I thought it would be fun to share a short, simple tutorial on gold leaf now that my class has come and gone. The end result of using gold leaf on something creates a pretty gilded look – but leaf paper is one of the trickiest craft supplies to work with!! If you are interested in gold leafing, I would suggest taking a class and practicing a lot. Leaf paper is so delicate that it tares easily. It can hard to have it “do” exactly what you want it to do. The upside is that it’s easy to layer the leaf paper to get great coverage and as long as you’re not looking for a perfect, smooth look – you will be thrilled with your results.
For a gold leaf project, you will need: Metal leaf spray sealer, gold leaf adhesive, a few paint brushes, metal leaf sheets (I used gold), and of course, the item you are going to add the leaf to – in this case it’s a wooden Easter Egg that has been painted a pretty spring green. Through the links above, you can see I ordered everything through Amazon (we are addicted to Prime) but Martha Stewart makes a fabulous line of leafing products sold at Michaels.
When working with gold leaf, the first step is to prep your surface. If you’re using wood, it’s good to paint it first so it become less porous to absorb all of the adhesive. Next, paint on a thin layer of adhesive with one of the brushes. Let sit until it’s dried a little and slightly sticky. When working with wood as I am here, that’s pretty soon after it’s applied.
Then stick on the leaf paper. Here’s where it can get frustrating. On something like this egg, you will never get a smooth surface of leaf with all the curves of the egg, so I applied it in pieces. Your fingers will get a little sticky, so you can use another clean brush to help smooth the surface, but I much prefer to use my hands and just wash them off a few times throughout the process. Keep gluing, waiting, applying leaf until you have reached your desired coverage.
For this project, I hung the egg (as I did last year and the year before) so I threaded my egg after I was done leafing. The final process in leafing is spraying your piece with the metal leaf spray adhesive to really seal the gold leaf so it won’t rip any further. Do this outside! You don’t want to be breathing this stuff!
And voila! You have successfully used gold leaf to crafted a beautifully gilded item. More Easter crafts next week!
I thought I’d give you a quick recap of all my Easter craft series, but first some related exciting news! If you read this blog, you know by now that I am a big fan of Martha Stewart – her crafts, her recipes, etc… – I even subscribed to Martha Stewart Living when I was 12 years old!! Anyway, late last week when I saw her Twitter contest for Easter crafts I thought I’d enter and then she actually re-tweeted the photo of my adorable Easter straws, check it out:
It’s a thrilling moment when the queen of crafting (or I’m sure it was her staff, but still) thinks your crafts are good enough to share (and by the way, she wasn’t re-tweeting any other entries). Thanks Martha!
Here’s the recap of my Easter Crafts Series:
Polka Dot Easter Eggs
Colorblock Neon AND Glitter Eggs
Easter Egg Tree
Now that we have all these colorful and fancy Easter Eggs – we need something to hang them on! This Easter Egg Tree is so easy to make.
You’ll need: florist wet foam, twigs (I used curly willow), a vase, fish tank gravel (I used the kind that look like mini rocks).
Cut your brick of florist wet foam to size and then trim the corners so the gravel can get all around and cover it.
Stick your curly willow (or pussy willow would be nice too) into the foam. Put the branches in at an angle so they are not sticking straight up.
Once you like the placement of your branches, pour the gravel over the foam and make sure all the green is covered.
Decorate your branches with your Easter eggs and enjoy your colorful centerpiece. Happy Easter, Happy Spring!
Colorblock in neon AND glitter! These were so fun to make and fairly easy so you definitely have time to make these before this Sunday.
You’ll need: eggs (I blew the eggs out, Martha has great directions on how to do so), egg dying kit (I bought the kind you find at the grocery store), Mod Podge, water, glitter, a brush, and a needle and thread.
First, dye your eggs according to your kits’ instructions. I bought the Paas brand in neon, because why not!
Once your eggs are dyed and dried, string them so you can a) hang them later and b) use the string to help with the glitter steps.
I ended up putting a dot of hot glue on the bottom of each egg to make sure the string stayed secure.
Then it’s time to glitter! To get the real colorblock look, I covered half of each egg in glitter. I watered down my Mod Podge a bit and then painted it onto the egg. Make sure you make straight lines so your glitter goes on straight.
Shake on the glitter.
Clean up with a brush.
Hang to dry and decorate your tree (tutorial tomorrow!) and voila – a colorful neon glittery colorblock Easter!
Last year I started a new tradition of decorating a wooden Easter egg for our Z that we can hang every year. I made a purple egg with white polka dots and frankly, I didn’t love how it came out. Since we love polka dots in this house, I decided to re-do how to make a polka dot Easter Egg. This time it was easier and came out looking exactly how I wanted and envisioned.
You’ll need: eggs (I used a wooden egg but you can do this with hard boiled or blown eggs as well), glue dots, glitter, and string to attach and hang the egg.
Before I began decorating, my husband drilled a hole through the wooden egg and I painted it white. I also wrote her name and the date of Easter on the bottom (since we’re saving these year to year). Start by strategically sticking your glue dots on the egg. Peel back the paper over the sticky part one dot at a time and pour glitter. These dots are very sticky and the glitter will stick nicely.
Brush off unwanted glitter with a small paint brush.
Now you’re ready to string the egg and hang it! Stringing your egg can be tricky, this year I used thick thread and then added a matching green bead in between the bottom of the egg and the knot to make sure it stayed in place. Done – cute egg!
PS. I’ll have the how-to next week on the little Easter Egg tree you see here…