How do I age cheap shiny jingle bells?

Anna B
by Anna B

I have some large, cheap, shiny jingle bells I want to "age". They were inexpensive and I don't want to purchase special chemicals or finishes to make them look old. There must be something I have around the house that can take the "new" off of them, I'm not crafty or clever enough to figure it out. I appreciate any help I can get. Thanks, friends!

  7 answers
  • Jodi Murray Hendon Jodi Murray Hendon on Dec 13, 2018

    Maybe try antiquing them with black or brown acrylic craft paint. Do a wash with the paint and then wipe most of it off.

    • See 1 previous
    • Jodi Murray Hendon Jodi Murray Hendon on Dec 14, 2018

      Instead of acrylic, you might see if Rustoleum or some other kind of metal paint would stick. I've never tried rubbing it off, though. If you wrap the cords in tape first, that should protect them from the paint.

    • Anna B Anna B on Dec 13, 2018

      Thanks, William. I pinned your video. I neglected to mention in my question that the bells are permanently attached to white cording. I don't know how I could "soak" them without getting the cords into the mix. Any ideas?

  • Jewellmartin Jewellmartin on Dec 13, 2018

    If you soak the bells in vinegar overnight they should look aged. Wash with plain water. If you have a fan, hair dryer or heater to blow them dry, they won’t rust, either. Soak, rinse, dry. No degree in science needed. ☺️

  • Lynn Sorrell Lynn Sorrell on Dec 13, 2018

    Here's way to do it takes a couple days put in plastic tub cover with bleach 24hrs,then do same with vinegar 24hrs rinse off set outside in sun to dry do this outside makes fumes

  • Anna B Anna B on Dec 13, 2018

    Thank you Jewell. As I mentioned in my other replies, I forgot to say in my initial inquiry that each bell is permanently attached to a 5", 6" or 7" white nylon rope cording. I can't think of aa way to soak them without getting the cords involved. What do you think? I enjoy your comment that 'no science degree is needed'...that would leave me out entirely! Next to Math, Science was my worst subject in school. In college, I had to take non-credit remedial Algebra class TWICE before I could take the easiest required Math course for credit and I barely passed freshman biology with a C- .

    • See 1 previous
    • Anna B Anna B on Dec 13, 2018

      Great idea about using Vaseline!! I'll do that, thanks!

  • William William on Dec 13, 2018

    Suspend them in the vinegar/salt mixture so only a very little or no cording gets wet. It wouldn't affect the cording anyway. Just that it would need to dry out.

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Dec 13, 2018

    Yes with spray paints. If they are strung, pop X shaped holes into posterboard or brown paper and spray paint.

    I wired the dollar store bells with spaces to spray them to allow for movement to coat all sides. With 40 degree weather it involved running outside under the deck for spray paint application and bringing the painted project back in the house to dry.

    The bells were very lightly sprayed with satin nutmeg, satin brown and a small puff of oil rubbed bronze. Final gold and darker black edge highlights were achieved with a rub on type wax using an index fingertip. Handling the bells to twist and 6” space the interval had evidence of some wax wearing off, I’m not sure how the more modern metallic wax buff products work. it would be best to clear coat seal the wax if it rubs

    Alternatively they might be sponged with thinned acrylic paints for another layer of translucent shading.

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