Rust Dyed Fabric - Lampshade

3 Materials
3 Days

A few months back I had great fun playing with rusty nails, bits and pieces of rusty metal found on the beach and fabric. Rust placed on wet fabric gradually dyes rust colours.
rust dyed fabric lampshade
The fabric is soaked in a solution of 50:50 water and white vinegar. Rust items are placed into the fabric, where the rust touches the fabric patterns will form. Alternatively you can wrap rust objects with the fabric.
rust dyed fabric lampshade
The process can take between 1-3 days for the rust to form.
rust dyed fabric lampshade
Having had fun with rusty nails, lumps of metal and washers creating a variety of patterns was then left wondering what to do with the fabric itself. Time passed.

I had a go at embroidering onto the fabric, adding embellishment to the fabric. But then wondered what to do with the embroidered fabric. After some thought I decided to make a lampshade, the back of the embroidery shone through the shade so I chose to work with just the rust fabric.
rust dyed fabric lampshade
Using a lampshade making kit found on Amazon I created a lampshade - more detailsfor how to make the lampshade are in my blog post.
rust dyed fabric lampshade
I am delighted with the result. If you fancy a go yourself but have no rust objects then you can atill be a go - find out here.
I would love to know what you would make with rust fabric.
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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 6 questions
  • Elaine
    on Mar 12, 2018

    This is an interesting idea. I have one questin ... when you wash the project (obviously, I’m not referring to the lampshade!) would the rust marks fade? I would like to see this tried on a (fabric) shower curtain or tablecloth.

    • Jeanette Jim Rednour
      on Apr 1, 2018

      We use Whink all the time. Buy it at Lowes in the plumbing dept. or the cleaning supply dept. Also at times it is at WalMart in the cleaning supplies.

  • Patti
    on Mar 12, 2018

    🤔You do realize you’re going to put all the stain remover companies out of business ... don’t you ?!?! 🙄

  • Patti
    on Mar 12, 2018

    🤔You do realize you’re going to put all the stain remover companies out of business ... don’t you ?!?! 🙄

Join the conversation

65 of 81 comments
  • Jayne Strelow Timper
    on May 1, 2018

    I just loved this idea. I have 2 old silk barrel shades, I have a muslin piece from YEARS ago. My daughter needs lamps for her bedroom. Check...Colors perfect....check....YOUR IDEA AMAZING...CHECK!!!!!! The lamps are from the late '40's, and my husband will be re-wiring them for the kids to use on their Heywood Wakefield bedroom furniture SAAAA WEEEET

  • Dj_12453913
    on Jun 8, 2018

    Definitely try this. Also when you use "Whink" to get rust stains out, did you rub it in or let it sit? 

    Wondered how you could remove rust stains. Thanks!

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