Staining Kitchen Cabinets and Fixing Streaks in Stain-VIDEO- Tutorial

It’s been a while since I released a tutorial but this is a great one. This was done last summer, and I’ve finished the video for you. I designed and remodeled my kitchen and powder room myself, which took loads of my time… once a wall was removed by my wonderful contractor.

Today I’m going to show you how you can use rich, bold color stain on unfinished (or previously stripped) cabinetry. The vibrant hue I chose, highlights the natural beauty of the maple wood. I love the bold design element that it adds to the entire floor of the house.

Watch the Video tutorial here.

Massive changes have begun I Breathe I DIY will be changing websites and content.

If you’re anything like me, time can get away from you and before you know it, you’re really far behind. I haven’t posted in a while, and that’s because we went through some huge changes, here at I Breathe I DIY. This blog and site will be undergoing massive changes in the next weeks. I have wanted to post tutorials for you, but I saved them up for the next really big thing this site is doing!

This blog was originally started as two long-term friends getting together and doing DIYs. That changed drastically, and Sara is no longer with the company since Dec, leaving me to try to find the inspiration to keep it going. I’ve also not wanted to deal with it honestly, because I’m in pain from losing a dear friend, due to holding onto my own personal boundaries. Also, since we’re being honest, I’m not completely satisfied with the massive companies we chose to affiliate with, and want to shake things up. I want to support local and small business more, and things I personally use.

I ended up trying to continue with the DIYs by myself, because I have so many wonderful followers, and I get great suggestions, and input from my viewers. My heart wasn’t in it though, and I had to find a new way to share my love of art, design, sewing, sculpting, and to show you my professional designs with this new blog and site. I’m liquidating this blog & adding it to part of my personal artist’s site.

Starting in the next weeks, this blog will be changing to Betsy Katz Designs and you will get to follow my projects, commissions, remodeling, etc, through the blog. The new site will highlight my art portfolio, fine art photography, sculptures, novels, interior design, wearable art, products for sale, and oh my gosh, so much more.  

Because I love teaching you how I do the things that I do, I’ll continue to make tutorials and videos to share with you.  I have so many techniques, reviews, and tutorials to share with you, but to be true to myself, I have to be myself – and that means ending I Breathe I DIY.

Thank you for being patient while this chapter ends, and a new one begins. As always, thank you for your support and time. I’m excited to be able to let you into my world, and I hope you enjoy the changes!


Silver Leaf & Glaze Wash Cabinet Refinishing-VIDEO & WRITTEN DIY

I took this tired looking black cabinet, with beautiful curves in all the right places, and gave it an updated look. This cabinet was so heavy looking, sitting on the floor with solid black paint. This seems to have suffered a bit of water damage at some point, but not so much that it can’t be saved. Now it’s getting a new finish, to go in a much more refined space.

The material it’s made from is not wood, it’s a pressed board wood, similar to masonite, or a hollow-core door. I can tell, because of how swollen it is in a couple places- because of water damage.

If you would prefer to learn by watching check out this short video I made.

Supplies for this DIY

Paintable caulk


Latex paint for base coat-any finish

2nd color paint for the inside – I like satin finish for this

Genuine Silver Leaf Booklet (25 Sheets/Loose Type)

Leaf adhesive

soft paintbrush for applying leaf

Disposable Paintbrush for adhesive


Water-based Sealer

If the damage isn’t severe, the surface can be repaired like this:

The very first thing to do, is gently sand the surfaces that are swollen. Make them more level with the rest of the surface. Try not to over-work the Then seal them with a paintable caulk to prevent the material from falling apart more. Make sure to use a product you can paint over, silicone won’t work, but acrylic caulk will. A primer like KILZ was applied over the fixed areas. We’re just smoothing it out, sealing, and preventing damage from painting it later.

Once that’s dry, it’s on to the refinishing. I am not using wood stripper. The pressed wood it’s made from, would be ruined from pulling off the paint, and then soaking it in liquid. Ruined. The steps below, will show you everything you need to know, without stripping anything off of it.

Fill any cracks, or dings with caulk and smooth it out with you finger. Places where wood meets wood and there’s a gap, fill those too. This will give it a polished, professional look when it’s done.

Step 1:

Lightly sand the surface with a fine to medium grit sand paper to scuff up the surface. Do this to everything you’ll be painting. If it’s a glossy surface to begin with, just make sure you scuff it up really well so the paint can stick.

Wipe down the surface with a barely-damp cloth, to remove all the dust from sanding and let it dry.

NOTE: This step is what will make everything stick to the surface. If it has a thick glossy coat of sealer, make sure it’s dull when you’re finished.

Step 2:

Paint the first coat of your base coat, on the surface. I used a brush and painted each section in long strokes to keep it smooth. This technique looks best when the surface is very smooth. You’ll end up with a completely different effect if the surface is bumpy, which we’ve used on other DIY’s. Click here to see the Mirror redo Video DIY I did here.

Note: I tried to use a foam roller first, and it left little bubbles on the surface that I had to smooth out with a brush. It wasn’t worth the expense.

Apply a second coat of paint, keeping it smooth. Let that dry for at least 24 hrs. If you’re painting the inside of your cabinet, like I did, you can do that now too.

I chose the paint color Ocean Storm by Valspar for my base coat. This color will show and I want it to have a very deep, aged look when I’m finished. As it wears and is used, this base coat will show through a bit.

You can see the shiny parts that are covered in leaf adhesive

Step 3

Apply leaf adhesive with a soft brush in small sections. Let it dry for the time it says on the label. It will become clear and tacky to the touch.

NOTE: Only apply adhesive to an area you can cover with leaf in one sitting. Adhesive can dry too much and become non-tacky.

Step 4

Carefully remove a sheet of silver leaf from the pack and cover an area with it. Overlap sheets slightly so it covers your creases. Smooth it out with a soft brush. Continue until the entire area with adhesive is covered with silver leaf.

When an entire area is finished, use the brush to remove any extra from the surface.

NOTE: Hands must be clean and dry or leaf will stick to them.

Step 5

Use glossy polyurethane over the finished silver leaf, so that it’ s easier to do the next steps, without rubbing off the silver leaf. Coat it entirely with the Gloss polyurethane. Let it dry completely.

NOTE: Water based varieties make clean up a breeze. Quick dry products are a lifesaver.

Step 6

Mix your glaze by adding 1:1 latex paint and glaze. Stir it thoroughly. I used a similar grey to my base coat. You can use any color you want for this, I nearly used purple as a pop of color over the silver, but decided on gray for an antique look.

Glaze painted into crevices

Work in small sections like one side at a time. Using a brush, paint any detail and edges with you glaze mixture. You do not want to cover everything because your silver will dull down. Apply it into any detail or trim. Wipe it off with a damp rag, turning/rinsing your rag frequently. Use a light hand, and remove the glaze from areas you don’t want it. If you wipe too much of it from the crevices, just paint more on & wipe more gently.

When you’ve covered it, let it dry. Apply polyurethane if you want. I’m not because I want it to naturally get worn from use, showing some of the base coat.

Step 7

Add decorative door handles to finish it off. I snagged these crystal glass ones at a Home Goods for under $10 for 4 of them.

You’re all done! You’ve created a new life, for you or your client’s piece of furniture. It has a stunningly glamorous high-end look for much less than you would buy it for.

I hope you are inspired to use this technique on something amazing!

Just a pop of color you’ll only see when you open it.


Please Share this post with anyone you think could use it.

What DIY’s do you want to see?

When trying to decide what DIY to do next, I have a huge list of things that I can choose from. I have a big list of things I want to show you and I can’t really know what you want to see. This site really is about the readers and viewers. You’re suggestions would really help me narrow down and fine tune what you really want to see.

Do you prefer written tutorials, or are you a visual learner, and you want to see more videos? Fill out the form below and tell me what you think.

Is there a tutorial that you would love to see me do? Send your ideas for DIY’s and I’ll pick one each month and make a tutorial. What would you would love to learn?

Soak Your Stress Away with these Custom Bath Salt Blends – WRITTEN DIY -Part 2

Happy holidays and Merry Christmas.

Imagine immersing into your bathtub filled with calming, warm (to mildly hot) water with mineral salts and essential oils. Breathe in. MMMM. Breathe out. Do it again. One more time. Yes. Much better. Your stress begins to dissolve. Like magic. Only, it’s science.

My favorite is a relaxing bath. I’m not talking about bathing. The shampooing and soaping – that’s a shower. I am talking about cleansing and rejuvenating. Soothing the mind, body, and emotions. Soaking in a pool of bath salts and essential oils is a surefire way to help your, well everything, CHILL OUT.

This is self care time on a whole other level. The benefits of the bath salts themselves are worth the 20 minutes, and all you have to do is lay there. How beautiful is that?! Add essential oils targeted to a specific issue and you’ve got yourself a power spa of wellness, Baby! (Blends coming up!)

So, here’s a brief breakdown of the benefits of bath salts. For an adult, you only need 1 cup of these in your bath.

Epsom Salts:

  • Improved magnesium absorption
  • Reduces pain and swelling in muscles and joints
  • Promotes sleep
  • Reduces stress

Himalayan Salts:

  • Increases hydration
  • Detoxifies the body
  • Reduces muscle cramps

Pretty spectacular, right?!

This recipe uses a 1:1 ratio of the two bath salts, and I am laying it out 1 cup at a time.  Please, feel free to put more together and store it in a large mason jar. I just find it much more manageable to get the oils and salts as one when this is done one cup at a time.

You will need:

  • Bath salts (Epsom, Himalayan)
  • Essential Oils (List below)
  • Bowl for mixing
  • 1 Cup measuring cup (dry ingredients)
  • Spoon
  • Mason jar(s)

Step 1: Sterilize your jar(s). To do this, wash them by hand in hot soapy water. Rinse them in scalding water. Set jars on a rack in a deep pot and cover with hot water (not boiling). Bring water to a boil, cover and boil the jars for 15 minutes, beginning when steam starts coming out of the pot. Turn off the heat, leaving the jars in the hot water for 10-15 min. Pull the jars out and let dry, inverted, on a towel. The goal is to fill them while they are still hot. While you wait for the jars to dry, throw the lids in the pot and boil for 5 minutes.

Step 2: Measure your bath salts into a bowl. Give them a little stir, then…

Step 3: Add your essential oils (20 drops MAX for every cup of bath salts). Don’t just let the drops collect in one spot. Let them fall all over the surface. This helps when you begin to stir. Which is what you do next!

Step 4: Stir it like you’re beating an egg. And by that I mean vigorously, without flinging salt everywhere. The idea is to get every grain of salt in contact with the essential oils so they’re blended.

Step 5: Pour/spoon salt blend into the jar, and screw on the lid.

Now LABEL your bath salts. Know what’s in there, and let others know what’s in there too.

NOTE: These make really great gifts (wink wink). For example, you can decorate your jar with fabric, twine, or ribbon. It truly is the kind of gift a person can soak up the goodness from.

OK, the two blends we’re making today are for stress and sleep. Enjoy!

Sleep Soundly Bath Salt Blend

1/2 Cup Epsom salts

1/2 Cup Himalayan Bath Salts

6 drops Bergamot oil

12 drops Lavender oil

2 drops Chamomile oil

Stress Melt Bath Salt Blend

1/2 cup Epsom salts

1/2 cup Himalayan Bath Salts

10 drops Margoram oil

5 drops Juniper oil

5 drops Clary Sage oil

Note: If any of these oils irritate you, here are other oils good for….

Sleep: Sandalwood, Geranium, Ylang Ylang, Cedarwood, or Vetiver

Stress: Cedar, Vetiver, Basil, Clary Sage oil, Geranium, or Rose

NOTE: Remember only 20 drops of essential oils per 1 cup of salts. More is not better!

You know, when you think about it, it seems that a good number of the oils that are helpful for relieving stress, also promote good sleep. Coincidence? Nope! Coincidences aren’t real.

Anywho, there are a number of possibilities for your bath. You can customize the  oils you put into your bath salts for whatever ailments you want: overworked muscles, a cold or flu, a headache, depression, anxiety; to name a few. Nearly endless I tell you!

For more great bath salt blends we created for you click here.

OK, I hope you have enjoyed this DIY as much as I’ve enjoyed sharing it with you.

Please leave a comment. And if you love it, share it! Thank you!

Free Elegant and Sophisticated Blank Printable Planner Pages- Full & Half Sizes – For Your Most Organized Year Ever

Keeping your life organized doesn’t have to be hard. If you’re having difficulty keeping track of your family’s schedule, you’re not alone. Many people struggle to keep track of all the important details that go along with remembering appointments. If you would rather physically write down what you need to do, instead of electronically, these free printable planner pages can help you keep track of your information, so you can stop trying to remember to try to remember.

Printable blank planner pages in full and half page sizes-2- IBreatheIdiy

I’ve created these elegant and sophisticated blank planner pages for you. You deserve to have your most organized year ever! You can print them out at home, and use whatever hole punch you need for your planner, to create your own personalized organizer for the coming year.

Note: There’s an opportunity to share your opinion on which page’s font or letters you prefer. See the bottom of this post for details.

If you would prefer to purchase the pre-dated 2019 set of planner pages, they will be available soon.

These planner pages are printer friendly, since there’s no bright colors. They’ve been carefully designed so you can punch holes in the side without losing any information. The pages have plenty of room for notes to yourself or important details you want to write down in your new elegant planner pages.

Printable blank planner pages in full and half page sizes-3- IBreatheIdiy

I’ve created both full-page sized planner pages, as well as half-page planner pages, so you can use the size that suits your needs best. Be sure you print both the monthly and weekly calendar pages so you can keep track of your stuff like a professional. Simply print the size you want from the included PDF files, punch holes, and start planning your life in a more meaningful way, that will help you feel less stressed about all the things you need to remember to do, bring, etc.

Simply download the PDFs and print them! These are completely free and my gift to you as a great organization tool. Printing these from home gives you the freedom to print on both sides, if you choose, (in your printer settings) and you can print as many pages as you need at a time. Because they aren’t dated, you can use them in any year or month by filling in the dates you want to use.

Printable blank planner pages in full and half page sizes- IBreatheIdiy

The trick to living a more organized life, is to start creating habits and little changes to start heading in the direction you want to go. It takes approximately twenty-one days to create new habits and for the mind to start incorporating the habits as routine.

Printable blank planner pages in full and half page sizes-1- IBreatheIdiy

Two sizes make it easy to incorporate these planner pages into your existing planner, or notebook. You can choose from full-page planners or half-page planners.

  • Full Page – Calendars print on a full sheet of paper. Click on the link below to download the free pages of your choice! No email is required to get these.

Free Monthly Printable Planner – Full page_Blank – IBreatheIDIY

Free Weekly Printable Planner – Full page_Blank – IBreatheIDIY

  • Half Page – Calendars print two images per sheet of paper. Click the link below to get yours now. No email needed to get these and start using them now.

Free Printable Monthly half-pg Blank Planner-IBreatheIdiy

Free Printable Half page Blank Weekly planner IBreatheIdiy

Note: I personally prefer to use disk-bound notebooks for all my notebooks and my planner pages, which I just add easily into the back of my notebook. When I discovered Diskbound notebook like the TUL and Arc brand ones I use for my office and novels, my life was literally never the same again. They made it easy to rearrange my pages and using the diskbound hole punch, you can use any papers you want in it. Just like these sophisticated planner pages. I’ve given these diskbound notebooks to friends to try and they love them!

Other tools to get the most out of your planner pages

  • Color code people/places in the calendar for quick viewing using different colored pens
  • Use post-it notes or flags as tabs to quickly move to another month
  • Make important notes – there’s plenty of room for details
  • Attach post-it notes to the pages to add lists like groceries, or a note to get printer ink.
  • Use the check offs in the notes to quickly see what needs attention
  • Keep these pages on your computer or phone so you can print more as needed.
  • Print out the monthly pages for an entire year and date them so you’re set.
  • Add important things right away like when library books are due or what time the dog gets picked up when you leave town.
  • The more you add to your planner, the less you have to remember
  • Use the blank back sides for to-do lists and shopping lists and have everything where you need it
  • Try checking off things you’ve accomplished for a great feeling of completion

These pages have two different fonts or letters, both are elegant and classy. I would love to know which one you like the best – The monthly or weekly pages. 

Email us at

Blank Printable Free Planner pages- Full and Half pages- I Breathe I DIY

Massive Changes Coming

Sometimes life gives you really big challenges that force you to act. Sometimes they are the kind of challenges that punch you in the gut, and leave you grasping to breathe, reeling in surprise. Now and again the challenges are easy. I Breathe I DIY’s challenge is to make it through massive change right now. Thank you to all our loyal readers and friends for showing your support during our times of change.

Chalk Paint on a Velvet Chair – Updating Velvet Upholstery Video DIY

Did you ever wish you could change the color of your upholstered furniture? We have a great solution for giving old furniture a face-lift. You can use this chalk painting technique on chair cushions, sofas, wing chairs, and so much more! This can give your thrifty finds or a dining set a whole new look in just a weekend! Finish your project up with sealing wax. Watch our video tutorial to learn how you can do it too.

*CLICK HERE *  to Watch our Video DIY on YouTube. Click Here.

Chalk Paint on Velvet chair DIY-easy ibreatheidiy-

Therapeutic Weighted Lap Pad WRITTEN DIY

Weighted blankets provide a deep pressure that is very comforting and soothing to children with sensory processing disorder (SPD) and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The pads provide deep pressure which is highly recognized as a helpful therapy for SPD.

Weighted Therapy Lap Pad DIY- I Breathe I Diy_9.jpg

There is a ton of info out there on the benefits of weighted blankets, animals, and pads for children. What many people don’t know is that nearly everyone can benefit from them. By simply laying the pad across the lap, it gently applies consistent light pressure (deep pressure) that feels like a big hug and soothes overstimulated little ones in a way that nothing else can provide.

I’ve made several weighted items for my own son over the years. They were especially useful when he was younger. I’ve made snakes for over his shoulders, but he played with it too much, so it couldn’t be used in school. I’ve spent years finding ways to help my SPD son feel comfortable & weighed pads and blankets are a tremendous help. These can be very costly to purchase, so we’re making it ourselves. I hope you find these steps easy to follow and make one yourself. The one that worked the best for us, was a lap pad similar to the ones we’re making here.

I’ll go through all of the steps, and show you how you can very easily make a lap pad for a young one. The ones we’re making will be a suitable size and weight for a preschooler. I hope you will be inspired to make one yourself. I’ll also show you important additional steps, in case you’re making a much larger one, so you can distribute the weight properly.

I’ve made these just like you would make a larger one – for demonstration. I’ve over-complicated the steps, so you can make one any size you need. If you are making a preschooler sized pad, you don’t need to do all the additional steps of separating the filling.

Step 1 Find the Correct Weight

The following weights are the recommendations from occupational therapists, physical therapists, and psychologists to help you design your own weighted goodies. The weight you make yours with should have the recipients weight in mind and no two will be the same. The larger person, the larger the pad/blanket will need to be. You start by figuring out 10% of the body weight of the person it’s for. Then you add one or two pounds. For example, ours are for preschoolers, roughly 30-50 lbs. I started with the low end – 30 lbs & 10% would be 3 lbs. Then I added 2 lbs, making them 5 lbs each. This weight will fall nicely into both ranges of the kids 30-50 lbs as you can see below.

Weighted blanket Weight Guidlines- IBreatheIDIY

The one I’m making today is for a preschooler. It’s size fits about 5 lbs of weight. It would need to be larger if it needed more weight.

Step 2 Choose a Weighted Filling

There’s quite a few materials that you can put inside for weighted blankets, but for this tutorial we’re going to be using Victory poly pellets, so that the lap pad can be washed, since it’s going to be used in a classroom setting. These pellets are round and will be soft under the fabric once they’re made. I found these online much cheaper than in a store. These are the only washable filling material.

If this for use in my house, I would use one of the materials below and save some money or use a more natural product.

Other weight/filling materials you can use:

  • Rice (most commonly used)
  • Millet (feed/grain store has in bulk-it’s used as birdseed)
  • Small dried beans
  • Dried corn

Step 3 Choose a Fabric and Size of Finished Product

Cut out your fabric to the size and shape you want. I’m making a 14 x 21 lap pad perfect for little learners. I will give it an extra 1/2 inch all around for seam allowances. I will cut 15×22 out of two fabrics to make the pad. If this were a large project, say adult size, I would give 3 extra inches.

I chose fleece because it’s super soft. I sprung for the no-pill fleece so it can stand up to repeated washings without wearing out.

NOTE: While fleece is very soft, there are a fare number of people that can’t stand fleece, cotton balls, etc. It’s actually painful and/or electrically uncomfortable for them. This fabric will not work for those individuals.

Step 4 Sew Edges

Place your right sides together so the wrong side (back side) of your fabric is up. Pin the two longest edges and sew them together from top to bottom. give this a second stitch as reinforcement to hold the stuffing in. If you are NOT adding fidgets on the end, you can stitch a third side, leaving one open side. Just be sure to reinforce your stitches. This is NOT how ours were made. Cut off all your strings as you go.

Weighted Therapy Lap Pad DIY- I Breathe I Diy_6.jpg

Step 5 Turn Right-side Out & Sew Edge

Turn the fabric right sides out. Pin one edge about an inch from the edge to be sew closed. This is the edge we will add fidgets to later. Sew the edge about an inch from the edge and reinforce by stitching again.

Step 6 Sew Channels

Larger Blankets: Sew channels or lines running the length of the pad, making sure to go the direction you have an open end on. This helps distribute the weight so it doesn’t end up all on one side. This is how ours were all made, so the fabric wasn’t stressed all on one corner.

Weighted Therapy Lap Pad DIY- I Breathe I Diy_5

Be sure to stop your channels an inch from the edge, so you can still fold it under and sew it closed later.

Step 7 Prepare and Attach Fidget Ribbons

If you have a sensory seeker, you will want to add something for little fingers to fidget with. To make the fidgets for the edge, I cut ribbons of various size, color, and texture. Some will become loops and some just ribbons. Be sure to use Frey Check on both ends of all the ribbons so they don’t unravel.

Weighted Therapy Lap Pad DIY- I Breathe I Diy_4

After ribbons have dried, pin the edge (the one sewn an inch from the edge) folding both sides under and pinning ribbon in between them. This was a little time consuming, just make sure your ribbons are pushed as far in as they will go because they WILL be pulled on. Sew it closed, remove all pins then sew as close to the edge as possible to reinforce it.

NOTE: The reason we sewed this same edge closed ahead of time, was to seal off the stuffing inside. If a fidget gets pulled out, you won’t have to worry about the stuff inside coming out. We’re planning ahead and preventing a messy/choke-hazard catastrophe in this whole step.

Weighted Therapy Lap Pad DIY- I Breathe I Diy_10.jpg

Step 8 Weigh Out Filling

Now we’re ready to fill it with weight. Weigh out the desired amount of filling with a scale. This is easy if you’re buying 2lb bags of rice that are pre-weighed, but you have to measure out your filling material before you can put it in. Divide it into however many channels you need to fill. For the tiny lap pad, that’s just one, so you don’t need to do this.

Weighted Therapy Lap Pad DIY- I Breathe I Diy_2

Step 9 Fill Channels

You can see in the photo I have 4 channels, so I’m dividing it into quarters, once it’s all weighted out. Then I further divided my channels into 4 parts each, which is what you need to do for a large blanket. If this was an any larger project, I’d have to use a larger container to store the increments, like a pail, or gallon baggies, dish tubs, anything really.

Weighted Therapy Lap Pad DIY- I Breathe I Diy_3

Use a funnel (or make one from paper) and slowly fill the bag. For a tiny one, just fill it with all the weight and pin it closed. Try to leave yourself room to fold under the edges for a clean edge. For any other size, fill one channel at a time, approx 1/4 of the way and pin closed. Sew the channel closed and fill again, following this until you have filled the whole channel and sewn each section. Reinforce seams.

Weighted Therapy Lap Pad DIY- I Breathe I Diy_1

Step 10 Sew Edge Closed

Take your time and sew the pinned edge closed, and then sew it again, to ensure it’s strong. Fold the edges under and sew closed for a clean edge. Fleece doesn’t have to have sewn edges, but it makes for a cleaner look. If you wanted, you could try to work in another row of fidget ribbons.

Note: Fidget ribbons are easiest to attach before filling the pad. That’s why this project has them on one side. It’s very hard to sew properly with that much weight.

Weighted Therapy Lap Pad DIY- I Breathe I Diy_

There’s our finished pad! Yours won’t have the channels if it’s this size, but I hope you’ve learned how you can make a therapy weighted blanket for someone you love.

Weighted Therapy Lap Pad DIY- I Breathe I Diy_9

Reusable Cotton Tea Bag Written DIY

Reusable Cotton Tea Bag DIY-IBreatheIDIY

Now that it’s getting chilly outside, it’s time to cuddle up in the house and stay warm. There’s no better way to do that than with a wonderful steaming hot cup of tea. In this tutorial we’re going to sew our own easy cotton reusable tea bag that can be cleaned out and used over and over again.

This is a super easy tutorial, and we designed this project for beginners. I even found the easiest way possible for all the steps, so this can be done by anyone. If you don’t have a sewing machine, you can still hand stitch this, it’s just going to be harder to clean it back out when you use it for tea & you need to use small, close together stitches, but I’m not one to stop you from your sewing dreams! Or from getting some tea!!

We’re adding these tea bags to our arsenal of projects that could be given as gifts to your friends and family, or as a spa-like gift for your clients. The fabric you choose will set the tone of the tea bag and you can choose whatever pattern you like. It could be crazy colorful, or serene and relaxing, like this fabric I chose.

The best fabric to use is 100% cotton. This is the ideal beginners fabric. It won’t frey like crazy like some other fabrics, and many synthetic fabrics contain chemicals you don’t want in your tea cup. An off-white muslin is the best choice for a food product, because it hasn’t even been bleached. I chose this holiday cotton fabric. I really liked the serene, spa-like quality to the design and it was in the remnants at my local store. I just needed a little bit of fabric.

To keep things relaxing, choose colors that are muted like greys and beige as well as patterns that are subtle. To energize use fabric with strong patterns and bold colors.

If you want to try blending your own custom teas yourself, click HERE for our NEW DIY with many blends to choose from.

DIY Reusable Cotton Tea Bag- The perfect handmade gift-IBreatheIDIY.com_1

Let’s get started! I made a pattern from folding a letter-sized piece of paper in half, lengthwise, then cut. I then folded that half into quarters, giving me a great size and shape for the tea bag. You can see in the photo below that there’s plenty of room for seam allowance. I ended up using a total of an 1/8 yard of quilter’s cotton for this project and I made ten completed tea bags all exactly the same. I stopped at ten.

Reusable Cotton Tea Bag 1

If you cut all four sides of the fabric, you will sew where all the blue lines are for your closed edges. I’ll be folding my fabric in half and using the fold to make both sides of my tea bag at once. You can see that I’ve folded it, cut it, and now I’m marking my pattern lines with a piece of chalk I borrowed from my son. (Be sure to wash the chalk out of the fabric before using them for tea.)

Reusable Cotton Tea Bag DIY-IBreatheIDIY.com_2

I plan to use these as amazingly personal gifts this year to a few deserving people, so I’ve made more than one. To streamline the process, I’m marking several then I will cut them all at the same time.

Once they’re cut, we’re ready to start pinning the top edge. Fold the edge that will be the tops toward the inside and pin them into place. Your pins have to run perpendicular to the edge so they’re less likely to get caught in the sewing machine needle. Stitch the edge using a coordinating colored thread for a sleek professional look, or spice it up with a colorful decorative colored thread if that’s your thing.

Reusable Cotton Tea Bag 2

After you’ve finished the top edges, fold the bag so the right sides are together and it is now inside out. line up the two edges you’ve completed and pin the two remaining edges together, being sure the top edges meet up.

If you used two separate pieces of fabric, or a different fabric for each side, you will pin three edges together, still lining up the top edge. You will be stitching the three dotted lines on the pattern.

Sew the sides (and bottom if they aren’t attached by the fold.) Take out all your pins and turn the little bag right side out. This is where you would wash it to get the chalk out. Press with an iron to make it nice and crisp. If you’re just going to toss it into your mug, don’t worry about ironing go to the next step. It will make it look much nicer as a gift, if it’s nicely pressed.

To add a tie to this lovely bag, we used a large hand needle and Egyptian cotton embroidery floss. We used straight stitches starting on the outside and then ending on the outside. This close up shows you how easy it really is. Tie the string together in a knot, approx an inch away from the edge.

Reusable Cotton Tea Bag

I used a color of string that will stand out, so it can be seen easily, yet doesn’t scream at you.  One of my gifts is for my mother, who needs to be able to use it even if her arthritis is bad. The string moves easily in the cotton fabric to tighten the bag so the contents don’t fall out, yet it’s easily reopened when wet so you can clean it out. I chose the color of thread that I did also so you can clearly see how it worked out.

Reusable Cotton Tea Bag

Simply fill your tea bag with about a tablespoon of your tea, pull the string closed and place the whole thing in a mug of hot water! When your finished, it’s easy to clean out and reuse again and again. No more throwing away bags with every cup. We’ve found it’s nice to have several to choose from, if you drink tea frequently. Because they’re made from cotton, they dry quickly too.

DIY Reusable Cotton Tea Bag- The perfect handmade gift-IBreatheIDIY.com_1

This brings me to why I actually made these awesome reusable tea bags. I’m not putting tea in these. Yea I know, I call them tea bags and everything. I’m just doing one of the variations we try to encourage here. I personally love a hot bath when the weather outside is fridged. These reusable bags can also be used (or instead of) to hold luxury bath salt mixtures for use in the tub.

You fill your handmade bag with the herbs of your choice, like chamomile or lavender flowers, add a little Epsom salts, pull the string tight, and toss it in the tub. No more flowers stuck to your bum & nothing to try to wash out of the tub when you’re finished.

Our Luxury Bath Soak DIY is coming in November. Link will be HERE.

I can’t wait to make some of these for myself!