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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
I still use the votives from the Swap It Challenge. I love the glow.
The jam container functions as our spare change jar.