Coffee dyed lace and seam binding tutorial

Friday, October 5, 2012

On my last CASE study card I used some lace and seam binding that I dyed using ordinary instant coffee. It's very easy and I usually dye a bundle of all different types of white lace and seam binding at the same time, so I have a nice stash to work with whenever I want to make a vintage or shabby chic card. So here's how to do it.

Any instant coffee will do (Note: I have tried this with tea but it gives a much more orange result). I used a generous tablespoon of instant coffee and added it to a bowl.

Add boiling water, stir and move it carefully to your craft table! I cut pieces of white lace slightly larger than what I'd use on my cards. Some of the lace I used here is available from Craft Fairy. The seam binding I left a bit longer to give me plenty to tie into bows.

Some people say you should wet the lace before but I didn't and I was happy with the results. Add it all in, stir it around, squash it down, I left the spoon in to help keep everything below the surface.

After an hour I gave it all a stir, you can see the color developing nicely. Different types of lace will give you different results but it's nice to have varying shades. I left my batch for about 3 hours and stirred every hour. Squeeze out the coffee from each piece, if you think any of the lace is too dark give it a quick rinse under the cold tap. I don't rinse the ones I'm happy with, the color will be lighter once dry. I let mine dry on the radiator (not electric obviously!). Once dry they should look like this.

I love the varying tones and the little patches of more intense color. Perfectly aged ready to use on my cards!

If you like making vintage cards, I'd definitely recommend giving this a go, the effects are really stunning and it's so easy!

I really love the little burnt effect edges you get on the seam binding, all this from a spoon of instant coffee! Here are a couple of cards I've used the coffee dyed lace and seam binding on recently.

To make your seam binding scrunchy, when you take it out of the coffee mix scrunch it tightly into a ball and leave to dry.

Here I used lace from Craft Fairy that I dyed with coffee. Oh and just a note on this card Waltzingmouse Stamps now have all the stamps from the August release back in stock, so grab them quick, I'm sure they'll fly out! I used the gorgeous Camellia stamp set on my card colored with Distress Markers. I'll be back tomorrow for World Card Making Day!!! Yay! : )


  1. LOVE the look of the coffee dyed lace...gorgeous cards!

  2. Thanks for that tutorial Clare going to have to try that! Ger x.

  3. Great tutorial Clare!! I need to try it, but I don't drink coffee, so that has always held me up on doing it. :-) I like the idea of the coffee though instead of tea. My grandmother crocheted a tablecloth that was on my Mom's wedding cake table, and I heard that grandma had dyed it with coffee in the bathtub!! have a great weekend: I'll be thinking of my friends making cards tomorrow while I try and squeeze in a few myself!! :-P

  4. Gorgeous lace ..thanks for the cards!

  5. Thanks for this inspiring tutorial; great! Like the other lady, I don't drink coffee but now I'll have to buy some, won't I? Can you tell me, please, how much water you add to your tablespoon of coffee? Seems to me if I added too much or not enough, I would get varying results. Thanks again!

    1. Hi Kat, I just measured it, I used 250ml. I hope that helps! Have fun!


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