How To Make an Advanced Tea Bag Dish Holder out of Wood Scraps

  • By: Monica Shulz

You can make good use of the wood scraps around you by creating smart things around the house. In this guide, I will show you how to turn a piece of recycled wood such as a panel into a vintage-looking tea bag dish holder. The materials you need include wood scrap, paint, and wood glue. The tools to use include wood cutting tools, holding tools, and gas torch flame.

Prepare The Wood

Use a 6″ by 1″ wood or a 4″ by 1-inch wood plank. If you use a 6″ by 1-inch piece, cut two pieces exactly 4 inches long then remove an inch across the 4-inch side to be left with a 4 by 4-inch piece from each piece. The idea is to get a square shape. If you don’t want the holder to be unnecessarily big, you can reduce it. Precision is important for the holder because everything will be glued together. If the cutting is off, expect the project to have a less than satisfactory outcome, especially for the sliding middle piece.

Cut The Base, The Middle, and Top of the Holder

Cut the plank into 3 equal pieces. Remove at least one-inch pieces from both ends of the cut pieces. The two pieces will be used for either side of the plank as separators. Use a table saw for best results.

Prepare The Middle Part

First, remove an extra 1/2 inch from opposing sides and one more from the other side. You want to have a piece that will fit inside the other two smoothly. Cut it into two along the grain to make it thinner. Secondly, place the ruler across from one corner to the opposing corner to draw a mark at the center of the plank Do the same for the opposing diagonal.

Using the newly discovered center at the intersection of the diagonal lines to draw a circle inside the plank of wood. The circle should not be too big. It should be about 1.5 inches inside the wood. Once you have it drawn out, hold the wood firmly ready for cutting.

You can use a clamp to ensure that the area you want to cut is outside the working bench. You will use a circular saw for this task, hence the need to ensure that the area to cut is outside the bench to ensure that you don’t damage the working bench or the blade.

Use a drill to bore a hole where you will insert the saw blade. Cut smoothly along the circle and remove the area covered by the circle completely.

Prepare The Top

As for the top, do the same as the bottom but with a smaller circle. Since cutting a small circle using a circular saw can be painfully tedious and sometimes dangerous, use a drill bit fitted with a special Forstner bit. Drill out the circle nicely.

You can simultaneously use a blower to keep the work smooth. Forstner bits tend to clog the drilling area leaving a messy look. Using a blower can prevent that.

Glue Up The 6 Pieces Together

You are gluing together the bottom first. Apply generously glue on the edge of the pieces. You will need three small pieces for the three sides.

Glue together the medium piece. It has to be removable and essentially should slide inside the top and bottom. First, glue one piece to the main piece. It will act as a handle. The other two small pieces should be glued at opposing ends in such a way that you slide the middle piece over the two pieces.

Glue in The Top Piece

Here, you just glue in the top by applying glue on all sides and placing the top plank on top. You can check if the middle piece is sliding smoothly before and after gluing the top.

Give It a Vintage Look

Now that you have an ordinary box, you can use a rotary woodworking drill to rough up the wood to give it that recycled wood appeal.

Make The Teabag Holder

Use two small planks of woodcut from the main wood. It should be long enough to cut 3-4 inches of the upright, about 2 inches of the crossbar, and about 1.5 inches on either side of the upright for support.  About 3-4 inches will do to match the normal string size of a teabag. Glue them together. Cut them appropriately and glue them as they should.

Accentuate The Vintage Look

You can style it up to mimic a staircase for the saucer holder. Use a gas torch flame gun to char the wood nicely. Brush off the soot.

Paint The Handle

Finish it nicely with a fresh coat of brown paint. Allow it to dry before the grand commissioning.

The Final Product

Here is the teacup holder in use. You can finally enjoy your vintage teabag dish holder made of wood scraps.

You can check out Denis of the DIY projects on YouTube for more cool stuff. He has made some very cool DIY stuff that you can check out.

Photo by DIY Projects / CC BY 3.0