11 July 2016

DIY Geometric Gold Leaf Votives

how to apply gold leaf to glass

In April I participated in the latest edition of Swap It Like Its Hot. This time I received several items from Dena of Hearts and Sharts. So here I am, many months later, finally sharing the tutorial. 

Buried in a box of frames and scrapbook paper, I also received a set of plain glass tea light votives, used, just like little votives you probably have in a drawer somewhere, complete with a layer of melted wax covering the bottom. 

Other people's wax is like other's people chewed gum or cast-off band aid. I know. 

Please don't let that icky layer of melted wax stop you. 

DIY geometric gold leaf votives

My votives were squeaky clean and "good as new" in a matter of minutes. I filled each tiny container with very hot tap water and let it sit long enough to soften the wax. After a few minutes the wax will loosen from the glass and pop out. The whole thing easily comes clean with a soapy sponge. 

Dry the glass and you're ready to add some gold!

Gather Your Materials

Some notes about the materials I used: The Gilding Size is by Coda Artisans.
The gold leaf originally came in sheet form, but this stash of shredded leaf was leftover from a previous project, and I love the texture it creates, as opposed to the perfection of a flat sheet of metallic leaf. A bit of copper leaf made its way in there too!

DIY geometric gold leaf votives

In the example below I used a jam container. My kids' favorite raspberry jam comes in this little glass jar, and we go through one a week. I couldn't stand to let these go (says the hoarder) so I added a little gold for fun. 

The Process

Decide where you want the leaf to go, and use painter's tape to protect the area that will remain free of leaf. I wanted gold leaf to cover the design on the bottom, and a tiny section just above. 

DIY geometric gold leaf votives

Apply a thin layer of gilding size to the area that will be covered in leaf. Allow it to dry for about 10 minutes; you want it to be dry but still tacky. If the gilding size is too wet the leaf will be gooey, so apply it thin and let it dry for a few minutes. 

DIY geometric gold leaf votives

I made a little pile of gold leaf. Oh, here's a tip: do not sneeze in the presence of leaf. Do not use a fan of any kind in the presence of leaf. Do not breathe heavily in the presence of leaf. This material is as light as air and it will go everywhere! 

gold leaf

I rolled the glass into the pile of leaf, then patted it on to any thin areas with my fingers. 

Let it dry for a few minutes before removing excess leaf.

Use a regular old paint brush or any brush with stiff bristles to remove the excess material. You want a very thin layer. I sort of chip away at the leaf, holding the brush against the glass vertically. Save the extra, store it in a baggie, and use it again. 

Can you see the bits of copper mixed in there? 

DIY geometric gold leaf votives

I still use the votives from the Swap It Challenge. I love the glow. 

gold leaf votives

DIY geometric gold leaf votives

DIY geometric gold leaf votives

The jam container functions as our spare change jar.  

gold leaf on glass

Also, now my kids are gold-leafing all of the things.

kids crafts gold leaf diy

 photo c44d9eee-e722-4c7c-8035-483a6e49f131.png

1 comment:

  1. Ive only tried gold leaf once so far. Im still finding pieces of it. But now I want to go use it on something. anything! these are adorable