Hi there Cocorina readers, Dani here from the blog High Walls and I am super excited to be sharing a craft tutorial while Corina is away!
When Corina asked me to share a tutorial I knew I had to come up with something a little special. I’m sure most of you, like me, are big fans of Corina’s jewellery designs, and with that in mind I thought it would fitting to show you how to make your own gilded jewellery box. Now this project is simple, but requires a little patience. It’s not something you can knock out in one afternoon, but the results are certainly worth the wait! Store your favourite jewellery pieces or even little keepsakes like photos and knick-knacks, safely in your brand new gilded treasure test. This project is also a perfect gift as each box will be completely unique!
You will need:
A wooden Box (available from most craft stores)
White paint (spray and/or acrylic)
Modpodge or craft glue
Gold leaf foil
and a soft bristled paint brush
1. First of all prepare your wooden box by removing any hinges and latches (that can be removed) and separate the lid from the main body.
2. Next, using the sand paper, give the whole box and lid a light sand, ensuring that any rough patches are removed. Wipe down with a cloth to remove any residual dust.
3. Cover any latches or hinges that could not be removed with tape. Make sure that they are covered completely, but do not cover any of the wooden surface.
4. Place on a drop sheet and give both the box and the lid a coat of white paint. I found that spray paint is best for achieving an even coat but acrylic paint will also work perfectly. You will need to complete this in stages to cover all sides so be patient. Repeat with as many coats as necessary to achieve opaque coverage, but be sure to keep your coats light and allow the paint to dry completely in between. When you have painted the bulk of the box, you can remove the tape and touch up any gaps with a small paint brush.
5. When the paint is completely dry, you can lightly sketch out your design onto the box using a lead pencil. I used a ruler for mine to get straight lines, but I didn’t measure sizes or anything. Remember the gold leafing will not be perfect, so let your design be a little rough.
6. When you are happy with your design, cover the lines you drew with a run of modpodge or craft glue. If your glue is in a bottle with a nozzle, you can (carefully) apply it directly to the surface. Otherwise apply with a small paint brush. Again, it is best to do this in sections as once you get the gold leaf out it can get a little fiddly.
7. Once you have covered one section, carefully place a sheet of gold leaf over the glue. Make sure your hands are clean and completely dry. Gold leaf is very fragile and will stick to oils on your hands. Using a clean, soft brush, gently dab onto the gold leaf, flattening across the surface. DO NOT use brush strokes or smooth with your hands! This will break the gold leaf!
8. Leave to dry overnight or until completely dry. You will be able to see and feel the glued areas, if when you press down gently these areas are hard to the touch you should be good to go. As it is winter in Australia, mine took a couple of days to dry properly, so be patient!
9. Now for the fun (aka: messy) part; take your soft paint brush and gently brush over the gold leaf in a circular motion. The foil should start to break away from the surface leaving only the areas that you glued. Take it slow and steady with this step as if you are too rough the foil may tear through your design. The tiny pieces of foil will go everywhere, so be sure to put down a drop sheet and keep a dust pan and broom handy. Reserve any large pieces of gold foil for touch ups.
10. Repeat steps 6 – 9 until you have covered all of your design. Any areas that you missed can be touched up as you go with smaller pieces of gold leaf
11. Once you have finished your design, go over the whole box again with your brush, making sure that any loose bits of foil are removed. Your lines will not be exact, but that’s the beauty of this project; it’s very forgiving as it is the imperfections of the gold that make your gilded box unique!
OPTIONAL STEP: Cover the whole box with a coat of Modpodge to seal. I would not recommend this if you are using a matt finish product as it will dull the gold leaf. Always test on a small corner of the back of the box before coating the whole thing.