Words: Sherry Westfall Matthews
This recipe was originally featured in Somerset Life Summer 2018
A good cup of tea can be a fully immersive experience — the taste, the smell, the feel of the mug in your hands — it’s like a warm hug for your soul! I mean, seriously, I could bathe in it … wait, I could! I could totally bathe in it! All I needed to do was create some tub tea. I wanted it to smell delicious and be as much of a treat as a bath bomb with all its fizzy fun and luxurious feel. I experimented with a few techniques and recipes. After a little trial and error, my Bubble Tea Bath Bombs were born.
-Dried citrus zest
-Dried herbs: lavender, chamomile, peppermint
-Measuring spoons & cups
-Salt: Himalayan pink
-Tea: green, chamomile, mint, spice blends, herbal (Teavana)
-Basic sewing supplies
-Fabric: thin, natural
-Soothing Sereni(tea): chamomile tea, dried chamomile, dried lavender, a few drops of lavender essential oil
-Uplifting Activi(tea): green tea or Moroccan mint tea, dried mint, a few drops of peppermint essential oil
-Energizing Spontanei(tea): green tea, dried citrus zest (lemon, lime, grapefruit, tangerine, etc.), your choice of citrus essential oils
To prepare the base mixture, estimate the amount of filling you need for your bags. Use three parts baking soda, three parts citric acid, and one part salt blend. The salt blend is a simple mix of two-thirds Epsom salts to one-third Himalayan salt. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Divide the mixture into smaller bowls if making more than one variety/style. Any leftover mixture can be stored in a sealed jar for future use. Next, it’s time to personalize your mixture by adding the following ingredients to the base mixture.
There are so many aromatherapy possibilities for these tub teas. Experiment using your favorite teas, oils, flowers, and spices, such as vanilla bean, rose petals, or basil. Chances are, if you like to drink it, you might enjoy it in your bath!
To create the bags, begin by gathering your fabric. Look in thrift shops or clean out your closet. This is a great way to use shirts and skirts that have a small stain or tiny tear. If the fabric is loosely woven, layer it to prevent the tub tea mix from spilling through the weave. With pinking shears, cut the fabric into 6-inch-wide strips that are at least 4 inches long. Fold in half lengthwise with the right sides facing in and stitch along the edge leaving a ¼-inch seam allowance. Turn the fabric tube right side out. Cut into smaller tubes approximately 4 inches long. Each piece will become one bag. Stitch the bottom of each bag together.
Fill each bag with tub tea mix, leaving about 1 inch at the top. Fold and stitch the tea bag to seal it. Add embroidery floss and a bead or charm to coordinate with the scent you’ve chosen. Simply drop your bag(s) into the hot water as you are filling the bathtub. The bags will begin to fizz and bubble as the scent fills the room. Relax and enjoy! These tub tea bags were designed to allow all the beneficial elements to dissolve into the bath water and keep the solid elements inside (eliminating the mess).
Another fun idea is to put together Diversi(tea) Sampler Sets (with three or more of your favorite blends) and use them as gifts! For larger tubs, you can easily make and fill bigger bags or simply use two or more for the full experience. You can discard the bags when you are done, or allow them to dry out and upcycle the fabric and beads into other projects.
Sherry Westfall Matthews lives and creates in Anniston, Alabama, with the love and support of her husband, two kids, two dogs, one cat, and a hedgehog. She serves as an Ambassador for Relics and Artifacts and on the design team for Retro Café Art Gallery. To see more of her work, find her on Etsy at dalaimomma.etsy.com, visit her blog at sherrymatthewsart.wordpress.com, friend her on Facebook (Sherry Westfall Matthews), and follow her on Instagram (@sherrymatthewsart).