This St. Patrick’s Day wreath with gold leaf accents will make you smile – and feel extra lucky! We gilded with high quality Italian imitation Gold Leaf and water-based size, which is ready to gild very quickly and has a strong tack.
Step 1: What You'll Need-
Paper Shamrock cut-outs or garland
Coated wire (about 6 ft), a wreath form, or an embroidery hoop
Small foam brush for applying size (adhesive)
Soft brush for skewing off excess leaf
Cotton gilding gloves
Sepp Gilding Workshop (SGW) Water-Based Gilding Size (glue for leaf)
SGW Acrylic Clear Coat (optional)
Sepp Gilding Workshop offers Gilding Kits with various colors of leaf and primers, along with water-based or oil-based size, brush, stir stick and even gloves. SGW also offers Red, Yellow and Gray primers, and Imitation Gold, Aluminum, Variegated Red, Blue and Green Leaf sold separately.
Step 2: Applying Water-Based Gold Size
Load your foam brush with Gilding Size and lightly coat one side of each shamrock you want to gild.
The size will go from milky white to clear. When it’s completely transparent, and sticky but dry, it’s ready to gild. If your shamrocks are made with very porous paper, you will need to apply Size a second time and allow to come to tack. Otherwise, one application of Size may absorb into the paper and not provide adhesion for the leaf.
Step 3: Gilding Over Water-Based Size
You can cut the leaf with sharp scissors to make manageable smaller squares.
Wear cotton gloves to keeps your fingers’ oils from staining the leaf – or use a piece of the gold leaf book’s tissue. Press firmly to ensure the leaf adheres to the size, especially at the edges.
Step 4: Clean Up Your Gilding
Continue until all the shamrocks you want to decorate have gold leaf on them. Then brush away the excess leaf with your soft brush. For longer lasting shine you can topcoat with the SGW Acrylic Clear Coat after waiting 24 hours.
Step 5: Assemble Your Wreath
You can use a hot glue gun to attach the shamrocks to wire (we braided 3 lengths of wire together), or craft glue to attach to a form. We wove our shamrock garland under and over our wire form to create depth and overlaps.
Step 6: Let It Shine!
Your St. Patrick’s Day wreath will cast a cheery glow at your doorway! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!