Tea Tin Homemade Gift Idea with Printable Chalkboard Labels

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Homemade Christmas Gift Idea - Easy DIY Tea Tin with Printable Chalkboard Labels

Looking for a simple homemade Christmas gift idea? Give the gift of tea! These lovely DIY tea tins make wonderful stocking stuffers and are also perfect as holiday party favors and office gifts. Plus you only need three components – tins, tea, and a blank sticker label sheet!

Easy Homemade Stocking Stuffer Gift Idea - Tea Tins with Printable Chalkboard Labels

DIY Tea Tins with Chalkboard Labels

© Rebecca’s Soap Delicatessen

What you need:

Adagio Earl Grey Lavender Pyramid Tea Bags and/or Adagio Christmas Tea
Deep Round 6 oz. Metal Tins with Lids
Blank White Full Size 8.5″ x 11″ Label Sheet(s)
Printable Chalkboard Tea Labels

What to do:

DIY Chalkboard Tea Tins for Stocking Stuffers and Wedding or Holiday Party Favors

Place 3-6 pyramid tea bags inside each of your tins.

Printable Chalkboard Tea Labels for DIY Tea Tin Stocking Stuffers

Now download the printable PDF file with the tea tin chalkboard labels. There are three designs to choose from. (These labels incorporate free rustic graphics and a chalkboard background from We Lived Happily Ever After.)

Homemade Christmas Gift and Stocking Stuffer Idea - Easy DIY Holiday Tea Tins with Chalkboard Labels

Then choose the page of labels you want to print and print that page only onto a full page white sticker sheet. (No color ink required!) And voila! You’re done. Now simply seal the tins shut with a piece of washi tape or some ribbon and gift to your favorite tea drinkers!

For more handmade Christmas gift ideas, be sure to follow both my Unique DIY Christmas Gift Ideas board and my DIY Stocking Stuffer Sized Christmas Gift Ideas board on Pinterest. Follow my Pretty Packaging board for lots of creative ways to gift wrap your presents this holiday as well as my Printables board for more fabulous printable projects and labels.

DIY Organic Handmade Chai Tea Recipe – A Wonderful Handmade Gift Idea

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Christmas Gift Idea DIY - Organic Chai Tea Mix Recipe

I absolutely love loose leaf and chai tea has long been one of my favorites. So I decided that for Christmas this year, I would make my own hand blended chai tea! Making chai tea is incredibly easy to do and makes a fabulous handmade gift idea! I made mine using certified organic, fair trade spice and tea ingredients from Mountain Rose Herbs.

DIY Certified Organic Handmade Chai Tea Recipe - Hand Blended Loose Leaf Chai Tea for the Perfect Handmade Holiday Gift

Hand Blended Loose Leaf Chai Tea Mix Recipe

4 Tablespoons Organic Fennel Seeds
1 Jar Crystalized Ginger
Certified Organic Fair Trade Whole Anise Star Pods

Start by breaking your Cardamon Pods in half and crumbling the cinnamon sticks into smaller pieces. (You can also buy the cinnamon sticks already broken into pieces.)

Certified Organic Fair Trade Chai Tea Spices

Next, place the Cardamom and Cinnamon into a large dish with the Peppercorns, Fennel Seeds, Coriander Seeds, and Cloves. In a pre-heated 350 degree oven, heat your spices for about 5 minutes until fragrant. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Then crush the spices as much as possible using the bottom of a glass or cup.

How to Make Organic Chai Tea - DIY Hand Blended Organic Chai Tea Mix Recipe

In a large bowl, combine the tea, candied ginger, and spices, then mix well with your hands until ingredients are evenly dispersed. You can find spice sized jars of crystalized ginger at The Fresh Market or a Co-op. Target sells it as well, though it was $3 more per jar at Target than The Fresh Market. Alternately you can substitute a smaller amount of Organic Ginger Powder.

Hand Crafted Organic Fair Trade Loose Leaf Chai Tea - Handmade Gift Idea

Now fill two Eco-friendly Kraft Poly-Lined Bags with tea. I used a scale to fill my bags equally. This recipe yields approximately two 6.75oz. bags. Alternately, you can fill individual Empty Press ‘N Brew Tea Bags with one Tablespoon of tea. Finally label your containers with ingredients and brewing instructions. I used OpenOffice to create my own simple labels and used a custom font with my and Brian’s own handwriting. You can create your own fonts very easily at http://www.myscriptfont.com/ Now all that’s left is to decorate your package for gift giving! I used a free printable label from Hey Look  and washi tape to decorate mine. How would you dress up yours?

Brewing instructions: 
Bring one cup of water to a boil then pour over one Tablespoon of Chai Tea. Allow to steep for five minutes, strain, then add milk and sugar to taste.

Love homemade food gifts? Also be sure to make and gift some delicious homemade vanilla mocha coffee marshmallows!

Artisan Loose Leaf Teas from The Cozy Leaf

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I am a huge fan of loose leaf teas, but my favorite teas are loose leaf artisan teas. I love sampling new teas blended up by handmade artisans and have been on the look out for even more great teas since my favorite tea artist closed up her shop. Recently I discovered a new shop with hand blended loose leaf artisan teas located in Wichita, Kansas called The Cozy Leaf.

I purchased Abby’s – of The Cozy Leaf – Sample Pack of 6 Artisan Loose Leaf Tea Blends and received my purchase on Friday. I’ve been sipping ever since! According to the February 2012 issue of Reader’s Digest Magazine – my mom is a devout subscriber – black tea, dark chocolate and fish can help to reduce stress, depression, and anxiety. So I’ve really decided to up my daytime consumption of a quality black loose leaf tea to at least once a day. (I believe the article recommended four cups a week.) Besides, there’s just something about a cup of fresh brewed, hot tea that relaxes you despite the caffeine. My favorites thus far from The Cozy Leaf are the Organic Fit and Active Loose Leaf Tea – this is an Oolong tea blend – and the Organic Peaceful Dreams Loose Leaf Herbal Tea. I always love a nice cup of herbal tea before bed! Abby also has an organic Cream Earl Grey Tea in the works which is my very favorite tea of all time! I’m super excited for it to become available so I can try it out!
I like a hefty, strong cup of tea so rather than the recommended 1 teaspoon per 4oz. cup I generally opt of a rounded Tablespoon of tea per 6-8oz. of water. Herbal teas I steep for a good 10-15 minutes to reap the benefits of the herbs in the blend. I also really like the Traditional Medicinals herbal tea blends. While not an artisan tea, they are organic and their Organic Cold Care PM has been fabulous with this last cold I caught! Plus there’s a coupon for $1 off in February’s Reader’s Digest. (I buy mine at Kroger.) I’m also a big fan of the artisan, flavored black loose leaf teas at Tea for All Reasons.
If you’re a fan of tea, but not the caffeine, and your favorite artisan teas aren’t available in decaf, you can decaf the teas yourself. Simply bring your cold water to a boil, brew your tea for about 30 seconds, then immediately remove the tea, drain your tea leaves and re-brew with a fresh dose of boiling water for the recommended 3-5 minutes. This method removes most of the caffeine from any of your teas – just as much as a commercial decaffeinated tea – but won’t result in a loss of flavor for oolong, green or white teas. Black teas on the other hand can lose some flavor and may need to be steeped longer. Also, keep in mind decaffeinating your tea can cause a loss in the health benefits of your tea. I brew all of my loose leaf teas in T-Sac Tea Filtersas I find them easy to use for whatever amount I choose.
You can also make your own tea bags from coffee filters. A Beautiful Mess Blog has a simple DIY tutorial for doing so with a decorative touch that would make them great for gifting or as favors. Love tea as much as I do? Check out my Everything Tea Board on Pinterest for more tea related projects, products and ideas.

Are you a tea drinker? What’s your favorite tea to drink and when is your favorite time to drink it?

The Joy of Loose Leaf Teas

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I love tea. For me tea is the most wildly wonderful creation for sipping – other than chocolate martinis, of course! It’s perfect breakfast or an afternoon delight and is always soothing when I’ve had a rough day. I prefer hand blended loose leaf teas above and beyond all others, though sadly my first and fondest tea artist is no longer in the business. I now shop from Tea for All Reasons when in need of a restock, as she’s also from Virginia, and produces a lovely variety of loose leaf black tea blends, my favorite of which is Cream Earl Grey. I’m always on the lookout for new tea artists, however, and I love to try new products and creators.

2007 You Le Mountain Anicent Tree Tea Buds Loose Leaf Green Puerh

I have also found that T-Sac Filters make the most wonderful, eco-friendly tea bags for my loose leaf teas and highly recommend them. You can buy them from Mountain Rose Herbs along with organic herbs perfect for making your own teas. Mountain Rose Herbs also carries a surprisingly flavorful and interesting rice tea called Genmaicha Tea, which was introduced to me by one of my fellow tea lovers. Genmaicha is a Japanese classic which includes a stunning combination of whole, fresh Green Sencha leaves combined with sweet, roasted organic brown rice. If you’ve never tried Genmaicha, I highly recommend it as well.

<pstyle=”text-align: justify;”>In celebration of my love of tea, I’ve put together a collection of posts related to tea – everything from tub tea for the bath to crafting your own cup of tea. I hope they bring you as almost as much enjoyment as your own, favorite cup of tea.

Quotable Tea Bags. Check out this free downloadable template from Shrimp Salad Circus for making your own tea bag tags with quotes. These would be perfect for gifting teas to a friend.

Bath Tub Tea. When you’re stressed, bath teas can really make a difference. It’s a reason to spend time alone and the aromatherapy properties of the herbs used can help ease your stress away. Learn how to create your own soothing bath tea mixture in decorative “heart” sealed tea bags from In Words and Pictures. Also try these recipes found on Soap Deli News for a Tropical Tea Soak and Cold Comfort Bath. There’s also a diy from Martha Stewart for creating tub teas for gifts as well as a tutorial for making bath teas as party or wedding favors from Inspired Taste.

Make Your Own Tea. With a little knowledge and research, you can easily start on the path towards making your own herbal teas. Playing Learning and Going Home to Roost both have simple instructions for getting you started on making your own teas.

And, if you’ll be making your own teas, you may want to make your own tea bags as well. If you’re good at sewing, Lillyella Blog has a photo tutorial for stitching your own re-usable, eco-friendly tea bags on a sewing machine using untreated fabric. For those of you who prefer to hand stitch or don’t have access to a sewing machine, Design*Sponge has craft tutorial for making heart shaped tea bags with the tea inside. And finally, Merriment Design offers a diy for crafting handsewn fabric teabags for loose tea favors. There’s even a free tea bag template and printable matching tea tents for display.

Looking for unique ways to store your loose leaf teas? Wit & Whistle has a diy for Tea Storage Jars made from mason jars and lids painted with chalkboard paint. With each new blend, you can re-label the jar quickly and easily. While Style Me Pretty has a tutorial for labeling tins filled with tea for wedding favors.

Want more tea inspired ideas? Then check out this idea for DIY Tea Painted Cards with Free Printable from Creature Comforts. Thanks for sharing my tea “collection” with me. If you know of other fun uses for tea, please feel free to share them in the comments! In the meantime, if you’d like to keep up with more of my “fun” tea finds, the follow my Everything Tea Board on Pinterest.

Don’t let August bite.

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The school season and the lovely fall colors are right around the corner, but right now we’re stuck in the hottest part of the summer season. Temps here in Southwestern Virginia have already been in the high 90’s and low 100’s through most of July, so I’m leery of what kind of heat August will bring. I’m also not looking forward to the mosquitoes that seem to thrive in this kind of hot, humid weather. Seeing as how my son is involved in soccer and spends much of his time outdoors I’ve been seeking a natural alternative to chemical bug repellents like Off.
While in the past I’ve used the lemongrass essential oil that I always have on hand for my soapmaking, I recently came across a better alternative. Good 4 You’s End of Time Bug Spray is an all natural catnip based bug repellent that is ten times stronger than DEET. Combined with essentials oils of lemongrass, lavender, cedarwood, red thyme, eucalyptus,  and rosemary, this dry non-greasy spray provides the protection you need for biting insects all summer long. It’s reasonably priced at $5.95 for a 2oz. bottle from Good 4 You. Also be sure to check out Good 4 You’s other quality items including salves, herbal baths and loose leaf teas.