Make these easy DIY gold leaf ornaments for Christmas. Gold leaf is a fun and easy way to make beautiful DIY ornaments in just a few minutes!
If you love gold leaf as much as I do, you might be interested in this post on DIY gold leaf candle holders.
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Gold leaf is so much fun to work with. I love how fancy it makes the simplest items look.
Applying gold leaf to ornaments is easy and quick. It’s also a simple way to make cheap or ugly ornaments look better.
I took this alcohol ink ornament that didn’t turn out so good and applied gold leaf, which made it stunning!
DIY Gold Leaf Ornaments
A Note About Gold Leaf
When buying gold leaf, you have a few options.
The second method I used is a bit easier. This technique uses foil sheets that are easy to use and require pressure to adhere the gold leaf to the surface. The foil sheets can be used with a glue pen. (They can also be used with a laminator on paper, but that’s no good for glass ornaments!)
I used both options in this post and I enjoy both product types. Your choice will depend on budget and ease of use.
By the way, gold leaf comes in a variety of colors!
Method 1: Traditional Gold Leaf
Stickers also work. For the best results, stick with simple designs.
- Clean your glass ornament with rubbing alcohol to remove any oils from your skin. This helps the glue stick better to the glass.
- Apply the gold leaf adhesive. Let the adhesive dry until it gets tacky. It takes about 15 minutes and will turn from white to almost clear.
- Apply the gold leaf once the gold leaf is tacky.
- Apply a sheet of gold leaf to the surface and place it on the glue areas.
- Use a brush to burnish the gold leaf until it is firmly attached. Brush away the excess gold leaf.
- Blank spots can be filled by adding a small piece of gold leaf.
The crab is missing some leg parts, but that happens when you’re a crab.
Method 2: Rub-On Foil
I used the paint swirl technique on this ornament before applying gold leaf.
- Clean the glass ornament with rubbing alcohol to remove oils.
- Use the adhesive pen to draw on the design. Glass ornaments are slippery and the glue beads up a lot, so it’s better to go for an organic look. Let the glue dry until it gets tacky. It only takes a few minutes.
- Rub gently to make the gold leaf attach to the glue. It’s attached when you see a clear spot on the gold leaf sheet. Rub gently so that you don’t break the glass!
- Peel the foil away to reveal your design.
Gold Leaf FAQs
How do you seal gold leaf?
You can use a gold leaf sealer or use a few coats of clear polycrylic. I prefer the spray kind for ornaments.
What do I do if my ornament remains sticky from glue?
If you still have sticky spots, they can be sealed with a few coats of clear polycrylic.
Why isn’t the gold leaf sticking to my ornament?
There are a few reasons why your gold leaf isn’t sticking to the ornament.
Did you use enough glue? Gold leaf requires a substantial amount of glue.
Did you let the gold leaf adhesive dry until it turned tacky? Gold leaf will not stick to tacky glue.
If you’re using the rub-on kind of gold leaf, are you pressing hard enough? (Be careful if using glass ornaments.) I like to use a piece of paper to burnish it when I press the paper to the glue.
Can you gold leaf plastic?
Yes, you can gold leaf plastic! I used gold leaf on a cheap plastic Christmas ornament and it turned out beautifully.
I also used a plastic ornament for my crab ornament as seen above.
Other DIY Ornament Tutorials
- Alcohol Ink Ornaments
- Paint Swirl Ornaments
- Decoupage Wood Ornaments
- Painted Floral Ornaments
- Ways to Fill Clear Ornaments
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