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Man Crafts: tea duck

19 February 2011 25,268 views 27 Comments

by mikeasaurus

Bring your favourite bath-time buddy to your next tea time, with your very own tea duck. This project uses a small plastic toy duck as a buoy for your loose-leaf teaball. As with all projects that have a consumable element, ensure the toy you use is food-safe, and able to handle the hot temperatures of boiling water without melting.

Project Estimate

  • Tea ball - $1.00
  • Plastic toy duck - $1.00

Total:  $2.00

(note: you can get a PVC-free duck here)

This simple project requires a stainless steel teaball, and a small buoyant toy. The toy needs to be small enough to fit inside your mug, in this case it was a small baby duck (Mama duck will be used for bath-time). These ducks have a small opening located on their underside, this is where our teaball will attach to. If the toy you use doesn't have an opening to hook the teaball in, you will need to create one.

Teaballs have a chain tether that allows them to be dipped into a mug of hot water without burning your fingers. Using needle-nose pliers, remove the chain links until you have a short tether.
Keep the hooked end piece.

With the chain clipped to a short length, insert the flanged hook end into the opening in the ducks underside.
That's it, your tea duck is ready to go!

<a href="http://dollarstorecrafts.com/?attachment_id=10525" rel="attachment wp-att-10525"><img src="http://dollarstorecrafts.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/01.jpg" alt="" width="580" height="183" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-10525" /></a>

Boil water, load up your tea duck, dunk, and enjoy!


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  • heather said:

    This is so cute! Great idea for keeping hold of your tea ball chain, too. Thanks for the great project, Mikeasaurus!

  • Angel J. Morgan said:

    OMG I love this idea. I collect Rubber Duckies.
    Gonna go get me some. OH, and just to letcha know, if you get a small glass candle votive holder (empty of course) *and also from the Dollar Store* and use IT to store the Tea Ball when NOT in use. It works GREAT!
    I think Im gonna make me a bunch and keep them at my friends and family’s house. SO I have it there when I need it.
    Thanks for this wonderful Idea

  • Megan D said:

    I would not be comfortable putting a non food grade plastic item in my hot drink. Plastic degrades in hot liquids potentially releasing poisonous chemicals in your drink.

    However this would be an excellent way to add bath salts or herbs and oatmeal to your bath. Oatmeal and chamomile added to bath water is great for drink skin and eczema and this would be a great way to deliver it.

  • Megan said:

    Where did you find the duck bath toy? I looked all over my Dollar Tree looking for some to decorate a gift basket for a baby shower and couldnt find any. I did find some bath books though :D

  • mikeasaurus (author) said:

    @Megan D:
    Requirement of food-grade plastic is already included in the intro, but appreciate your concern.

  • Xyphir said:

    OMG! I needed one of these so much that my sister brought me one for Christmas (at $20!!!!) I am so inspired I’m going to make a whole set for my tea parties – ducks, frogs, boats! WOOT!
    Thanks so much for posting!

  • Mod Podge Amy said:

    I love this one!! Brilliant. Off to share.

  • Belle Morte said:

    You can use the mama duck just as the baby only with relaxing herbs in your bathtub. Ha got my enlightment moment just right now ! Have a good day all!!

  • Roseanna said:

    Love this idea…wondering though, how you determine “food safe” info from the Dollar Store. Not really trusting “made in China” these days.
    How would you know?

  • Green Friend said:

    You should probably read – Slow Death by Rubber Ducky before putting a rubber duck into boiling hot water –

    “How would you like a hot cup of carcinogens Mum?”

    Its a really cute idea – but awful for your health

  • MsJoyceG said:

    My 24 yr old grand daughter looooooovvvvveees rubber duckies. I’m sending her a link to this page. She may never USE the suggestion .. but I know she will loooooooovvvvvvvvveeeeeee it. TFS

  • Jenn Erickson/Rook No. 17 said:

    So clever! I love it!

  • Cheryl said:

    Really cute, but there’s no way the $1 ducks from the Dollar Store are BPA & PVC free, so the cost is probably more like $8 for a safe duck and will have to be bought elsewhere. Unfortunately most people will assume a toy made for warm bath water will be fine in warm tea since bath toys aren’t labeled food safe and buy the $1 one shown.

  • mikeasaurus (author) said:


    Incorrect; This duck was bought from the dollar store for exactly $1, is phthalate-free and food safe. Shop around, not all dollar stores carry evil-chemical-baby-deforming-merchandise, from China or otherwise.

  • Magie said:

    That is TOO CUTE!!! I have to make one for my pretty daughter who doesn’t drink enough tea! I saw your instructibles link–I should have realized!!

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  • Tobi said:

    How does one discern food safe from non food safe plastic?

  • Gaziantep Perde said:

    This information is very useful so thank you :)

  • Jill said:

    Genius! I use a ball when I make a pitcher of tea and there has never been a good way to get the ball to do it’s think without having to awkawardly dig around the bottom to pull it out. Great idea. People need to just read the label – plenty of manufacturers now are “on the ball” with the whole BPA thing. Sheesh!

  • Tout Un Fil said:

    C’est terrible !!! j’adore ! Bravo pour l’idée !!!

  • Where Have I Been? « Accidentally Angela said:

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  • Caroline Fay said:

    As all of your ideas this is a great one too! I love it. Just had to share it too. Looking forward to more posts.

  • Amanda said:

    Cool idea but will leach phthalates into your beverage. I wouldn’t do this if you don’t want cancer.

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