Tuesday, December 3, 2013

How to Make Rusty Christmas Bells...without Rust.


When Christmas time comes around, it is always a pleasant surprise when I head up to the attic and find the grape vine wreaths that were twisted into form from the orchard
(the years that I actually take the time to do them, of course).

I worked 4 of them up and was happy when they all sold over the weekend at the craft sale.

Here is one I decorated with some shiny red bells I purchased at an after-Christmas sale.

The assortment of bells I had were a variety of red, gold, and silver,
just the generic type of metal color.

I wanted some rustic bells for some of my crafts,
so I decided to paint the ones I had to make them look rustic.

Here is the process:

I mixed about 1 Tbs. of Plaster of Paris with about 1  1/2 Tbs. brown paint and splashed in about 2 teaspoons of water. 

The texture of the paint should be very thick.

 I added a bit of red because my brown looked a bit too dull for a rust color.
(I also did a second batch of bells with a little more red, to give variety to the coloring).

 (If the paint seems too liquid, adding a little Plaster of Paris will thicken it.
When experimenting with this, trial and error will give the look one wants).

 I used a larger paintbrush that has been squished so much with use that the bristles are spread out;
this makes it great for pouncing around on the bell.

 It is very helpful to have hooks or wire attached to the bells and a place to hang them so the painting can dry.

The bells should be dry in a half hour or so.

 The paint is very durable with the Plaster of Paris in it, but it has a dull finish,
so I put a coat of water-based polyerthane on them.
Mod Podge or any sealer would work.

 Here are some of the bells.
The bell in the front left is actually a rusty bell I had purchased, just to give some comparison.

This trick is useful in viewing those cheap after Christmas sale bells in a new way.
Perhaps it will even give a jingle to your step.

Thanks for stopping by.
I'll be back again in a day or two to build a cinnamon ornament snowman with you.

Let it SNOW!

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  1. What a cool idea! Another Christmas project to put me in a festive mood :) Thank you~

  2. Brilliant! Thanks for sharing this with us. I want to try it myself. Just pinned! Sharing it on my facebook page later tonight too. :)

  3. So pretty! What a great idea! Going to add those bells to my 'after xmas' spree!

    1. That's great! Glad all those ordinary bells will be given an age lift. :)

  4. Love your primitives. how fun and so pretty. The rug beater is fabulous. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  5. Wonerful idea! esp cause I have all the stuff needed to "rust them up". Would love if you would link these up to our All Things Christmas Link Party - every Monday @ 8am! Trisha

  6. super job with the jingle bells, they look fabulous!

    catching you!


  7. Your bells are perfect for a rustic, vintage look. Love this! Pinned. Thanks for linking up to Tickled Pink Times Two.

  8. I bet there are a few red bells in my stash. Going to try this for sure. Beautiful job. TKU


Thanks for your thoughts! If you have a question, I'll try to answer it.