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How to Craft with Gold Leaf

My first try at gold leaf. Practice makes progress!
My first try at gold leaf. Practice makes progress!
Kathy Cano-Murillo

Every month Kathy Cano-Murillo, a.k.a. The Crafty Chica, dishes crafty tips and tricks in La Vida Crafty on Jackalope Ranch.

Just because I make crafts for a living, doesn't make me an expert on all things crafty. At least not at first. Sometimes it takes several tries to nail a technique. I am resilient. I will not stop until I conquer!

Case in point: gold leaf. I've see it everywhere in DIY projects and thought I could knock it out in my sleep. Glue, apply the gold, seal. . . What is so difficult? Well, it's a teeny more complicated than I thought, but definitely worth the effort. Let me walk you though my experience.

See also: How to Transfer a Photo to Wood

Supplies to make a gold leaf pot.
Supplies to make a gold leaf pot.

Supplies: Terracotta pots 2 wide brushes Gold leaf Gold leaf adhesive (or decoupage medium)

Tip: Gold leaf is sold in packs for under $10 at the craft store.

1. Dust off your flower pot. Dip the brush in the adhesive and paint it on where you want the gold leaf to stick. Let it air dry a bit until it's tacky.

Paint a coat of adhesive where the gold leaf will go.
Paint a coat of adhesive where the gold leaf will go.
Kathy Cano-Murillo

2. Repeat. Let the adhesive dry a bit until tacky. This is where I messed up. I got all excited and clumsily picked up a sheet of the gold leaf and set it on the wet glue. It made the leafing slippery and broke into pieces. *insert ugly cry here*

Let the glue dry a bit before applying the gold leaf to surface.
Let the glue dry a bit before applying the gold leaf to surface.
Kathy Cano-Murillo

3. Let the gold leaf set a minute or two on the surface, then use a dry brush to remove the excess. Use your finger to smooth any wrinkles or bubbles. Ehhh, mine wasn't looking too pretty at this point. But i'm not one to give up. I always have to follow through, because you never know when a save will come at the last minute.

4. Once you've removed all the excess, you'll need to paint over the surface with a sealer. This will ensure that it becomes permanently in place and won't flake off. Note: Make sure to wash your hands during the application because the glue is very sticky and the gold leaf is so thin that your fingers will become gold leafed along with the flower pot!

This is a messy craft!
This is a messy craft!
Kathy Cano-Murillo

 

Finished pots!
Finished pots!
Kathy Cano-Murillo

5. And here we go! My first finished gold leaf flower pot. It's not how I envisioned it, but I like the worn and weathered look. And now that I know the personality of the material, my next project should be even better. Actually, since I made this, I started gold leafing EVERYTHING!

Gold leaf adds a shiny accent to all kinds of surfaces like wood, metal, even paper and canvas too.
Gold leaf adds a shiny accent to all kinds of surfaces like wood, metal, even paper and canvas too.
Kathy Cano-Murillo

Peace, love, and glitter!

See more from Kathy at www.craftychica.com.

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