While I was in the process of making a new book cover, I started experimenting with making rusted fabric using wonder under fusible webbing which I’d painted. Because I’ve used painted wonder under before, I knew that it would probably turn out quite well. And in fact it did!

This is what wonder under looks when it’s wet with paint. You can see that the paint has penetrated the fusible webbing through to the paper backing and caused it to pucker resulting in ridges where the paint puddles.

How to make rusted fabric using Wonder Under

To get the right “rusted” color, I used a combination of Golden fluid acrylic paints.

How to make rusted fabric using Wonder Under

Once the wonder under has dried, you can then iron it onto some fabric such as muslin, or any fabric really. The only thing I didn’t quite like was the areas where the wonder under didn’t attach to the fabric and the muslin showed through. The color of the muslin looked a little too white.

How to make rusted fabric using Wonder Under

So I painted it over so that it blended a little better and the results were quite perfect. It really does look like rust, doesn’t it?

How to make rusted fabric using Wonder Under

I did a couple more samples. With this one, I didn’t wet it enough so there weren’t very many “rusted” areas. It’s also normal for areas of the wonder under not to attach. On the fabric, this actually looks like peeling rust.

How to make rusted fabric using Wonder Under

However I like this one much better.

How to make rusted fabric using Wonder Under

This is a really quick technique to do for times when you don’t have time to wait for real rusted fabric!

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