Post by MJ from Pars Caeli
Hi friends! This is MJ from the blog, Pars Caeli, and I’m back to share with you a simple, high impact DIY method that might have you turning everything gold. Gold leafing has been around for centuries, and the delicate nature of the thinner-than-paper, insect-wing thin sheets of the precious metal can make you think, “I need to hide this from my children.” However, gold leafing can be incredibly forgiving, fun to create with slightly older children, and add the touch of glimmer and shine that every room needs, even kid spaces. It also teaches children how to focus and calm themselves, to persevere through challenges, and to treat delicate materials with careful hands.
The technique of gold leafing is typically shown in antiquing textured and carved surfaces, but for this more modern take, I decided to use the leafing in a color blocked way. To begin, my daughter and I picked up a block frame while at the craft store. The frame window is asymmetrical so we chose to add a color block of gold leaf to one side.
To do the same, you’ll need:
- Gold leaf sheets (we used just one for this whole project)
- Liquid adhesive (I’d recommend purchasing one like this that’s made for metal leafing)
- White acrylic paint
- A small paintbrush
- I’m a big fan of natural wood with gold so I painted only the front surface of the frame with white acrylic paint.
- Once two coats dried, we had the matte surface we wanted for the gold leaf. Using the adhesive on her brush, my daughter painted a starting line approximately two inches from the window. From there, she coated the front surface all the way to the opposite edge. *Make sure that you have an even layer all over the surface to which you want to adhere the leaf.
- Here’s where it can be challenging or hilarious. Try to press the gold leaf as smoothly as you can in one full sheet. My daughter was amazed at how easily it rips! Don’t let that stop you; continue to press gently on the leafing until there’s one continuous block. Carefully pat the leaf down. If it tears or breaks off in place where you want it to be, simply layer on another piece of that size, or larger, to the area. In this way, gold leaf is super forgiving. Your kids can add layer after layer for texture and effect. And it all ends up looking pretty spectacular.
Keep in mind that as you press down, you will likely get adhesive on your fingertips, and you’ll find that every piece of gold leaf will stick to your fingers. Wipe off as you can, but be sure to take a photo of those small fingers covered in the Midas Touch! Happy gold leafing. Let’s turn everything golden!
MJ is a graphic and product designer, wife, and proud momma to three. She founded Pars Caeli (meaning a piece of heaven), a delightful blog and shop, to add more creative to the everyday. MJ worked with our team to bring her lunchbox jokes to life in our product Lunchtime LOL Notes, now available at The Land of Nod to bring on a case of the giggles!