How to Make a Rusted Paper Book Cover

Rust on paper? It's possible with this book cover project by first rusting a piece of steel and then applying paper to the rust.


Book Cover

Tools and Materials:

old book
neutral color mulberry paper
Fresco Cream Golden glaze
rusted letter stencils
pieces of rusted metal
coin, watch part, key, charms
Perfect Paper adhesive
shorthand clip art enlarged on a copy machine, then rusted


1. Tear mulberry paper slightly smaller than cover of book and adhere to the book cover with Perfect Paper adhesive.

2. Sponge glaze on rusted shorthand paper and tear in strips while damp with glaze. Let dry.

3. Glue strips on book with Perfect Paper adhesive.

4. Glue stencils X, Y and Z on left side of book cover.

5. Glue embellishments on right side of book cover.

Rusted Sheet

Materials and Tools:

1/2 water and 1/2 vinegar mixture
applicator brush
coffee filters
SteelWorkz weldable steel sheet (not galvanized)
Neenah classic natural 80 lb. cover-weight paper

Tip: Sometimes a bit of table salt will speed the rust process.


1. Brush the mixture on a piece of steel.

2. Cover to start the rust process.

3. Place a brick, a weight or another piece of steel on covered steel.

4. Mist with water. Continue misting for at least three days. The longer you leave the steel, the darker the rust will be.

5. Place card stock or paper on top of rusted steel and mist with water.

6. Let dry and peel paper off steel.

7. Many different kinds of paper can be rusted. Rust natural coffee filters and cover-weight paper. Do not use paper containing lots of fiber. For special effects, rust a piece of music paper, a tag, blue or green colored paper, etc.

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