Introduction: Make Reusable Teabags and Coffee Filters

About: I am a stay at home mother who loves making cool things to entertain my family and improve our lives. What more is there to say?
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.