How to Craft with Gold Leaf

Categories: DIY

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

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.

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.

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

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*

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

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.

Kathy Cano-Murillo
Have patience. Or you'll get a look like this. . .

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!

Kathy Cano-Murillo
This is a messy craft!

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