Introduction: Tea Bag Crane

About: I'm all about Making and Mental Health. Reach out if you need a chat - find me on Instagram, TikTok, Reddit, Tumblr and Twitter as @KitemanX.

Tea bags on a string are a great invention for the lone tea-drinker, or the student without a tea pot*, but the string is often a problem; when it falls into the tea, you have to fish it out with a teaspoon, which defeats the original point of the string...

So, I came up with this, a decorative little thing that sits on the side of your mug and holds the string for you.

*You could say they're so poor, they don't have a pot to tea in...

Step 1: Sources

I knew I wanted to make a crane, and, as a nod to the industrial history of my home town, I wanted to make it a dockside crane.

Trawling through both my memory and the internet, the main source for my design was the photo above, of a model made from this kit.

I drew the design in Inkscape, which went through a variety of iterations before the final cutting. I have included the files on this step in a variety of formats.

Step 2: Cutting

This version is cut from 3mm MDF, because I like the lack of wood-grain pattern on a small item.

You can use any material you like, but you may need to adjust the scale for materials of different thicknesses. Keep an eye on whether the size of the hole in the leg-section will cause issues with different materials.

Step 3: Construction

The main body of the crane is made of five layers, super-glued together.

The legs are fixed together (with more superglue) like a small table - take note of which way round the cut-out hole is.

Finally, the post on the main body fits snugly into the cut-out in the legs, and can be fixed firmly with one last drop of superglue.

Step 4: Use

sing the crane is simple - slot the legs over the side of your mug, drop the tea bag into your hot water, and then drape the string over the slot in the arm of the crane.

The paper tag will keep the string from falling into the hot water until the tea is brewed, and you can lift the bag from the water.

Cooking for One Challenge

Runner Up in the
Cooking for One Challenge