DIY | Painting With Tea

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Painting with tea is a fun alternative to the bright colors kids usually use for painting. Tea paint is subtle–it whispers instead of yelling. Creating with such paint helps kids differentiate between subtly different colors, shades, and tones. Not only does it provide a different media to create with, it offers up a chance to build STEM skills if they take part in making the paint. Another tea paint plus is that it’s infant and toddler friendly–it’s no big deal if they put it in their mouths* and tea paint makes less mess than other paints.


  • Tea Bags
  • Hot Water
  • Mugs
  • Tea Spoons
  • Paint Pots
  • Paint Brushes
  • Paper


  • Place two tea bags in a mug.
  • Add enough hot water to cover the bags.
  • Let it steep for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Use a spoon to press the water out of the teabags.
  • Pour the tea paint into a paint pot.
  • Grab some paper and a brush and get creative!


  • Create different tones by diluting the tea paint with water or steeping it for a shorter time.
  • Experiment with different types of tea to see what color variations you can create.
  • Paint on fabric or paper towels.
  • Thicken your tea paint with a bit of cornstarch.

*If you’re worried they will suck up too much caffeine, just opt for a caffeine free tea.

Check out Taming The Mess for tips on managing the mess that can come with sensory play and let us know about your tea painting experiences in the comments section.

Content Creator and Curator at

Jeff is an early learning speaker, toymaker, podcaster, content creator, author, and founder of Playvolution HQ who is really bad at getting his picture taken.

After nearly 30 years working in early learning programs, Tasha now devotes her time to making Explorations Early Learning and Playvolution HQ work, quilting, and taking care of her pet duck, Tape.

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