Sunday, January 25, 2015

Using My Hoard: Gold Leaf

First of all, I'd like to thank those of you who offered advice regarding pink alcohol markers. Several of you sent me specific Copic color/number codes, and others of you suggested different brands. I'm going to get several of the Copics for sure, and I think I'll try a set of the new SU Blendabilities markers. Look for future posts with more about how I'm figuring out how to make this tool work for me...and what I'm deciding to keep and what will be donated to our church preschool.

Second, thanks to Sheila H who suggested, for obvious reasons, that I check out this post on Simon Says Stamp's blog. Bwaahaahaaa! Pears!!! (It's a lovely card, isn't it?)

Third, here's my latest update on Use My Hoard: gold leaf.

Gold leaf--the real thing, not the fake stuff--is rather expensive and rather fussy. The total cost of these two items (a pack of gold leaf and an agate burnisher) was around $100 ($35 for the gold, $65-ish for the burnisher) 12 or so years ago. You'll notice the term patent on the package. That means the gold leaves are attached to a backing paper, which makes them much easier to work with, especially for beginners. Loose leaves take great skill and very still air to work with...or they fold up on themselves and crumple. Breathe on it wrong, and it turns into a wad. I have never taken the chance and stuck with patent gold. Agate burnishers are smooth, hard rock, and they burnish gold and silver beautifully.

I bought these years ago when I was seriously into calligraphy and illumination and used them on a few pieces I gave as gifts. The difference between gold leaf and gold gouache paint is startling and, for illumination, well worth the time and effort.

Here's a picture of two used sheets of the gold leaf, but the "extra" gold is still useable. Gold will stick only to paper that has some sort of glue (allowed to dry fully) on it and to itself, so you can rub these small areas onto a new project, and they will stick where they are supposed to. At this price point, you don't want to waste a flake!

Because of the price and the finicky nature of gold leaf, I've rarely used it on cards. Cards are so...disposable. But I decided to use the extra gold on these sheets to make a card, and isn't it shiny!?!?

You can see just how shiny in this close-up.

This little flower (from Papertrey's Beautiful Blooms II) used almost all the gold on one of the left-over sheets.

Not counting drying time for the adhesive, this card took about an hour to make. It would be substantially faster with a fresh sheet of leaf, but trying to get all those flakes of gold down on those narrow petals took far longer than I expected.

I love the look, but realistically, gold leaf is just a bit too time-consuming (for me!) for cards that might be thrown in the trash. When I get back to making framed calligraphy pieces or illuminated books that will be kept for a long time, I'll pull these supplies out. At least they don't ever go bad! But for now, in this busy phase of my life that leaves little time for crafting, they're going to storage.

How is the Use-Your-Hoard Challenge working for you?

stamps: Papertrey Beautiful Blooms II
ink: none
paper: Papertrey white
accessories: Essential Glue Pad, gold leaf, agate burnisher, rhinestone (colored with alcohol markers), corner rounder


  1. Beautiful card and well worth every penny in the gold leaf


  2. I'm fascinated watching gold leaf being used. I've never considered buying or trying it for furniture or cards but I did buy a Delicata Gold ink pad. Other card makers finished products look so good using this ink. I'll bet this will have been a great choice for me.

    1. I second what Linda said: Delicata gold and silver ink is very good. I've tried many different brands and none of them are so opaque (non-see trough?) and rich as the Delicata inks. Definitely another vote to try them out.

  3. I used some stash! I used my new mini distress inks and my slippery mat to make some door prizes for an upcoming fundraiser. Happy.

  4. Regarding the gold leaves: any particular reason why you are not considering Gilding Flakes? I personally may come across as cheap, but I'd never spring for such expensive gold leaf stuff for a card :D As you said, it's something that will be thrown out eventually and it's wasted money. I have Gilding Flakes from both Indigo Blu and Cosmic Shimmer and they work fantastically. I use them with Judikins Sticky Stuff embossing powder,which basically acts like glue, and there's not drying time because you apply the flakes directly onto the heated embossing powder. Works like a charm.

    As for using my stash: Girl, you have inspired me a GREAT deal. I'm so much more conscious of my supplies and I enjoy using existing stuff in new ways or just using it AGAIN. I feel so good about it, my wallet feels good about me not purchasing new stuff all the time (even though the temptation is there) and I feel much more creative.

    Thank you so much!

    1. I've never looked into the more affordable leafing products. Back in the day, when I was deciding what to buy, I watched one of the less expensive options being used on tv and it looked fussier than using the real thing, and the results didn't look nearly as good...very brassy, in fact. But that was YEARS ago, and I've not looked into other options. If Gilding Flakes are that easy, Julia, I may have to give them a try! I think our brick and mortar Marco's carries them.

      Way to go on using your stuff!!!

    2. Susan,

      You actually inspired me to grab my gilding flakes and even some glitter and try to CASE your card. If you want to check it out, find it here:

  5. Such a gorgeous use of gold leaf. Great card!

  6. The gold flower is stunning. I thought you'd get a kick out of the pears at Simon Says. I thought of you as I read the post :) I am definitely using my stash. I've only had to buy essentials lately - paper, adhesive. But I am going to a craft show this weekend...

  7. It is very beautiful! I suppose if we just gave people framed cards in the first place they might keep them! What a coincidence you did a feature on gold leaf, I was just talking to someone about using it with watercolour paper yesterday. Do you seal the gold leaf somehow?


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