DIY Gold Leaf Picture
Hello, Graphics Fairy Friends! Heather from Thicketworks here, and I am VERY excited to share this DIY Gold Leaf Picture technique with you! This image transfer technique occurred to me while I was pondering the utility of clear adhesive backed shelf-lining paper. Seemed to me that it would be really fun to find out if the adhesive was robust enough to firmly adhere metal leaf…The answer is, “Oh, my goodness…YES!” I had in mind the look of old fashioned Advertising Signs, that we glimpse in photographs from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.
Well, the result speaks for itself.
If you would like to experiment too, you’ll need a few things.
DIY Gold Leaf Picture Supplies:
Your favorite Graphics Fairy Image, sized to fit within your frame, and printed with a Laser Printer.
Note: do NOT reverse the image.
(I selected this one because it screamed ‘I need Gold Leaf!’)
Source Image: Vintage New York Typography
- Clear Adhesive Backed Shelf Liner
- A pencil
- An empty picture frame, with a glass insert
- A shallow container of water
- A Bone Folder
- Gold Leaf
- A soft bristle paint brush
- A soft bristle toothbrush
- An envelope (to store precious flakes of Gold Leaf)
How to add Gold Leaf to an Image Transfer:
Gather your tools onto a clean work surface.
Use the glass to trace a corresponding rectangle onto the backing of the shelf liner.
Clean both sides of the glass.
Cut the shelf liner along the pencil lines you traced.
Set the shelf liner aside.
Tear around the perimeter of your chosen design, getting as close as possible to the edges.
(This will reduce the amount of paper fibers to be removed)
Peel the backing paper away from the shelf liner…
Place the printed image face down onto the adhesive side of the liner.
Burnish the surface of the paper with a bone folder.
Submerge the shelf liner in a shallow pan of water.
Allow to sit undisturbed for 10 minutes.
Test the readiness of the paper by rolling back one edge.
If it reveals the toner clearly, continue to rub the fibers away.
If it doesn’t roll off easily, leave in the water for a few more minutes.
Rinse the clean shelf liner in running water, and remove as much of the paper fiber as you possibly can with a rubbing motion of your fingertips.
When the fibers are gone, allow the liner to air dry.
Note: do not attempt to dry the adhesive side with a cloth of any kind: this will embed fine lint in the adhesive and make it impossible for the leaf to properly adhere.
View the transfer against a dark background to make certain all the paper fibers have been removed:
Gently and carefully remove the ‘book’ of Gold Leaf Sheets from the packaging.
I like to use a soft, dry brush to pick up sections of Gold Leaf and gently place them on the adhesive:
Continue this process until the entire back is covered.
Note: the leaf will not stick to the printed areas, and that’s just fine.
Using the soft tips of the bristles, gently ‘scrub’ the surface to remove any flakes of Gold Leaf that have not adhered.
Burnish the Gold Leaf and remove all traces of ‘loose’ leaf with the bristles of a very soft toothbrush:
Tuck the Gold Leaf backed shelf liner into the frame, and cover with the original glass.
This will add depth to the result that will please the eye…
This project took about an hour from start to finish.
It’s a wonderful way to create a quick but richly ornamental accent piece at short notice…
The effect is AMAZING…you get that subtle texture that only Gold Leaf can give…
The gleam of this piece just warms my heart!
You may also like the Acrylic Paint Image Transfer Technique HERE.
Thank you for visiting The Graphics Fairy today! It’s always a pleasure to meet you here…
To explore more interesting crafting techniques, visit Thicketworks and say Hi!
Are you interested in learning more fabulous Techniques from Heather Tracy? We have an amazing Mixed Media Video Course in the works! You can learn more about it, and sign up to receive updates, HERE.