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What Is On Your Work Desk Wednesday (WOYWW) – RUST!

Yep, I have a rusty desk today, well to be honest I have had a rusty desk for the last few days as I’m rusting a few things in batches.

I thought it would make a good WOYWW so don’t forget to pop on over to Julia’s blog to join in the fun!

If you want to know how I do it then read on, if not than just whiz on down to the comments to say WOYWW ‘Hi’.


A couple of folks asked how I do my rusting after posting this make from last week:

I’ve rusted the fabric – the key was an already rusted find.

If any of you have seen my ‘The Machinist’ make in the September 2011 issue of the Craft Stamper you would have spotted a clue as to how I rust stuff but here are some more details…

You will need:

Rusting Powder 

White vinegar


Things to rust

Bowl/tray/old newpaper/plastic sheets

Glue stick/Acrylic wax (Optional)

I set myself up a space to rust and layer up some plastic sheets and newspaper to protect the surface of my desk or tray or whatever you are rusting in/on – this is going to be messy!

Fabric – If you are rusting fabric give it a soak in a solution made from one part water – a little bit more than one part white vinegar. You can happily use 100% vinegar but I’m a cheap skate!  The more evenly saturated the fabric the more even the rust covering will be so if you want some areas more rusted than others experiment with the length of time you saturate the fabrics, where you put the rusting powder or only saturate parts of the fabric. You can play with rubber bands wrapped roughly around the fabric to get ‘tie-dye’ like patterns too.

Sprinkle on the rusting powder and allow the rust to develop as the fabric dries.

TIP – I also add bits of metal or previously rusted items to my rusting and rust layers of soaked fabrics in a bundle. You get some interesting intensities and patterns. If you are lucky you might have a bit of copper in the metal and you will get some lovely greens developing too. You can keep adding soaked fabric to the original rusted fabric to rust more pieces, you might need to add a little more vinegar solution each time. 

When you are finished let the fabric dry completely and then brush off the rusty bits you no longer want.

Card/Paper – There are a couple of ways of rusting card and paper. I often cover bits of the paper and card with a glue stick and add the powder to the glue then sprinkle with the vinegar solution. Let the rust develop as the card/paper dries.

You can then use this piece as a base to rust other card or paper by soaking a new piece of card/paper in the vinegar solution and layering it on top of the original rusted piece and let it dry again.

Plastic – You can rust all sorts of things and I have had fun rusting non-rustable items such as plastic buttons or metal that won’t rust etc. Add glue stick to the plastic to be rusted, sprinkle on the rusting powder and some vinegar solution and let it dry. If you are worried the rust will fall off then seal the object with a little bit of gel medium or a layer of polymer medium which dries clear. I think this is where the acrylic wax comes in to it’s own, but as I don’t have any I use the glue stick and a sealant!

Heavy gel medium is great for attaching the heavy rusted elements to your work, I’ve been using the one from Golden.

So you can use your rusted items in your work such as with these rusted cogs in this altered sardine tin make:

Or use your fabric to stamp on and stitch into:


Have fun with this one and I would love to see what you do with it, so don’t forget to leave a link to any makes.


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53 thoughts on “What Is On Your Work Desk Wednesday (WOYWW) – RUST!”

  1. Wow what a fab set of yummy creations, that rusting powder looks fantastic, have tried all over to get some, must keep looking….the pieces look amazing!!happy woyww hugs tracex no16

  2. Hi there. Thanks for sharing your creative space with us nosey parkers today. It's always inspiring to see. Hope you have plenty of creative fun this coming week. Your rusting is fab, I have a metal paint I use with a rust activator that you paint on top, it works a treat on boxes and card, I think i'll try some on fabric too and see how that works!

  3. I have to start snooping in the garage if I can find stuff to start RUSTING, it's awesome Kim!!!! Thanks for this inspiring explanation!

    Hug, Irene

  4. I had no idea you could do all this – not seen rusting powder before, it sounds intriguing and your tips are great, thank you!! I will be looking out for this.

  5. i have a rusty brain at the mo to compliment your desk… love the colours and technique – so much quicker than a 1 year erosion bundle!Yumptiuos tag there I must say… Thanks for sharing, wishing you a creative week, Sarah. (at no.38 – NOT 8! A dud link)

  6. Thanks for the tips on rusting, can see I 'need' that powder, either that or raid the back of the shed as we have loads lod old rusty stuff hidden away in there. Love the sardine tine – it's gorgeous.
    Ann B

  7. Fantastic desk this week Kim. I have some of that Rusting stuff that I have never opened……I'm on my way to seek it out now, the effects are way better than I thought they would be.

    Thanks for showing us.

  8. I think rusting things is such a cool look. I used a liquid rusting agent once that some lady brought in. I love your tag with the rusted fabric and key. Wow! That's all I can say as I'm blown away by all the rusty goodness.

  9. Ohh this is fascinating. I need things to rust now!!
    When I first clicked on your desk photo I thought you'd made pancakes, it looked just like it until I saw the keys!! Funny how your eyes play tricks isn't it.
    A great post, Kim.
    Happy WOYWW
    Hugs Lisax #128

  10. Thanks for all the info! Elzabeth of Bleubeard and Elizabeth rusted lots of paper and stuff a while ago, so your post has reminded me to give it a try. Great results.
    JoZarty x

  11. How fascinating! Who knew there was such a thing as rusting powder, am pretty sure Elizabeth will be chuckling over that! Love the samples you've made with the rusting, really adds to the feel of the pieces?

  12. Hello there, what an interesting desk. Never knew there were products out there that could rust things! My hubby is a hoarder, so I think I could skip that part and just go raid his garage(s!).

    Lovely projects you're sharing, particularly like the tin – just fab!

    Thanks for the kind comment on my blog, it is appreciated.


  13. I like the idea of rusting though admit I haven't found time to try it. I especialy like the fabric piece you have done. It is chucking it down here so maybe I will put a few keys outside. LOL

    Happy WOYWW

  14. Wow, Kim, I adore your rust project! I've been trying to replicate the look of rust recently – it's gorgeous and grungey, isn't it. Must study your blog post further and try my hand at this technique. Golden gel mediums are great, aren't they.

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