Aren’t these pretty? Cheap and easy too. There is something truly magical about candlelight reflecting off real gold. It illuminates with a different, special sort of radiant warmth. Magic like. If you have ever attended a candlelight mass at an old Gothic cathedral, you have seen the magic in action, all shimmery and golden. It’s stunning.
Switching gears from mass to menorahs….Years ago, I fell in love with a DIY menorah I saw in a magazine, assembled from candles in mercury glass votives. I rushed out to the store to pick up the votives, but then saw the price tag….
Seriously, who pays $24 for four sparkly shot glasses?
The overpriced store in question (I won’t be rude and tell you the full name, but it started with Pottery and ended with Barn) also had some lovely golden votives and vases scattered around a harvest table. They interspersed berries and bark and earthenware style ceramics…a really lovely spread, I must say. Decided I liked the gold votives more than the mercury glass and set on home to make them myself.
Two hours later, my golden modern day menorah was born.
|You like my pink elephant menorah? More on her next week. I have lots of menorahs to share. Told you I like candlelight 🙂
People can be very intimidated by working with real gold leaf (that’s’ right, it’s REAL GOLD)…but once you realize how friendly and inexpensive it can be, you might just get addicted. You can use this same technique to gild frames, vases, sculptures, doorknobs, garden gnomes, cat beds…
This is a great first-time project for those who have never tried it before. Messy bits and imperfections only add to the charm.
- 3 glass mason jars (drinking glasses or a vase would also work just fine)
- 6 sheets of gold leaf (quality and cost varies…I can pick up a packet of 25 sheets at the art store for $6)
- Gold leaf adhesive
- Small paint brush
- Votive candles
Tip: If this is your first time and you will use it more than once, buy a kit that includes gold leaf, adhesive and varnish. They usually run around $10, depending on leaf quality.
Tip: Gold leaf is very delicate. You will need to do this is a room without any wind/air flow. I would avoid working around small kids, at least the first time you try it.
Tip: If you find that the gold leaf shreds when you touch it, that’s a sign your hands are too moist. Try picking it up with a paint brush, or put on cotton gloves.
Tip: You still a scaridy cat? See this video for a quick and easy demonstration. Don’t be intimidated!
1. Line up your jars or glasses. Make sure they are absolutly clean.
2. Apply gold leaf adhesive to the inside of the jar.
3. Directions vary for every brand, but I like to do a very thin layer of glue all over, then go back to add more, letting it drip and dribble in places. This will help create a scattered/uneven coat. That’s right, messiness counts 🙂
4. Follow adhesive directions, most will require the glue to dry for a while before proceeding further.
5.Tear 6 sheets of gold leaf AND the tissue paper away from the larger packet.
6. Smaller sheets are easier to work with, so I cut my sheets into quarters. You do what works for you.
7. Delicatly lift up one piece of gold leaf and tissue. Chances are it will still to the tissue and you won’t have to touch the gold much at all. If your hands are sweaty or there is a lot of moisture in teh air, wear cotton gloves or clap your hands with baby powder.
8.Insert the piece inside the jar, using the tissue to press the gold to the glass. move it around for a minute to make sure the gold sticks.
9. Remove tissue.
10. Repeat the process until you have covered the jar. Or not. You could just do one patch and that would be neato. You could just do the brim of the glass. Or not. Y’all decide.
11. Remove all the scraggler bits by inserting a rag or washcloth inside teh jar and swirling it around. This should wipe away most of the excess gold crumbs. If you decide there is too much gold, you can go in and scratch it away.
12. Gold crumbs can get kinda messy, so you may want to do step 11 outside, but don’t sweat it too much. Genuine gold crumbs are as dangerous as cracker crumbs. Except, somehow gold crumbs are a lot more fun to talk about.
13. Ta Da! You is a done one. Feel free to varnish the inside, just make sure, if you are making votives, that the varnish is non flammable. A little diluted Mod Podge would do the trick. You could even tint the Mod Podge a color and make it look like colored glass.
Folks, the fun never ends.