Introduction: A Golden Year - Stencil Gilding a Planner With Miniatum Flexible Gold Size

About: I have been working with gold leaf and gilders for many years. It's a magical craft going back millenia. I love to introduce both adults and kids to the artistry of gilding with all types of leaf!

We love getting ready for autumn! With the bustle of back-to-school, settling back into work after time away, invitations to parties and cultural events, September can sometimes feel like the start of a new year. We’re planning to be beautifully organized to take advantage of all these activities, and the best way to start we’ve found is with a yearly planner. But why settle for an off-the-shelf model when you brighten your days with the gorgeousness of real gold leaf? Nothing creates a classier cover than genuine gold leaf. Think it’s hard to do? Guess again – this project needs little or no prep to transform your planner featuring your initial in gold!

Step 1: What You’ll Need -

1-inch wide foam brush for applying size

23kt Patent Gold Leaf - book of 25 leaves

Kölner Miniatum Size

Kölner Burnishing Chamois

Small, soft brush

Stencil with cut-out initial measuring under 3” x 3” (we used Yupo)

Wax paper – about 6” x 6” square

You can find the gold leaf, size and gilding supplies where Sepp Gilding Workshop products are sold

A Note on the Products

23kt gold leaf in patent form – this gilding project relies on genuine gold leaf which is soft and malleable and will cling to the contours of a textured surface. Imitation Gold Leaf is not as soft – its somewhat brittle character means it won’t smooth out as much over the surface. You can use 22kt patent if you wish - we love 23kt for its rich effect and extra suppleness. Patent leaf includes a backing paper for each gold leaf, making it as easy to use as a decal.

Kölner Miniatum Size is designed for gilding flexible surfaces such as leather/vegan leather, vellum, parchment, paper and fabric. If you’re working on a porous, paper covered journal you may want to seal the surface - acrylic paint works well. Alternatively, you can apply this size multiple times to seal and build up a shinier gilding surface. The planner we used has a non-porous, synthetic cover ideal for use with Kölner Miniatum Size. By the way, though we use a stencil in this project, Miniatum is lovely to use for free-hand lettering with a fine paintbrush.

Step 2: Stencil and Size

Position the stencil on the cover (tape in place

if necessary). Pour a small amount of Miniatum into a clean container. Load your foam brush lightly with Miniatum (you can dab excess onto the wax paper), then stipple a light coating. Remove the stencil and wash in water. Allow the Miniatum to dry for about half an hour.

Step 3: Second Coat

Re-position the stencil over the letter and apply a second layer of size to create an opaque coating as above. Remove and wash your stencil. Let the Miniatum dry for half an hour.

Step 4: Time to Gild!

If you like, you can mask around the initial to keep the gold from potentially sticking where don’t want – genuine gold is so soft it loves to cling to certain surfaces.

Fold back the top pages of the book of 23kt patent gold leaf to expose the topmost gold leaf. Pick up the gold leaf by holding the paper backing without touching the gold. Place the gold leaf face down over the initial – it should cover the letter completely. Rub the backing paper to ensure all the leaf bonds with the size.

Step 5: Brushing and Polishing the Gold

Afte the design is completely covered with gold, gently swirl a soft brush over the gold leaf – your letter will emerge, and the excess flakes can be kept for future projects. Finally, polish the surface with the Kölner Burnishing Chamois, no topcoat necessary.

Step 6: ​ Your Golden Planner Is Ready to Shine All Year Long!