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24:47 Duration

Tea Staining

Give those cheap wardrobe pieces a new look with tea staining! It is unlimited what you can transform into a beautiful vintage piece with some hot water and tea bags. Learn how to tea stain, and watch a shoot using tea-stained pieces. The possibilities are limitless and will leave you with a stunning result.

Prep: Tea Staining Fabric
Ever wonder how to get that muted and off-color vintage look? Tea staining is your answer! Watch as Sue tea-stains multiple items to give them have that old, vintage, worn color, learn how to do it yourself, and get some tips on how to shop thrifty with tea staining in mind.

Items Used:

Key Things to Take Away:

  • Depending on how dark you want the stain to be, you can use from 4 up to 30 tea bags
  • Top off your bowl with hot water every once in a while to keep it brewing.
  • When shopping for your wardrobe, keep in mind that you can buy the cheap, white pieces and tea stain them to give them a unique and beautiful look.


Watch Sue shoot with the tulle wrap she created for the result of a portrait that can look like a couture gown.

Items Used:


Key Things to Take Away:

  • Play with the placement of your wrap to look like the top half of a gown, a sleeve, a bodice, etc.



Go through the photos from shooting with the DIY tulle tea-stained wrap and see why Sue is advocating the “wrap” more than the “tulle skirt”. This is a fabulous example of just one of the ways you can use a wrap like this to create a stunning portrait for your client.

Items Used:

Key Things to Take Away:

  • A wrap is one of the best things you can have in your studio. You can use it in so many ways (belts, head pieces, shoulder pieces, etc) to enhance your client’s outfit.
  • “Like a newborn photographer has a rack of blankets that they can wrap their newborns in, a glamour photographer will have a rack of wraps.”



Retouching #2
Watch as Sue retouches a photo of Tessa wearing a tea-stained tulle wrap. Listen as Sue explains the importance of coaching your clients to create a vision board, find out what they love, and create it for them. The more invested your client is in the styling of their shoot, the more they are likely to purchase the result.

Items Used:


Key Things to Take Away:

  • Use the warp tool to move the tulle where you want it to be
  • The more time you spend with your client in consultation, the more they will spend
  • When your sales drop, it is usually because you’re not connecting with your clients as much as you can


  1. My grandmother taught me that when you add vinegar in the water with the item stained it will keep it from bleeding out. I do this all the time with clothing that has a tendency to bleed like reds and dark blues.

    1. Hi Karen, whenever I’ve tea stained something shove it in the washing machine and rinse it through before drying.
      I’ve notice the colour fades slightly but that is probably becuase becaue I’ve rinsed some of the tea out. I’ve got some other bits to do so I’ll dry them first.
      But I guess you just need to try it, if it fades repeat the tea staining 🙂

  2. After watching this video I realized I have similar studio wardrobe but all in white and I just took all pieces today and stained it in tea 🙂 I went ever futher and tea stained a huge piece of cotton fabric to see what I kind of effect I get and perhaps I’ll use it as a background 🙂 As always enjoyed watching… Now I just need to invite my friends for a tea party 😉