How to DIY a Gold Leaf Art Print

Overview
  • Working Time: 30 mins - 1 hr
  • Total Time: 6 hrs - 1 day
  • Skill Level: Beginner
Gold leaf artwork display

The Spruce / Lovely Indeed 

Add a little touch of glamour to your home by creating this DIY gold leaf art print. Gold leafing is a technique that you'll want to use again and again, and this simple leaf art is the perfect project to test out your new skill. Customize the size and color of your background paper to suit your home. Or better yet, make a few and cluster them together for a fun gold leaf gallery!

We used gold leaf for this particular project, but leaf comes in all shades. Try copper or silver to switch it up. Also, be sure to choose a cardstock size that's large enough to fill your photo frame.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Craft paintbrush
  • Clean, dry flat paintbrush
  • Gold leaf duster brush
  • Pencil
  • Scissors

Materials

  • Gold leaf (imitation)
  • Gold leaf adhesive
  • Cardstock in desired color
  • Picture frame

Instructions

Materials needed for metallic gold leaf art
The Spruce / Lovely Indeed
  1. Draw Your Leaf

    Choose your favorite leaf shape and sketch it out. We got our inspiration from a monstera leaf. Pencil in the outline of the leaf very lightly, just enough so that you can see it to follow the outline as you paint on the adhesive. If you make any mistakes, be sure to erase them thoroughly.

    paper for gold leaf design

    The Spruce / Lovely Indeed 

  2. Add Adhesive

    Paint on a thin layer of gold leaf adhesive (also called sizing) on all the areas that you'd like to apply gold leaf. We recommend painting just a hair outside your pencil lines so that you don't see the pencil in the final product. As you paint on the adhesive, make sure that there are no areas where it is pooling. A thin, uniform layer will work best. Allow the paint to dry for 1 to 2 minutes until it becomes tacky to the touch.

    add adhesive to paper

    The Spruce / Lovely Indeed 

  3. Apply Gold Leaf

    With clean, dry hands, lay down sheets of gold leaf on all of the areas where you applied adhesive. It's okay if you need to use multiple sheets; just overlap them slightly and you won't be able to see the patchwork. Use a clean, dry, flat paintbrush to pat and smooth down the gold leaf, making sure that it adheres to all areas where there's adhesive.

    apply the gold leaf

    The Spruce / Lovely Indeed 

  4. Dust the Excess

    Use a gold leaf duster brush to brush off the excess. (You can also use a medium-stiff bristle brush.) Buff away the excess gold leaf in small, gentle circles, until your design appears with clean edges.

    Dust away the excess gold

    The Spruce / Lovely Indeed 

  5. Frame It

    Allow the adhesive a while to dry completely, which should take a few hours up to 24 hours. Then frame your gold leaf art in your desired frame.

    Frame the gold leaf painting

    The Spruce / Lovely Indeed 

  6. Display It

    Put up your new artwork and prepare for people to "ooh" and "aah" over it!

    Display your gold leaf art

    The Spruce / Lovely Indeed