Tea and Tights: DIY Halloween Aged Book Project



Check out this easy way to turn thrifted tights into spooky spider webs and how you can use tea to stain the pages of a secondhand book to create the perfect antique appearance. One benefit to creating custom decor from Goodwill finds is that they look more authentic than the plastic props you’ll find in chain stores. The other benefit is that since Goodwill donations help create jobs, when you support our stores you’re helping people within your community find employment. Follow the steps to try out these projects yourself!


Project 1: Turning White Tights into a Spider Web


  1. White tights or nylons
  2. Scissors
  3. Cheese grater (optional)

This project is so incredibly easy! All you need to do is use scissors or grater to put runs in the tights. Then with your fingers, stretch the runs so the fabric separates into web-like threads. Keep snipping, grating and pulling until you like the way your web looks. It may be helpful to have the books you are decorating nearby as you make the web so you can stretch it into place as you go. Since there’s so much elasticity in tights, it’s really easy to stretch them around items so they stay in place without tape or tacks. Once you're finished you'll have an impressive stack of spooky looking stories!


Project 2: Tea-staining Book Pages

You may have tea-stained paper before, but the process of doing it for bound books is a little different because you can’t bake the pages to dry or completely cover them with tea. Thankfully, the way that books usually age shows a darkening of the page edges while the inner portion stays lighter. This is easy to replicate with tea! Here’s how:



  1. Books for aging
  2. Two large stacks of books to stabilize the tea-stained book as it dries
  3. A heat-safe dish that is longer than the height of the book
  4. 2 cups of boiling water
  5. 4 tea bags (not herbal, black tea like Earl Grey)
  6. A fan
  7. A paintbrush (optional)
  8. A kettle

Step 1: Put the kettle on to boil the water. While that heats, build two stacks of books with the dish between them. The stacks need to be tall enough that the book can hang from it to dry (scroll down for an example). Set the fan up so it blows on the area between the two stacks.


Step 2: Place the tea bags into your dish and pour the boiling water over them. Let that steep for ten minutes.


Step 3: Carefully remove the tea bags and set aside. Open the book holding both covers in one hand so the pages hang down. Dip the long edge of the pages only (not the cover or binding) into the tea. You can dip it in several times or hold it in the tea for a few seconds. Then pull it out of the tea and hold it above the dish for a few moments to let the tea drip off.

Step 4: Turn the book upright over the container and use the paintbrush or a tea bag to brush tea onto the top edges of the pages. Start on the corner that is already tea-stained then brush softly toward the binding so the tea stain will fade slightly as it gets closer to the spine. If you can, try and avoid getting the binding and cover wet. Then turn the book again and do this same brushing technique on the bottom edges of the pages.


Step 5: If your book is still dripping, set it up to dry by placing its front and back covers between the two stacks with the container still underneath. If it’s not dripping, move the container so the stacks can be moved closer together. Turn on the fan to help the book dry. As it dries, the tea stain will darken.

Step 6: Wait for an hour then turn the book around to allow the short side to dry.


Step 7: Wait about 30 minutes while the short side dries then you can remove your book from the piles and stand it upright with the pages fanned slightly to finish drying. At this point, the edges of every page should be perfectly browned just like an old book!


Now you've got an antique looking book collection! Your spell-binding aged books are ready for display this season. You could use these to decorate around your candy dish on Halloween or as a centerpiece on yourdining table. 


If you want to get even more creative check out this tutorial on how to create customized spell books that will add to your spooky collection.

Give this easy diy project a go and impress friends and family with your crafty creations. Have some skele-fun and make these crafts your own!