Introduction: Summer Sunshine-y Gilded GlassJars

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!

This is a fun, no-prep project that provides an easy summer activity for grownups and kids alike. The free-form application of size allows you to express your own style. Gilding these jars is a great way to enjoy some quality time with your youngster or parent. The reveal of the bright shapes when you remove excess leaf is magical. These gilded jars brilliantly bring the sunshine inside with your own unique artistic touch – use them to store treats, crafts or art supplies! Your gilded jars should be gently hand washed in cold water only when necessary, no dishwasher please.


What You'll Need

Glass jars -apothecary, mason, or other simple shapes

Synthetic or natural hair artist’s brush or foam brush for gilding size application

Soft mop brush to remove excess leaf

Sepp Gilding Workshop Water-Based Gilding Size (adhesive)

Sepp Gilding Workshop Imitation Gold, Aluminum, and/or Copper

Leaf. There’s also Variegated Red, Blue and/or Green Leaf to choose from in the Sepp Gilding Workshop line!

Sepp Gilding Workshop Acrylic Clear Coat (solvent-based)

Step 1: Applying Gilding Size and Preparing the Leaf

Load up your artist’s brush so it’s full (but not dripping) with the water-based size. Use flowing strokes to thoroughly coat all areas you want to gild. You may need to go back over a couple of areas to get the size to cover evenly or brush back any drips. Wash your brush or foam brush quickly in warm water. When the size turns from milky-white to clear, it’s time to gild! If you like you can cut some of the leaf between its papers to make smaller, more manageable squares.

Step 2: Applying Leaf

Pick up a square of leaf and “float” it gently over the sized area, then lay it flat. Using the tissue pages cut from the book of leaf, press down the gold or silver leaf to make sure it sticks, and to smooth it out a bit. Once you’ve covered all the sized areas with leaf, you can do a final pressing with the tissue. You can also lay leaf onto your work surface, and gently roll the jar over the leaf for a smooth gild (see above right photo).

Step 3: Finishing the Leaf

Brush the leaf to remove excess and watch your shapes emerge! Save those flakes for a future project! After a few hours, topcoat the gilded areas carefully with SGW Acrylic Clear Coat for protection. Try not to get topcoat on the un-gilded glass, to maintain its clarity.

You’re ready to display your sunny gilded jars filled with something special or just on their own!