Monday, July 7, 2014

Stay Golden: Gold Leaf Candle Holder

This summer I have made a new best friend and that friend is gold leafing. I'm TOTALLY kicking myself or not getting into this stuff sooner! I'm sure I've expressed this before, but seriously, everything is better with shiny gold. Having never met an old jar or bottle that I didn't want to rehabilitate in some way, gold leafing has turned out to be a game changer! With just some tape and a cheap gold leafing kit, the spaghetti sauce jar is now my new favorite votive holder. 
Materials Needed:
-clean jar
-gold leaf (I used the imatation stuff, but you can also buy 24K as well)
-gold leaf adhesive
-sealant
-masking tape
-fine point sharpie

Prepare you Design
Step 1: Make a simple stencil for your pattern. My gold cross is 1/2" long and wide, giving me a total design area of  1 1/2" x 1 1/2"

Step 2: Lay you stencil on the jar and trace using a fine point sharpie, gel pen or china pencil.

Step 3: Repeat until you have the desired amount of designs drawn on to the jar. It's worth keeping in mind that the more designs you have, the more time you'll need to finish the project. If patience isn't your thing, you may want to go with a less-is-more approach or simply enlarge your stencil a bit.

Step 4: Now that your designs are drawn onto the jar you will need to block off the area around your design with masking tape. Lay the tape around the sides of your designs, just outside of the tracing.
**(It makes it go a little quicker to cut your tape into a number of small pieces in advance so you can just grab them as you go.)

Step 5: When you've finished take a moment to firmly press down all of the pieces of tape.

Gold Leafing
Step 1: Paint inside all of the design areas with your jar of adhesive. Let dry until tacky.

Step 2: Get out a sheet of gold leaf and lay across as many of the designs as you can. You'll continue adding sheets until all design areas are covered. The gold leaf is pretty forgiving so if there are any edges or crevices left uncovered, just add a little bit to those areas.

Step 3: Rub over all of the gold leaf areas firmly, but gently with a soft cloth.

Step 4: Moment of truth... remove the tape! If you find any extra bits stuck in places where they shouldn't be,  just remove them.

**(Also, be sure to save all of those extra pieces of leafing that came off when the tape. 
You can use those on your next project!)**

Step 5: Paint over all of the designs with the jar of sealant. This will protect your design from knicks as well as tarnish.


The beautiful results are great to use as a vase, or you could add a bit of sand 
or rice to lay a votive onto. Hope you'll have just as much fun with this as I did!

<<<I must give credit where credit is due: my inspiration to jump into gold  leafing came from NC artist  (and my childhood friend), Sullivan Anlyan. She's an incredibly prolific artist whose work often pairs nature/animals against a guilded background. I'm a little obsessed (especially with beauties like this). Thanks for inspo, Sully, and please keep up the shiny, good work!!>>>