They say us Brits are a nation of tea drinkers and they are right! Our version of the trading cards has got to be ….Tea cards!

When tea first came out the manufacturers such as Brooke Bond would insert a small themed card inside the packet to collect. Themes would vary from wild flowers, to under the sea and butterflies. You could collect them all and send off for an album to stick the cards into. The cards themselves where only small, usually about 2.5 inches by 1.2 inches..sometimes slightly larger.

I remember collecting the cards from packets of loose leaf tea that my nan used to give me when I was a kid, they were always brightly coloured and featured gorgeous paintings.

In addition to tea cards, cigarette cards where also given away in packets, these too where a similar size to the tea cards, and also came out in themed series.

This got me thinking about how I could recreate the style of tea cards sets in rubber stamping. I did a search on cartophilly to find out more. You can see some of the sites I found in the links section further along this issue for authentic tea cards.

Read on for how you can create your own sets of tea cards!

Making Your Own Rubber Stamped Tea Cards

How To Print Tea Card Templates:

First of all I downloaded a free tag printing program at Red Castle to print out a template for the tea cards. You too can download it for free at: http://www.red-castle.com/software/fw/printtags.htm

How to download the tag printing software:

1. Click on the ‘Click here’ link, and then browse your computer to put it into ‘my documents’ or you can put it into a folder you have created in my documents. For example I have a ‘downloads’ folder inside my documents, I put it in there. select ‘save’,

2. Wait for the program to download, it doesn’t take long. Once it has downloaded, go to my documents (or where ever you saved it) and double click to open it.

You now have the Red Castle free tag program on your computer.

Printing The Templates:

These are the settings I used on the Red Castle tag printing program to print the tea card templates:

1. Uncheck the tick where it says ‘print punch hole’
2. Select ‘Rectangle’ in kind of tag
3. In the tag size section put the sizes to: 2.500 x 1.250
4. Insert a sheet of white card in your printer and select ‘print’
5. You now have a sheet of tea card templates.

Once you have printed your tea card templates you have to cut them apart to make your small tea card blanks, you can use either a paper trimmer or scissors.

Stamping The Tea Cards

Now to the fun part!

Because tea cards are so small it is quite easy to make a set of themed cards! First of all decide what kind of themed set you want to create, I made a sunflowers set, a blooms set and a butterflies set (see galleries for further information) Also check out the links section below for inspiration on how traditional tea cards look if you need help.

Your stamps can be any size, if your stamp overlaps the tea card that is ok. For example I used a large Sunflower by mostly animals which was huge in comparison to the tea card shape, I stamped the large sunflower head onto the bottom of the card. Next I created a mask by stamping the same stamp onto a post it note and then cutting out the flower head. I placed the mask over the sunflower head and then stamped over the top using a words stamp or leaves.

I coloured the main images in the tea cards using pencils, I used a dove blender to smoothen out the pencil lines. For the backgrounds I used a stipple brush and drew ink from my ink pads to create a washy type backdrop. See scans for more information.

The trick with tea cards is to use a lot of colour, if you look at the links I found for traditional tea cards, you’ll find the one thing they all had in common was that they were bursting with colour. So fill every nook and cranny with colour!

Once you have stamped and coloured your tea card you now want to add a border. If you take a look at the traditional tea cards, they always had a white border, this helped to enhance the colours in the cards themselves.

To create the borders, I used double sided tape and stuck the tea cards onto a sheet of white card, I stuck down several cards side by side leaving a border. Once the card was full of small tea cards, I used a paper trimmer to separate them and thus creating a white border in the process.

Tea Card Collections Galleries

All of the tea cards in the galleries look like they are backed on fuchsia card, they arent! I used fuchsia card as a backdrop when I was scanning, because my scanner background is white and you would not be able to see the white borders on the cards I created.

Sunflowers Set:


Top Row From Left To Right:

1. Sunflower by Mostly Animals, Text By Stamp in the Hand. Sunflower was stamped first, then I placed a mask over the top of the sunflower so I could stamp the words background. Sunflower coloured using colour pencils, background stippled using pinks and purple inkpads inks.

2. Sunflower by Mostly Animals, Sunflower was stamped first, then I placed a mask over the top of the sunflower so I could brayer a Mesh using a Fiskars Brayer using wine ink. Sunflower coloured using colour pencils, background stippled using blue inkpads inks.

3. Sunflower by Mostly Animals, sunflower was masked, then I stamped the leaves by Magenta stamped in green ink. Sunflower coloured using colour pencils, background stippled using blue inkpads inks.

4. Sunflower by Mostly Animals, Text By Stamp in the Hand. Sunflower was stamped first, then I placed a masked over the top of the sunflower so I could stamp the words background. Sunflower coloured using colour pencils, background stippled using pinks and purple inkpads inks.

Bottom Row From Left To Right: >

1. Sunflower by Rubber Stampede. Sunflower coloured using colour pencils, background stippled using blue inkpads inks.

2. Sunflower by Rubber Stampede. Sunflower coloured using colour pencils, background stippled using blue inkpads inks.

3. Sunflower by Mostly Animals, sunflower was masked, then I stamped a butterfly by Rubber Stampede. Sunflower and butterfly were coloured using colour pencils, background stippled using blue inkpads inks.

4. Sunflowers by All Night Media.,coloured using colour pencils, background stippled using blue inkpads inks.

Floral Blooms Set:


Top Row From Left To Right: >

1. Large Daisy By Penny Black, image was coloured using pencils, background was created by stippling blue ink pad inks.

2. Large Daisies By Penny Black, image was coloured using pencils, background was created by stippling blue ink pad inks.

3. Crocus By Hero Arts Poetic Prints Set, image was masked, text stamp by ”Stamp In The Hand’ was over stamped to create a background. Flower was coloured using pencils, background was created by stippling blue ink pad inks.

4. Poppy By Hero Arts Poetic Prints Set, image was masked, text stamp by ‘Stamp In The Hand’ was over stamped to create a background. Flower was coloured using pencils, background was created by stippling blue ink pad inks. >

Bottom Row From Left To Right:

1. Crocus By Hero Arts Poetic Prints Set, image was masked, fern stamp by Rubber Stampede was over stamped using deep green ink to create a background. Flower was coloured using pencils, background was created by stippling blue ink pad inks.

2. Rose By Hero Arts, image was masked, text stamp by ‘Stamp In The Hand’ was over stamped to create a background. Flower was coloured using pencils, background was created by stippling purple ink pad inks.

3. Crocus By Hero Arts Poetic Prints Set, image was masked, fern stamp by Rubber Stampede was over stamped using deep green ink to create a background. Flower was coloured using pencils, background was created by stippling blue ink pad inks.

4. Poppy By Hero Arts Poetic Prints Set, image was masked, fern stamp by Rubber Stampede was over stamped using both light and deep green ink to create a background. Flower was coloured using pencils, background was created by stippling blue ink pad inks.

Butterflies Set:


Top Row From Left To Right:

1. Butterfly by Rubber Stampede, butterfly was masked to allow me to create a fern leaf background using a stamp by Rubber Stampede. Butterfly was coloured using pencils, background was created by stippling blue ink pad inks.

2. Butterfly by Rubber Stampede, butterfly was masked to allow me to create a leaf background using a stamp by Magenta. Butterfly was coloured using pencils, background was created by stippling blue ink pad inks.

3. Butterfly by Rubber Stampede, butterfly was masked to allow me to create a words background using a stamp by Stamp In The Hand. Butterfly was coloured using pencils, background was created by stippling blue and purple ink pad inks.

Second Row From Left To Right:

1. Butterfly by Rubber Stampede, butterfly was masked to allow me to create a fern leaf background using a stamp by Rubber Stampede. Butterfly was coloured using pencils, background was created by stippling blue ink pad inks.

2. Butterfly by The Stamp Connection, butterfly was masked to allow me to create a words background using a stamp by Stamp In The Hand. Butterfly was coloured using pencils, background was created by stippling blue and purple ink pad inks.

3. Butterfly by Rubber Stampede, butterfly was masked to allow me to create a fern leaf background using a stamp by Rubber Stampede. Butterfly was coloured using pencils, background was created by stippling blue ink pad inks.

Summer Theme Tea Cards:

Bottom Row From Left To Right:

1 & 2: These 2 floral tea cards were created using a Bolio stamp by Judikins.

3. The fruits tea card was created by using 2 stamps by Rubber Stampede. The strawberry was stamped first, then masked over to allow me to stamp the orange behind it. Colour added using pencils and inks stippled on the background.

What Can I do with Tea Cards?

Trade them! Make up an entire matching set and trade them either one by one or in complete sets with your stamping friends or host tea card swaps! Decide on a theme and get swapping! You could laminate them and make them into collectable pins! Mount them onto cards! Frame them! Put them into albums…the choice is yours! Have fun!

Here are 2 cards I created using tea cards, rather than cutting the sheet of blank tea cards apart, I stamped on them first and added colour THEN I cut them apart and added them to card stock. As you can see they look a lot like the label card technique:

If you have a go at making tea cards don’t forget to send a scan to me of your work as I would LOVE to see what you have created..and so would all our readers!

Traditonal Tea Cards Here are 2 scans of what the traditional tea cards used to look like!

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