How to Make Rusty Safety Pins

Rusty safety pins accesorize primitive-style crafts.
Rusty safety pins accesorize primitive-style crafts. (Image: safety pin image by Christopher Hall from

Primitive decor is greatly influenced by the colonial period and features simplicity in its furnishing and accessories. As this decorating style continues to develop and change with trends, one particular trend that has gained popularity is extreme primitive. Extreme primitives are identifiable by heavy staining and grunging with teas and cinnamon, simple style stitching, and rusty accessories like safety pins. Although you may find rusty safety pins to purchase for your primitive crafts, it is inexpensive to make your own.

Things You'll Need

  • Glass jar with lid, 1 qt.
  • Bleach
  • Strainer
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Salt
  • Paper towels

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Place non-stainless steel safety pins in the glass jar and pour enough bleach into the jar to cover the safety pins.

Screw the lid on tightly and let set for 24 hours.

Strain the bleach from the jar and refill it with enough apple cider vinegar to cover the safety pins.

Add 1 tsp. of salt and screw on the lid to seal the jar.

Let the jar set for 24 hours, then strain out the vinegar solution.

In the sunlight, spread the safety pins across paper towel. Move around as needed until the safety pins are completely dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • Quality stainless steel safety pins will not rust. You must use inexpensive safety pins.
  • Skip the bleaching step for a light rusting.
  • Also use this method to rust bells and other tin items.
  • Work in a well-ventilated area when working with bleach. Inhaling the fumes is hazardous.


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