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Paper Traders is a friendly online community of artists from around the world. We nurture and value creativity, embrace new ideas, products, and techniques yet also value tried and true methods of artistic expression. Our projects consist primarily of paper arts, mixed media collage, artist trading cards, altered art, assemblages, collaborative journals, mail art, and more.

We are interested in creative individuals of varied skill levels who wish to challenge themselves artistically and help build a supportive community. We are at our best when we can share our creative efforts as well as techniques, resources, feedback, and insights. We encourage conversation about art, the art process, and what it means to be an artist.

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Below you will find images that are owned by our group members and offered for your personal use as well as images found in the public domain. Images may be freely used in your personal artwork but may not be used for commercial purposes of any kind without written permission of the owner. No images may be used to create collage sheets or image collections for resale.

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Open Art Challenges !

We're changing things up here at Paper Traders. Instead of the monthly challenges of the past, we'll now be hosting special challenges that might feature a specific technique or product and will be rewarded with actual prizes sponsored by our group members.

Our new challenge for 2013 is a year long word prompt journaling project/challenge. Each specific challenge will be open for one month and all art bloggers can participate, whether you are a Paper Traders member or not. Each artist will comment with a link to their blog post that features the artwork for that particular challenge. For each challenge, a winner will be selected whose art best exemplifies the challenge. The winning artist will be featured here and get a "Trader Treasure" blog button to display on their own blog. They also will receive one chance for each entry for the end of the year prize drawing. Watch this page for more details and challenge announcements.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Rust Your Own Tins Tutorial

The Paper Traders Art Group Mods were discussing various ways to rust metal/tin to use in art projects and we came across various tutorials in the blogosphere on how to do this, so we decided to give several of them a try and share the results with you. 

These tutorials came from the following:

Gather your materials:
various metal tins (I used an Altoid tin, a mint tin from Starbucks,
and a purchased tin from Michaels)
hydrogen peroxide (HP)
sea salt or other non-iodized salt
newspapers or other protective cover for your table
glass or plastic bowls
plastic gloves
protective face mask for breathing

Roughly sand your tins with a very coarse sandpaper.  I used a #50 grade.  The more paint and sealant you remove, the better the results.

You can also remove paint with oven cleaner and by burning the tin.
 Here are a couple of links with tips on this:

You must do this in a well-ventilated, preferably an outside location; and wear gloves, a mask, and goggles.  Keep pets and children away. Please take every precaution.

Recipe 1: HP & Salt. 

Fill a bowl with enough HP to cover the tin.

Dip tin in, pull out wet, and lay on newspaper.

Sprinkle with salt and let sit.

As you can see, the rust is starting to form around the salt rather quickly.  However, after letting it sit for several minutes (5-7), when I wiped the salt off, the rust wiped off as well and there was no noticeable change on the tin.  I repeated the steps several times and still no results.  This may work over several hours but in the time I allotted (1 hour), I did not see any permanent changes.  

I decided to research this a little more and came across a
 Metal Artists site that had a varied take on
this recipe and it produced much better results.

Basically, after sanding your tin, you need to
 “pickle” your tin in vinegar for a few minutes. 
The Vinegar will corrode the metal lightly and so will rust better.
I set my tins in the vinegar for approximately 3 mins. on each side.
I used a Sea Salt and HP solution of 2 oz. HP
 with 1 tsp. of sea salt in a spray bottle.
  Let the salt dissolve in the HP before spaying.

As you can see it started to bubble immediately.  I sprayed
The tin about every 2- 3 mins, changing sides as I sprayed.

Another tin after about 20 mins:

I needed to run a few errands ( yes, life gets in the way of art)
and so decided I would just set the tins in the solution
on a glass plate. When I came home, 2 hours later,
I was very happy with the results.

Recipe 2: 2 parts Bleach & 1 part Vinegar

Reminder: You must do this in a well ventilated, preferably outside location and wear gloves and mask and goggles.  Keep pets and children away.  (I did this outside on my porch with a fan blowing and the fumes were still very bad for this particular recipe.)

Within 5-10 seconds rust was already forming:

This was after about 5 mins:

This was after about 10 mins:

This was after about 20 mins.  I poured some of the mixture
 into a shallow bowl and just let the bottom of the tin 
soak in the mixture for about another 15 mins.
 It rusted less because of the paint and 
sealant remaining on the outside of the tin.  
This is why you want to sand the tin well before you start.
As you can see you get a pretty deep rust rather quickly with this recipe.

I then added the round purchased tin from Michaels.  I had to sand this quite a bit because of the sealant on it.

After 45 mins:

After it completely dried it looked much better:

Recipe 3: 1 cup HP, 1/8 cup of Vinegar, 1 Tbsp. Salt

This is the recipe I prefer as the fumes are much less noxious.  It takes a good 45 mins to get results but I think it is the safer way to go.

It will start to bubble pretty quickly:

After 15 minutes, lots of bubbles:

Results after 45 mins, inside of the Starbucks mint tin – Nice rust, not as orange or as corroded looking as Recipe #1, but a good color:

Outside of tin.

An Altoid tin with the same recipe.

When you pull your tins out of the solutions, DO NOT dry them off.  Let them air dry naturally or you will wipe off some of the rust.  I set mine on paper towels and I got some pretty cool rusty towels that I am sure I can use later for collage.  When completely dry, you can seal your tins with varnish, if you prefer.

 We hope you enjoyed our tutorial on rust.  Please remember to be safe if you try any of these methods.  And we invite you to share comments about your own experiences with various rusting techniques.  Have fun!

~Cathy Calamas


hellerlittle said...

Great Ideas...
I´ll going to remember them when I´ve to rust a tin.
Thanks for sharing
hugs hellerlittle

Socrates said...

Wonderful and clear tutorial. Thanks for experimenting on our behalf. They look great.

fairyrocks said...

Wow this is so full of great ways to do this. I had some failed attempts finally just left them outside for a season LOL.
I love that there is a way to get this done so fast.
Thanks !!!