I did a blog previously about putting up the industrial looking wood shelves at my husband's store in the Short North. We recently decorated it for fall with dyed tea bags and painted branches so I wanted to share some quick tips and pictures!
My first step was to enlist the help of my sister Esther who is a fabulous artist and all around crafty superhero. Naturally, when sourcing materials she hacked down giant branches in her own backyard and spray painted them gold on the patio along with some big leaves. Other than that we just needed fishing wire, needles, lots of tea and food coloring.
We bought large boxes of tagless tea bags (way more than we needed) and a set of food coloring. I filled three bowls with hot water and added red food coloring to one, yellow to the other and in the third mainly yellow with a drop of red. We did this project around thanksgiving so I couldn't find any orange food coloring.
Make sure you prepare the space where you're going to dry the tea bags. We used the dining table and a towel that we didn't care about staining. Even so, we put a large trash bag under the towel just in case. After letting each batch of tea bags soak for about three minutes we pressed the excess water out and laid them to dry. They were able to set out for about 20 hours, I flipped them halfway through and in the morning took about 10 minutes with the blow dryer to really dry them out. I also read that you can put them on a cookie sheet and bake them but we weren't in that big of a rush and had so many.
We installed hooks into the ceiling above the display wall on the side facing the street. Using the fishing wire we looped it through the hooks and around the branches until they were secured at the height we wanted. We then began stringing the tea bags. Using a needle I threaded it with the wire, pierced the top of the tea bag and pulled it down the line. Once it was placed properly I tied a knot on the other side of the first tea bag, added another, pulled it down the line, tied a knot, and continued the process until a I had a string full of different colored tea bags. Make sure you leave enough empty wire at the top to hang with and then cut the excess off after. On the left side where there were less branches we made lots of long busy strands and on the right we hung lots of singles or sets of two and added the painted leaves throughout.
If you're in the Short North make sure you stop by and check out STORE 5a on 765 N High beside Hubbard Grilled across from Pint House. They have pre-owned and vintage handbags, bridal and fashion jewelry and watches!