Sunday, May 23, 2010

Rust Hunting...

Last week I went on a treasure hunt in the barn lot

Rust Hunting

Click Images to Enlarge:

This is what I brought home in the bed of the pick up...

I love this rusty gear

Montgomery Ward Stove Door

The side of the rusty stove
This rust is bright orange!

Brad's Rusty Pick Up Truck

Brad's pick up has the coolest rust patterns....all over it!

I am lusting after Brad's rust!

Do you think he will mind if I drape vinegar soaked fabric all over his rusty pick up?

Hey, the tailgate comes off...
He could leave that home for me to rust!

Unfortunately, this pick up is used daily for farm chores.
It never sits still long enough for me to rust any fabrics on it!

Rusty Horse Shoes
This fabric started out white...
This is what it looked like on day 4 of the rusting process

Rusty Horse Shoes
Day 5....soaked in salt and baking soda, then washed in the washing machine.
This piece came out soft like silk.

Rusty Saw Blades
I plan to create sunflowers with this piece

Buffalo on Rusted Fabric
A work in-progress...

Horses on Rusted Fabric
A work in-progress...

When the weather warms up a bit, I plan to rust more fabrics with the new rusty treasures I found.

Rusting Instructions:

Soak your white fabric in vinegar (any kind of vinegar).
Lay the rusty items on the fabric.
Wrap the fabric around the rust.
You can wrap it with wire to keep the rusty objects in contact with the fabric.
Place it in a plastic bag.
Put out in the sun for 4 or 5 days.
The last day I take it out of the plastic bag and allow the oxygen to get to it while it is drying out.
Soak the fabric in a bucket of water with 1 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of salt.
Next day, throw it in the washing machine and dryer.


Use very good quality broadcloth or egyptian cotton.
DO NOT use cheap muslin.
DO NOT open up the bag and keep checking on the rusting process.

CLICK HERE:  to see My Quilts

CLICK HERE to view Rust Fabric that has been painted

CLICK HERE to view Mixed Media Rust Quilt

CLICK HERE to view The Cow Pony Rust Quilt
In this post I give you lots of tips and hints for machine quilting your rusted fabrics.

May Your Bobbin Always Be Full,


  1. That rusted fabric is so Fantastic!! I can't believe how cool it is!! I have to try this!

  2. I can't find how to get started rusting my own fabric!! help me! LOL I have rusted horseshoes waiting!

  3. Isn't rusting fun. I've been looking for a barn sale to go to in the hopes of finding something that will rust. Your projects are wonderful.

  4. Wow. What a great idea. I can't wait to go home and try rust dyeing and hunting myself. I have been making paintings using rusty backgrounds, but I paint them myself. It would be much more fun to do this! Do you think I could just rust dye canvas?

  5. Yes, you can rust canvas.

    Just wet it and soften it up a bit.

    The biggest factor in rust dyeing is to be sure the rusty metal objects come into direct contact with the substrate.

    You may want to wire up the bundle of wet fabric and rusty objects, to be sure the canvas is touching the rust.

    After it is washed and dryied, just press the canvas nice and are ready to go at that point.

    Have Fun!

    LuAnn Kessi

  6. Just look around for rusty stuff.....or just make stuff rusty yourself.

    For instance, take the label off a coffee can, then soak it in salt water for a few days to make it rusty.
    Then wrap your fabric (soaked in vinegar) around the rusty coffee can, wire it all in place, put in a plastic bag for a few days.
    That makes wonderful rusted fabric.

    You can do the same thing with nails, screws, washers nuts, bolts, etc.

    You don't need large objects. Small rusty items work great too!