We had the most glorious weather today! Our highs reached 75 F ( 24 C). Can you believe it? The temps should start dropping tomorrow, with much-needed rain in the forecast but today was lovely.
It was also the perfect, no-excuses day to take on my two-tiered challenge. I wrote at Crafts and Plants: My Winning Combination that I wanted to finally get around to planting a flower tower of terracotta pots. I found the idea back in 2008 in a magazine called Do It Yourself. Today, I finally did. I also challenged myself to try something new; in this case, applying gold leaf.
As it turns out, it was really easy to do and a lot of fun. Like many things you try for the first time, there are things I would do differently. Overall though, not bad for a rookie.
Here’s what I did:
I picked up three clay/terracotta pots in graduating circumferences (12″, 10″ and 8″ inches) from the garden center, along with a saucer and some potting soil.
I bought a metal leaf starter kit at our local craft store. It included six pages of gold leaf, adhesive size, sealer and antiquing glaze. I had a couple of small paint brushes on hand.
I read the directions (twice) then jumped in. Using a small paintbrush, I spread the sizing across the side of each pot, using a swirling pattern to create an organic shape. Once the sizing/glue was tacky to the touch, I applied the first sheet of leaf, brushing it into place with a soft, dry paint brush. (That was my favorite part!)
The leaf is super light and fly away, so I learned that you better have a plan. There are no second chances once it hits the adhesive. As small pieces tore off, I applied them to places with sizing. That was it!
Since the effect is as shiny as a new gold coin, I went ahead and brushed on a coat of antiquing (after sealing the gold first). I like the color but didn’t expect the brush strokes to be so apparent after it dried. The Mona Lisa Art Products Starter Kit came with enough product to complete one side of all three pots. You would need three or four kits to get enough coverage for all of them.
I raced back to the garden center late this afternoon and picked up a few cell packs. All that fresh dirt was simply begging for plants.
- 6 penny White Violas
- 6 Penny Denim Jump-Up Violas
- 6 Alyssum
- 1 ‘Bluebird’ Nemesia fruticans
What do you think?
That is so cool Alys! We talked about gold leafing last time I saw you. It sounds like fun, I think I need to try that, but on paper. I am getting addicted to paper. Lovely day for an outdoor project.
Thank you, Laura. It was really a lot of fun. It was a great day for outdoor projects. Today we worked indoors. Mike put up some square-shaped shelves for me and I cleaned out the bookcases. I “re-decorated” the top of the e-center and set up a cube storage in my crafting area.
Had a lovely, lovely chat with Shirley on Saturday. Mwaaa to you both.
I love it! You amaze me!
Thank you so much, Susan! So nice of you to say.
OMG! This is so creative and beautiful. I will certainly try this one. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks, Maxim. Be sure to share a photo if you do. It was a lot of fun, with a small learning curve. I really must try more things like this.
WOW, you really made that in a day, that is stunning Alys. I can’t wait to smell all the Alyssum wafting thru your garden. I used to buy the Johnny Jump ups too, they are so sweet. Love it all. Are you doing your posts in shades of purple and white this summer? I thought I spotted purple pansy in the background too. I can’t wait to get outside and plant something pretty too.
I wish you had a longer growing season. That must be hard when you love planting. I guess you are used to making the best of it.
I do seem to be leaning towards purple flowers these days. My favorite color is green, second favorite is purple. I like the purple and yellow or purple and white combos as well.
Those Johnny Jump-ups are cute, aren’t they? I can’t wait for the Alyssum to start trailing down the sides. I just love that honey smell too.
I think purple and white is so refreshing. When you look around a garden and there’s lot’s of colour everywhere, it’s like a little resting spot for your eyes.
I meant to ask you Alys, did you have to put any protective coating on your pots other than the antique glaze?
I put a sealer (included in the packet) on top of the leafing. It will be interesting to see how it lasts outside, but since I don’t mind the idea of it tarnishing and aging, I think it will be okay. The layers were as follows:
sizing, leafing, sealer, antiquing
Thank’s for the info! I like things that can be done in one day and if you bought that at a garden store it’d be very pricey. Garden Chic on a Budget….check!!
Me too! Fast and affordable!
Wow! 24C… that’s classed as a heatwave over here! The pots are beautiful and I love your choice of flowers. I can’t wait to get started planting 🙂
So clever! I’ve never seen this before. And I’m a gold leafing addict.
You are!? What are some of your favorite projects? Now that I’ve done this, I’m ready to try it again. Have you ever used it with paper?
It really is amazing you could do that in l afternoon. So pretty!
Thank you, Sharon! It was so much fun. Now I’m dreaming of different ways to use the leaf.
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Great job, that is really effective and looks pretty planted up. You inspiration queen!
Oh my, you flatterer you! Give it a try. It was easy and fun. I can’t wait to add leaf to something else.
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