By Tim and Rachel Schuessler

Hand dyed tags are a super-cool way to give something an antiquated feel. Here’s Tim & Rachels method (that’s pretty much how we do them at Steam Crow HQ):

You’ll Need:

  • Brewed Black Tea (8-10 bags) or very black coffee
  • Craft paper tags
  • Large bowl or bucket
  • Cookie sheets
  • Paper towels

Get Started

Soak your tags in the black liquid (tea or coffee) for about 45 minutes.

Then crease and crinkle them up, to get the brew into the cracks.

Staining the paper tags in coffee
Bonus: wear surgical gloves to avoid “hobo fingers”
Letting the tags dry on paper towels, on cookie sheets
The texture is coming right out on these.
Tags drying on paper towels
Allow to dry
Textured tags
Drying times vary by locale
Tags drying
You can do many at one time

Once dry, you call call these done, especially if they’re of limited use.

However, you can go one step further and spray them with a good satin lacquer if you want them to last longer or be stronger, especially if they’re for a prop that might be subject to weather.