Make Reusable Teabags and Coffee Filters





Introduction: Make Reusable Teabags and Coffee Filters

If you are looking to decrease your dependence on paper products a great way to cut down (and save money) is to make some reusable  teabags and coffee filters. While those two items may not seem like much, the cost accumulates over time. And with how ridiculously easy they are to make it is certainly a worthwhile project.


Step 1: Materials

First, you need to be willing to sew a little. Don't worry if you are a novice, this is a great little project to try when you are starting out. I will be using a sewing machine in this instructable but this project can easily be done by hand. So if the task of applying needle and thread to cloth isn't too daunting, gather the following materials -

Tea Bag

1 piece of cotton or muslin (loose weave) 4'' x 3'', larger if desired.
12'' of cotton string
2 charms, buttons, or beads (to act as counter weights to the teabag)

Coffee Filter

2 pieces of 8'' x 6'' loose weave cotton or muslin

And of course needle, thread, and/or sewing machine. Whichever you prefer.


Step 2: Tea Bag, Assemble!

1. Tie the beads onto the ends of the string with a not on each side.

2. Fold top of the cotton (4'' side) over the string.  Sew down, being careful not to sew the string.

3. Fold the cotton in half with the string on the outside of the fold. Sew the bottom and outside edge stopping just short of the strings.

4. Turn the bag inside out and VOILA! You are done.

5. Fill with your favorite tea then steep.

For cleaning just rinse out the bag and let dry inside out on a dish rack or hanging from a hook. If it ever gets grungy I throw mine in the top rack of my dishwasher and in comes out fine.

Step 3: Coffee Filter

1. Cut out a piece of 8'' x 6'' cotton or muslin snipping off the bottom corners to the desired to the desired taper. I like to take off about 3'' Now, that measurement works best for my coffee maker so you may want to increase or decrease according to how large yours is. An easy cheat is to trace one of your old filters just to make sure you cut it to the right size.

2. Sew your the pieces together. Make sure to do a nice tight stitch, you don't want to find a whole bunch of grounds in your coffee. No one likes a cup of coffee that they have to chew.

3. Turn inside out and you are done. Slap it into you maker, fill it with your favorite blend and enjoy.

As for washing I always rinse out the grounds and let it air dry on my dish rack. Every once in a while I will wash it in the top rack of the dishwasher.




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    I'm not sure sewing a tea bag is worth the trouble. They sell small tea infusers made of steel, much more practical.

    Good job! I'm thinking you can also use cheese cloth (or is that too loose a weave?) or a sheer fabric (like organza or chiffon) in order to get a richer brew?

    Cheese cloth is just a little too loose a weave for coffee(and sometimes for cheese curd as I have found out). I haven't tried using anything sheer but I imagine that would work fine, just be careful that the cloth you choose won't melt after prolonged exposure to hot water. Please let me know how it works for you. I like my coffee very dark and I found that after I switched to cloth filters (I use cotton) I don't have to use nearly as much grounds as when I used paper filters to get the desired richness. I don't think I will ever switch back to disposables.

    a really good alternative for cheese cloth is "flour sack towels" (at least that's what I've found them labeled here in the U.S.). they work great for cheese, so I'm sure they would work great for tea bags.

    I love the reusable teabag idea and have tried it with great success except for when it comes to cleaning the bag. The tea just doesn't seem to want to come loose from the bag and I feel like I spend forever just getting them ready for the next batch. Any suggestions?

    if you make this with french seams, turning it inside out works well, because you don't have to turn it "right-side out". french seams would make it reversable.

    I just turn the bag inside out to rinse away any used tea and if anything sticks I can get it off with a quick swipe of an old cleaning toothbrush. Nothing too labor intensive.

    I woke this morning with no coffee filters. I only had tulle, no cheese cloth. The tulle worked great and I had no coffee grounds in my cup. So if nothing else, she gave me a great idea for when you run out of coffee filters.... and no trip to the store.

    Not sure what you mean about saving money/the cost accumulating over time.

    If you're putting teabags inside the teabags, you're not saving anything.

    If you're putting loose-leaf tea in the teabags, you would normally use them without a teabag, so I'm not sure what you're actually saving.

    I guess if this is an alternative to a tea strainer, it would be cheaper, but that doesn't fit the "accumulation" thing, since you only buy a tea strainer once too.

    I guess it would save money on coffee filters though! Maybe that's what you meant.

    I use mine in a thermos when I don't have time/am feeling lazy on my way out the door - drop in the bag, the hot water, and get moving. If I were to just drop loose leaf in there, I'd be dealing with debris while trying to drink my tea.