Gold Leaf, How To Apply To Make Elegant Place Cards.

2 Materials
2 Hours

Today we are exploring… gold leaf, how to apply it to make elegant place cards.

Gold Leaf Pear

Artists use gold leaf in their artwork; chefs use gold leaf as an adornment; I use gold leaf for just about everything!

During the holidays, I use place cards…

It helps direct people.

There is nothing more awkward than everyone standing around the table wondering where they are supposed to sit.

So, this year I decided to gold leaf pears and add the place cards to the pear.

Frequently Asked Questions What Is Gold Leaf?

What Is Gilding?

Gilding and gold leaf are sometimes used interchangeable and can be confusing. Gilding refers to applying thinly beaten gold sheets (or other metals) to the surface of an object using an adhesive (size). It is the process of adding gold leaf or other metals to an object.

Is Gold Leaf Real Gold?

The term gold leaf is sometimes used interchangeably with real gold and gold composite. Gold leaf is the most common metal made into leaf form, and 24 ct is pure gold, whereas 12 ct is half gold and half other metals. Gold leaf is not usually used in everyday DIY projects as it is costly compared to gold composite. Copper and silver leaf are also commonly used.

What is Composite Leaf? (Imitation Gold)

It is an alloy of zinc and copper, and when combined, has a gold color. “Imitation Gold” is commonly used in crafting because it is inexpensive to make and affordable to the consumer. It is what typically is referred to as gold leaf.

If you want more information, here is a great website that goes into more detail; you can find it here.

Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.

What You Will Need

  • Gold Leaf Kit
  • Faux Pears
  • Paint Brushes
  • Card Stock
  • Elegant Writers
  • Faux Flowers

*Note – Use only faux pears, gold leaf is only for decoration.

How to Gold Leaf Using Pears

Step 1 – Gather The Supplies

Step 2 – Applying The Adhesive

*Sizing is a term used when referencing gold leaf. It means any substance applied to a surface before gilding to ensure adhesion of the thin gold leaf to the substrate. In this case, pears…

* The adhesive, although it looks like glue, it is specially formulated to use with metal leaf, and when it dries, it will stay tacky for up to 48 hours.

* The adhesive, when applied, is white and will turn clear when it is dry and will be tacky to the touch.

Allow adhesive to dry just enough so the bond feels tacky.

Step 3 – Applying the Imitation Gold Leaf

*There are a couple of tricks when applying the gold leaf.

  • Make sure your hands are clean and dry because the gold leaf will stick to your hands.
  • Wear a pair of white cotton gloves, this will prevent oils from your hand to transfer onto the gold leaf.
  • Apply powder to your hands this will help prevent the gold leaf from sticking to your hands.
  • Use wax paper, place the gold leaf onto a piece of wax paper and apply to the surface you are working on. This will also help when burnishing the gold leaf.

Once applied, burnish the gold leaf with a soft bristle paintbrush or soft cloth; this will remove any loose pieces of gold leaf and give the surface a smooth, shiny appearance.

If there are areas where the gold leaf didn’t adhere, reapply.

Depending on the look you are trying to achieve, not every inch has to be covered.

Step 4 – Applying The Gold Leaf Sealer

Once the gold leaf is applied, and you are pleased with its looks, it is time for the sealer.

*The sealer is used as a protectant and will prevent the color from oxidizing.

*It is essential to know that the adhesive must be thoroughly dried before applying the sealer. It should cure for at least 24 hours.

*It is important to use a sealer meant for gold leaf; otherwise, it may dull the shininess of the gold leaf finish.

Apply the sealer with a paintbrush or a cloth, and it also comes in a spray if you have a large area or an irregular non-smooth surface.

Step 5 – Have Fun And Decorate

I added ribbon and a small flower to the stem to hid where the place card was attached.

But decorating the pear can be done in so many different ways.

I also used a specific pen for calligraphy to write the name, only because I have horrible handwriting.

Here is another example using a faux pumpkin…

Here… I only gold-leafed the top half of the pumpkin

These are easy and quick to make and add a nice touch to the table. If you are hooked on gold leaf, here are a few other crafts you may enjoy.

DIY Wall Art

Two Fall and Winter Wreaths

Old Vases For An Elegant Dining Table

How One Tree Can Have Three Looks

Sweet Christmas Topiary


Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase.

Here is an easy way to shop if you are interested in making these.

If you have any questions, I would love to hear from you in the comments!

Happy Crafting…

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Karen Velinsky
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