Boy Mama: Making Tea Paper for Maps, Journals and More

What child does not like pirates? And what child would not love a pirate  map? Well, mine wouldn’t. 🙂 He says he doesn’t like Pirates because “they don’t brush their teeth,” but really, I think they scare him. But maps, on the other hand, intrigue him. So I decided to make him a pirate-free treasure map.  I really wanted the paper to look old and worn and then I remembered something I did with my students when I taught third grade. Tea Paper! We were doing a unit on the Pioneers and each child was responsible for writing a pioneer journal.  For their final copy, they made tea paper and wrote their entries on it.  I thought this would be perfect for our pirate-free treasure map.  Tea paper is so easy to make and really adds an authentic look to the map.  Here is how we did it.


  • microwave safe container
  • water
  • black tea bags
  • white copy paper

Mama’s Directions

Brew a tea bag or two in hot water and allow to steep for a least 5 minutes.

While tea is steeping, rip around the edges of the white paper to make it look worn.

When tea bags are done steeping, ring out a bit of the water from the bag and use it to “paint” the paper.

Be careful the tea bag may still be hot!

Cover the whole paper with the tea.  Go over it again if you want it to be darker.

Allow the paper to dry on a cooling rack. The paper dries pretty quickly and is soon ready for you to create your map.

 Here is the map I made for my son.

© Boy Mama Teacher Mama 2012

All Rights Reserved

14 thoughts on “Boy Mama: Making Tea Paper for Maps, Journals and More

  1. I saw this on Pinterest this morning and repinned it as I thought it would be fun for a rainy day. WELL………my 5th grader came home TODAY and had to make a treasure map!!! So, thank you for posting this just in time for me to need it!!! LOL

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