i should be mopping the floor: Travel Tea Bag Caddy

Friday, December 8, 2017

Travel Tea Bag Caddy

This Travel Tea Bag Caddy and its shop have been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TeaProudly #CollectiveBias

I made a travel tea bag caddy for all of my tea-loving family members for Christmas. These make great gifts...and I made one for myself, too. Because I just can't travel without my tea, y'all.
Travel Tea Bag Caddy | Sew this sweet little "tea wallet" to take your tea bags along every where you go.
Do you travel with tea? I have to. I feel like it's bringing a small comfort of home with me. I've made a friend or two on an airplane when I share one of my bags of tea...flight attendants are always happy to bring a hot cup of water for steeping a bag. This little travel tea bag caddy keeps me well stocked with my bags of Bigelow (and a couple of my sweeteners...since I use a kind that isn't always readily available). See how to make one of these below (your tea-loving friends will adore these!).

As I have mentioned on here before, I'm a Bigelow tea drinker. Constant Comment is their original blend and truly one of my favorites. Click on the above image to purchase a box for yourself.

Travel Tea Bag Caddy | Sew this sweet little "tea wallet" to take your tea bags along every where you go.
This little travel tea bag caddy can hold up to 12 bags of Bigelow tea (love their special foil-lined pouch that keeps tea super fresh). The bags can stack on top of each other, two per compartment. If you're like me and travel with sweeteners, too, it can hold eight bags of tea and quite a number of sweeteners. 

Travel Tea Bag Caddy | Sew this sweet little "tea wallet" to take your tea bags along every where you go.
To make your own travel tea bag caddy, you'll need two coordinating fabrics (I chose a holiday pack of fat quarters and pulled two of my favorite patterns out of it). Cut your fabric into the following dimensions:
- 3-7"x5" rectangles of the "inside fabric"
- 1-7"x6.5" rectangle of the "inside fabric"
- 1- 7"x6.5" rectangle of the "outer fabric"

You'll also need about 12" of 1/2" grosgrain ribbon, coordinating thread (I went with a contrasting color so my thread shows, but you can totally go a bit more subtle, if you prefer), and pins or sewing clips. Fire up your sewing machine and iron, too...let's make a travel tea bag caddy!

Please note: we'll be using the basic stitch on your machine on all of this project's stitches.

Travel Tea Bag Caddy | Sew this sweet little "tea wallet" to take your tea bags along every where you go.
Start by folding the three 7"x5" rectangles in half, the long way, and giving them a good press. Then give them a top stitch across the folded edge, about 1/4" in from the fold. Do a small backstitch on both sides, too.

Travel Tea Bag Caddy | Sew this sweet little "tea wallet" to take your tea bags along every where you go.
You will lay these three pieces on top of the larger rectangle in the same fabric (as shown above). The first piece will go an inch and a quarter from the top, then the next an inch and a quarter down from that, and then the last piece, lined up with the bottom of the larger rectangle. I clipped the first piece in place (you can use pins, if you prefer). Take the bottom two pieces of fabric back off (you were just lining them up for spacing purposes). Sew across the bottom of the first strip, with a backstitch at each end (see below).

Travel Tea Bag Caddy | Sew this sweet little "tea wallet" to take your tea bags along every where you go.
You can see above where I sewed that first piece down. Lay the next one on top and sew it in the same manner. You will not have to sew the last piece in place...we will catch it when we sew the entire piece together. 

Travel Tea Bag Caddy | Sew this sweet little "tea wallet" to take your tea bags along every where you go.
Fold the entire piece in half, lengthwise, and press it closed. Open it back up and use that press line as a guide for your center stitch (as pictured above). Use a backstitch at each end. My stitches aren't perfect...but I like the lil' handmade vibe they have going on. If you're not confident doing super visible stitches, switch to a thread that blends in with your fabric, rather than contrasts.

Travel Tea Bag Caddy | Sew this sweet little "tea wallet" to take your tea bags along every where you go.
Set aside your inside piece for a bit. Cut your ribbon in half. You'll pin it on your outer fabric, facing inward (as pictured above). I also like to pin the ends in place, so they don't get accidentally stitched up in the process (that's super easy to do, y'all!). Just make sure to pull the fabric taught when you attach it to the inside...the bulk of the ribbon pile can make that a bit tricky (not too crazy, just watch for it). 

Travel Tea Bag Caddy | Sew this sweet little "tea wallet" to take your tea bags along every where you go.
Lay your inner piece on top of the outer fabric (right sides touching). Pin or clip into place. I purposefully put clips over the spots where the ribbon ends are, so I can back stitch over them a couple of times. 

Travel Tea Bag Caddy | Sew this sweet little "tea wallet" to take your tea bags along every where you go.
Stitch around the entire perimeter, leaving about three inches open on the top of the piece (where there is the least amount of bulk). I place pins in the spot where I don't want to sew. Be sure to go over the ribbon areas a couple of times with your backstitch to give it some extra hold. Once it's sewn, clip your corners, so your points come out nicely.

Travel Tea Bag Caddy | Sew this sweet little "tea wallet" to take your tea bags along every where you go.
Turn the piece right side out through that opening you left at the top. Be careful with the pins, especially the interior ones holding the ribbon in place. You can remove all pins at this point, too. Push out your corners with a pointy(ish) object, taking care not to poke through the fabric. You'll now do a topstitch around the entire perimeter, with 1/4" space from the edge, and catch the opening you left at the top to close it up.

Travel Tea Bag Caddy | Sew this sweet little "tea wallet" to take your tea bags along every where you go.
Fill with your favorite Bigelow tea.

Travel Tea Bag Caddy | Sew this sweet little "tea wallet" to take your tea bags along every where you go.
Like I mentioned, I made multiple tea bag caddies. I'll never travel without one. Knowing I have something familiar (and comforting) with me when I travel is so nice. And yes...I can make a friend on a plane by offering them a bag of tea! It's how I tea proudly with my Bigelow. 

While the tutorial above shares the method for making these with a ribbon, I also made one with snaps, too. I found the ribbon worked a bit better, but for those of you who prefer snaps, that's definitely a closure option, too.

Travel Tea Bag Caddy | Sew this sweet little "tea wallet" to take your tea bags along every where you go.
The Constant Comment tea is definitely one of my favorites. It's Bigelow's original! I first tasted it in high school when my friend's mom made it one night when I was at their house for dinner. She made it over ice (we're Texans, y'all...iced is the usual method down here). It was so good that I convinced my own mom to start making iced Constant Comment tea. I enjoy it hot, too, these days. But, it still takes me back to my teenage years when I first tried it out. Over the years, I've become a loyal Bigelow Tea drinker and always keep my pantry well-stocked with it. 

Travel Tea Bag Caddy | Sew this sweet little "tea wallet" to take your tea bags along every where you go.
When this little travel tea bag caddy is closed, it's nice and compact. Perfect for a carry on or purse.

Travel Tea Bag Caddy | Sew this sweet little "tea wallet" to take your tea bags along every where you go.
When I traveled to Connecticut to the Bigelow headquarters a couple of years ago (see that post here), we learned so much about the history of Bigelow, especially Constant Comment blend. It made me fall in love with this variety even more. The spices and orange flavors almost give it a nod to the holidays, too. I think filling up your travel tea bag caddy with Bigelow Constant Comment is the perfect little gift. These would be perfect for teachers, neighbors, friends, and more. 

Travel Tea Bag Caddy | Sew this sweet little "tea wallet" to take your tea bags along every where you go.
I think I could go for a nice cup of Constant Comment right about now! It's perfect alongside a good book.

Travel Tea Bag Caddy | Sew this sweet little "tea wallet" to take your tea bags along every where you go.
And if you're traveling by car, just bring along a thermos of hot water to go with your travel tea bag caddy (I *may* have borrowed this thermos from a friend for this pic...before I sent it to her! It was too perfect to pass up for a photo.)

Travel Tea Bag Caddy | Sew this sweet little "tea wallet" to take your tea bags along every where you go.
How do you Tea Proudly?

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3 comments:

  1. What an awesome idea!! I never think to pack my own tea bags, but I do order tea when I travel. It's great to keep on hand even if you're at a restaurant. :) Really fun gift, thanks for sharing! #client

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  2. That is also my favorite tea also. I happen to live in the Town where Bigelow has it's headquarters and quite often I pass a street named Constant Comment. I never thought of carrying my own tea bags but I might just have to do that.

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  3. Your timing is perfect - this will make an amazing gift for my daughter who takes tea with her everywhere but in a baggie in her purse! I like to give gifts that are tailored to the recipient and this has her written all over it. I have lots of time to get this made before Christmas and it will go with the other thing I've put together for her which is a Christmas Tea Tree. You take a cone (styrofoam or cardstock) and, starting at the bottom, staple overlapping packets of tea in green packages to it to cover the cone. She's getting one covered with peppermint tea since it was the easiest to find in green packets!

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