Author DIY with Heather McCollum



DIY Tea Tree with Heather McCollum

If you have tea lovers on your holiday shopping list, surprise them with a handmade Tea Tree. It’s pretty as a decoration, but then it’s meant to be dismantled as they use the tea bags. Fun and practical!

In my 17th century Scottish Romance series, The Highland Roses School, English ladies, Scarlet and Evelyn Worthington start a school for women in Scotland. Along with teaching them writing, reading, and self-defense, the ladies are introduced to the “China Drink,” which is what tea was called at the time.

There weren’t tea bags in the 1690’s, but you can use colorful tea bags now to make your tea tree. Here’s how.


Tea bags in individual wrappings (I’ve used 18 tea bags, each 2 ½ X 2 ¾ inch in size)

Styrofoam cone (I’ve used a 9-inch-tall cone)

Felt (green)

Hot glue (and white glue if making a star)

Star for top (directions for my 3D paper star can be found on my web site – )

Scrap paper, stamp, piece of embroidery floss or kitchen string, and staple to make the little tea tag


Instructions: (number of tea bags per layer is for a 9-inch-tall cone, using 2 ½ X 2 ¾ inch tea bags):

  1. Make or find a star – for this cone, I made one using two pieces of 4 inch square paper.
  2. Remove plastic wrapper from Styrofoam cone.
  3. Cut out and glue felt circles on the bottom and top of cone. For the top circle, I poked a hole in the middle because my star will be attached with a toothpick poking down through the top.
  4. Decide on the tea bag color pattern you want to create. I usually glue them front side up, but in my example the pretty colors were only on the backs of some of the tea bags, so I glued them back side up.
  5. Glue 6 tea bags around the base by placing a line of hot glue at the top edge of each tea bag to attach each individually. Use a pencil or chopstick to help hold the tea bag onto the cone to dry without burning your fingers. Overlap the tea bags slightly to cover the cone.

  1. Glue 5 tea bags on the second row around.
  2. Glue 4 tea bags on the third row around.
  3. Glue 3 tea bags on the fourth (top) row around.
  4. Make tea tag and staple it to the embroidery floss (to look like a tea bag tag).
  5. Attach tea tag and star at the top. I tied the string around the toothpick of the star and inserted it into the top of the cone.

This is a fun, easy craft that is also light in weight for mailing. Just watch out for that hot glue!

Do you like tea? I love hot tea and all the history behind it. A warm cup in my hands soothes my soul and helps me to slow down to enjoy this festive time of year. Happy Holidays! Heather



Grab A Rose in the Highlands by Heather McCollum for just 99¢!



1684, Scottish Highlands

Englishwoman Evelyn Worthington is resolved to build a school for ladies in her brother’s newly purchased Scottish castle. But when she arrives, not only does she find the castle scorched by fire, but a brawny Highlander bars her entry.

Clan chief Grey Campbell would rather die than see his family home, Finlarig Castle, fall into English hands, so Grey must win the battle of wills with the beautiful Sassenach who flashes a bill of sale before him.

When the war between Evelyn and Grey escalates, passions flare. But outsiders have their own plans for Finlarig. After secrets are revealed, and muskets are lit, the fates of the Campbell Clan, the school, and a possible future for Grey and Evelyn are in as much jeopardy as their lives.





Heather McCollum is an award winning, historical paranormal and YA romance writer. She earned her B.A. in Biology, much to her English professor’s dismay. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood of 2009 Golden Heart finalists. The ancient magic and lush beauty of Great Britain entrances Ms. McCollum’s heart and imagination every time she visits. The country’s history and landscape have been a backdrop for her writing ever since her first journey across the pond. When she is not creating vibrant characters & magical adventures on the page, she is roaring her own battle cry in the war against ovarian cancer. Ms. McCollum recently slayed the cancer beast and resides with her very own Highland hero, rescued golden retriever & 3 kids in the wilds of suburbia on the mid-Atlantic coast.

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