DIY - gold leaf candle jars

SO! If you know me, then you know I am the gold leaf Queen! Seriously, any chance I get in my art I have to add a lil' gold....
lets be real, a LOT of gold. I can't stop. I just love it so much.
My lovely neighbors, Lili and Kelly, and I are putting together an amazing photo shoot for the full moon (monday), and we decided to
put a spin on the mason jar candle holder. Since I have gold leafed more than you can imagine, I have a few helpful tips, and thought
I would share how to make these beautiful and simple candle holders!

What you will need:
glass jars (can be any shape or size, just make sure they are squeaky clean and don't have any oil on them (if they do, it will reject the glue)), artist tape, sponge brushes
(I have found these work best), gold leaf adhesive size, dish for glue, and a package of gold leaf.

A word about gold leaf.
I have primarily used the Old World brand (out of habit, but I am sure any brand will do), and you can choose from silver, gold, or copper (my fave). And I suggest getting the sheets, they are easier to use. The flakes are interesting, but they add more texture and are not as lustrous. And if you have ever tried to use gold leaf before you know it is super finicky. You have to be very patient and careful. Try to work somewhere where there isn't a breeze, and make sure your hands are clean so it won't stick to your fingers.
Also there are lots of special tools you can buy to help you gold leaf, but for this project we are keeping it simple.

One: Tape off your jars. We decided we wanted to all different variations, so with the artists tape we taped the jars to create stripes and bands. This will give you a super clean edge. If you wanted to you could free hand it for a more organic look.

Two: Lay down a thin layer of the adhesive size glue. It is really important to not put down too much glue. A thin layer will do just fine, and make sure to get a good coat that covers the area and especially at the edge of the tape.

Three: Wait until the glue has dried. I think on the package it says 30 min. But if you don't want to wait that long that's ok, you know the glue is ready when it is completely transparent (not milky) and tacky to the touch. Do not start if it is still wet!

Four: This is the tricky part. But having the gold leaf sheets makes it a little easier. Carefully open the booklet of leaf, you can see in the photo above how it has been opened. And roll your jar over the leaf. The leaf will stick to the glue and be loose where there is no glue. Rub your finger along the surface to smooth down the gold leaf. It is ok to apply pressure.

Five: Gently rip away the extra gold leaf. Save these pieces and apply them to the rest of the surface. Even the smallest bit can be used to fill a crack or a hole. Once the entire surface has been covered I like to rub my fingers and hand over it to remove any extra loose bits and smooth it all down.

Six: Remove tape. Make sure you get a good rub along the edge where the tape is, so when you peal it off you will have a nice sharp line.

They look beautiful in the sun!

It also helps to have some tea to keep you going! (thanks Lili!)


Seven: Afterwards we sprayed them with a gold leaf sealer. This is the first time I have used this product, but thought it would be good since they will be handled a lot and have a candle inside and might live outdoors. Make sure to wear a mask and gloves, it's smelly and yucky stuff.
Above, Lili looking adorable in her scarf mask.

Let them sit in the sun to dry overnight.


Have fun!

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