Teabag Totems

I love the alchemy, which happens when you take something insignificant and useless which is about to be discarded and turn it into something special and exquisite.

For a long time I have been saving my used teabags, as they are very helpful when you want to light a fire. Now it has become winter and we will not make a fire outside for a while, and my husband urged me to rather get rid of the teabags we are now using…

He is right. But I cannot help it, that once I get pressurised into discarding something, my mind will switch into alarm mode to check if there are not any other ways to recycle or reuse it.

And so the Teabag Totems were born. A series of animal portraits painted onto used teabags.

It is not so easy to paint such tiny portraits on crumbled teabags, but it is lots of fun and I enjoy the different animal characters surfacing in the portraits. Everybody who has held one of these Teabag Totems in their hands loves them.

Their fragility, the softness of the teabag and their unique personality turn these tiny works of art into something truly precious and special.

If you are interested to have your favourite animal or totem animal painted on a teabag and delivered to you or a friend, then just contact me in the contact form below. You can also select one of the finished little teabag artworks shown below. The portraits are painted with high-quality gouache paint and fineliner onto 6 x 4cm used teabags.

The price for a unique Teabag Totem animal portrait packaged in a small metal box is 20€ (excl. postage). After I received your order, I will sent you a photo of the teabag for your approval, with an invoice and a link for payment via Paypal. Only once I have received your payment, your artwork will be sent to you.

(Please click on the images to see a larger view.)

View more Teabag Totems by clicking here.

Update 7 February 2015: I am so excited! The Teabag Totems can also be delivered to you in a beautiful Plain Silver Rectangular Pastille Tin (Dimensions: 95 x 60 x 21 mm). This option costs €3.00 additional. Are they not really pretty in those boxes?

The Teabag Totems are shipped in these gorgeous tin boxes.

The Teabag Totems are shipped in these gorgeous tin boxes.

And here is my framing suggestion. If you like, you can order the Teabag Totems framed like this for an extra €20.

Contact form for ordering your own unique Teabag Totem, painted by Imke Rust:


4 thoughts on “Teabag Totems

  1. Carolin

    Liebe Imke,
    Christine hat mir schon von deiner Teebeutelkunst erzaehlt- wie schoen, dass ich sie jetzt hier, vom anderen Ende der Welt, am Strand von Mui Ne in Vietnam, sehen kann! Besonders der Fuchs ist toll! Bis ganz bald, sonnige Gruesse, Carolin


    1. Imke Rust Post author

      Oh wie schön von dir aus weiter Ferne zu hören! Das Internet ist doch immer wieder toll! Und es freut mich, das du die Teabag Totems magst. Viel Spass dir noch auf deiner Reise, wir hören immer gespannt die Berichte von deinen Eltern und Grosseltern!


  2. Indigo Spider

    Ha! These are wonderful 🙂 You should make a “set” for Christmas because to me they looked like perfect ornaments for the Christmas tree.


    1. Imke Rust Post author

      Thank you! Yes, a set would be cool, but I guess it is best if people will pick a few of their favourite animals themselves.



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