Amy Ellis @ StowandTellU
Amy Ellis @ StowandTellU
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  • Bolingbrook, IL

How to Make Metal Rust With Potatoes


I've been working on a project that required me to make some nails and hardware rusty. I wanted to go the easiest route (of course) so I tried the vinegar and salt method which I had used before, but it just wasn't happening fast enough, meanwhile, my husband was chopping potatoes for stew: lightbulb!
The metal started to turn dark immediately and after soaking for about an hour, I took them out and rust
how to make metal rust with potatoes, crafts, I let the potatoes oxidize for a while then dropped them in a vinegar salt mixture
I let the potatoes oxidize for a while, then dropped them in a vinegar salt mixture.
how to make metal rust with potatoes, crafts, I used standard nails not zinc or galvanized
I used standard nails - not zinc or galvanized
how to make metal rust with potatoes, crafts, The rust really begins to form once exposed to air
The rust really begins to form once exposed to air.
You can see full direction in the blog post link below - Thanks, Amy
Amy Ellis @ StowandTellU

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Mary Murnane
    on Aug 12, 2016

    Why for Pete's sake would you ever want metal to rust?

    • Hb
      on Aug 12, 2016

      Rust as a decorative finish is used in many altered art projects. I myself make metal garden orbs and one of the most popular finishes is a rusted orb. You rust it then seal it well so it doesnt continue to rust .....but what a lovely aged look it gives to the orbs

      , rusted garden orb Just set it up and planted some ivy to weave through the orb
    • Kathie Elia
      on Aug 12, 2016

      Took the words right out of my mouth! Love the look, thanks for sharing

    • Ana Contreras
      on Aug 12, 2016

      So many things look best when rusted. Great idea!

    • Nadine Hartman Bourne
      on Aug 12, 2016

      Are we not concerned about Tetanus anymore? I stepped on a rusty screw in my back yard a few weeks ago it didn't break the skin but it was a reminder that I was behind on my shots.

    • Iwa11687529
      on Apr 9, 2017

      Use for coffin nails in a witch's lab for Halloween. Thanks, needed this.
    • Jst27646197
      on Sep 4, 2017

      Tin is in, rust is a must for us DYIers of vintage steampunk projects.
    • Fawn
      on Sep 4, 2017

      Well said Jstockdale88!!! I build old barnwood furniture and etc., rust goes great with it!!
    • AngieBallard
      on Sep 6, 2017

      Nadine: Everyone should have a Tetanus shot (DTaP) every ten years, whether they come in contact with rust or not. It's a combination of Tetanus, Diptheria, and Pertussis vaccines. Pertussis is particularly important if you come in contact with young children.
    • Jen
      on Dec 29, 2018

      You don't get tetanus from rust. You get it from metal that is left outside in 'yucky' conditions that causes the metal to rust. So it's the 'yuck', (for lack of a better word) surrounding the metal which causes the rusting process that might create tetanus. It's not JUST because something is rusty.

      Hope that makes sense

      I also think the 'rusted' look is great on some projects!

  • Marilee H
    on Aug 12, 2016

    Sorry - I don't see any link. Can you post it, or add directions here? I'd like to try this method. Thanks!

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3 of 26 comments
  • Rainy Odessy
    on Sep 17, 2015

    fresh apples will rust things fast too i learned this from expressing juice to make hard cider..... anything metal will rust in about two days

    • Amy Ellis @ StowandTellU
      on Oct 2, 2015

      @Rainy Odessy I had no idea that apples would work too. I will be trying your method. Thanks so much for sharing and I'm sorry for the delayed reply~ Amy

  • Iberkeley
    on Oct 4, 2016

    I understand Coke does, too. Never have tried it.

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