag folding is an easy and inexpensive hobby you can take on. Once you have started tea bag folding, you will surely get instantly hooked.
About the Author
Lee Dobbins writes for http://tea.topicgiant.com where you can learn more about different kinds of tea and tea accessories like the teabag.
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