My father-in-law gave me a whole jar of nails with the square heads that he pulled out of his church pews many, many years ago. They were renailing the pews and he saved all of the nails since they were the square top kind, and were all different sizes. He even rubbed them all with WD40 so they wouldn't rust over the years. I greedily took them, and promptly got them ready for rusting. I hope that he isn't reading this blog cause the nails are well over 100 years old, but I like them rusty! So with me doing that, I thought that I would share my primitive rust recipe that isn't too toxic to dispose of.
First, place your items to be rusted into a container that has a lid preferably tin or glass. Those $5.00 candles with the glass lids from Michaels are good ones to save. Pour enough bleach into the container to cover the items you are rusting, and then put the lid on. Leave it alone for at least 24 hours. I then drain the bleach into the toilet (get a second use out of it as a disinfectant!), leaving the metal items still damp in the jar.
Next, cover them with cider vinegar and add in a a couple of tablespoons of salt. Cover again, and let sit another 24 hours. Pour the used vinegar down the drain (you can also get a second use of this as a drain unclogger if it follows a dose of baking soda) leaving the damp bells/safety pins/what have you in the jar. Put the jar out in the sun to dry, with the lid off, and the metal items in it will rust as they dry.
And voila, rusty nails, bells, or what have you!