For the Powertex UK Design Team this month I had the August subscription box to play with. The August Secret Art Box included a personalised initial in mdf, a stencil, papers, a quote stamp and textured fabrics.

Lead Powertex fabric hardener was in the box with colour pigments in Aqua ink and Blue Bister granules. There was so much in the box to use but I knew straight away that I wanted to use Rusty Powder with the mdf, ink and Bister to create rusty letter art. This project tutorial was originally posted on the Powertex UK Mixed Media Magazine.

Powertex UK secret art box august 2019

Powertex Secret Art Box August

Making Rusty Letter Art

Watch this time-lapse video of this Powertex rusty letter art.

How to make my Rusty Letter Art

Materials List

  • Tag
  • Lead Powertex Fabric Hardener
  • Printed papers
  • Pieces of fabrics
  • Mdf letter
  • Aqua ink spray
  • Bister granules
  • Powercotton

Optional and other supplies

Make a start

Step 1

Laying down the first textures with printed papers and Lead Powertex Fabric Hardener to cover the canvas.

Create background textures

Use Easy Structure with a plastic palette knife through the stencil. Clean your stencil straight away.

Build fabric layers

I added fabric textures to build up a background for the mdf letter. Lead Powertex hardens and adheres the fabric. Use a hairdryer to dry.

Add mdf letters and shapes

Powertex Rusty Letter Art

Use White Powertex to coat and layer mdf pieces into place.

TIP: Ivory Powertex Fabric Hardener will also work well if you don't have White.

Spray Aqua ink

Spray the Aqua ink generously over the textures, let it pool, drip and run off to the side.

Add Rusty Powder

Mix up 1 tbsp Transparent Powertex with a little white vinegar and 1/2 - 1 tbsp Rusty Powder. Pour onto the letter, background and fabrics. (It will look grey and the rust will take a few hours to form.)

TIP: For a thicker rust mixture add 3D Sand or Small balls

Using Bister granules

Add spots of Transparent Powertex and sprinkle Bister granules onto wet areas. Spray with water and vinegar spray so the colour runs.

TIP: Using white vinegar in the water spray alters the colour of the Bister and encourages the rust.

Powertex Rusty Powder

Rusty Powder and Bister

Powercotton vines


I used Powercotton strands coated with White Powertex to look like vines around the letter.

Brush highlights

White Powertex is dry brushed on highlights over the whole canvas using a flat brush.

Finishing touches

I repeated the Rusty Powder and Bister granules until I was happy with the contrast. Highlighting with White or Ivory Powertex at the end just lifts the letters away from the background. You can layer up as much as you like.

There's so much left in the Secret Art Box I'll be making more with these supplies. Tutor Gill has also used this month's subscription box here. Keep an eye on The Powertex Studio and my Facebook Page where I'll be posting my Powertex art. You can find all the details on the Powertex UK website for your own Powertex subscription box, along with many of these supplies.

If you would like to know more about using Rusty Powder you might find this blog useful.

1 Comment

Powertex Rusty Powder in Mixed Media - Kore Sage | Mixed Media Artist · 20th December 2020 at 2:30 pm

[…] how I use Rusty Powder in this art here or take a look at the step by step guide to creating this Rusty art with mdf layers. There are too many possibilities to list really. The use of Powertex in the mixture means it can […]

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