Tuesday, December 20, 2011

gold leaf gift tags DIY

Some gifts under our tree, which I’ll show you tomorrow!

I made these last weekend to go atop my gifts – gold leaf gift tags. You usually use a “size” for gold leaf (basically a glue, why it’s not called glue I don’t know!) but I figured strips of double-sided tape would do the trick if you wanted straight lines. You could make shapes, chevron patterns or just stripes with the tape. I went for random lines, which was a bit fiddly at the start – I think stripes would be equally as effective and SO much faster! I’m going to try them next as I’ve run out of tags already! Anyway, here is how to add a bit of handmade bling to your gifts this Christmas!

You’ll need:
Piece of white cardboard (this is actually a blank white card opened up)
Gold leaf sheets
Double-sided tape
A soft brush – I used a make-up brush
A pencil
A ruler
A scalpel
An eraser
A cutting mat or chopping board

How to:
You want the width of your cardboard to be the length of two tags end-to-end. So my piece was 15cm by 21cm. You could go longer, just make sure you don’t make the width too much more than 15cm or your tags will be too big! Draw a really thin line with a ruler and pencil about 3cm in from either long edge. The large space in the middle of these two lines is where you’ll be gold leafing.


1. Start applying your double-sided tape in the pattern you wish. I just went a little random, overlapping here and there (as you can see in the top right-hand corner. Don’t worry about this; we’ll clean it up in the next step).


2. Use your scalpel to gently remove all overlaps. Don’t cut too hard into the tape, just kind of press the scalpel into the top piece and it should be enough to come away. Do this on all overlaps and all edges along the pencil line – you might want your ruler for the pencil lines. Again, don’t cut too deep so you go into the cardboard.


3. Your cardboard should look something like this, above.


4. Peel away the backing strips from the tape.


5. Gently, gently remove a piece of gold leaf from your packet and lie it on top of the tape. This stuff is REALLY fragile – it’s a bit neater if you’re able to keep it in one piece, but don’t worry too much if it breaks apart. You can still use it.


6. Use your brush to gently brush the gold leaf onto the cardboard. At first you will see the pattern of the tape through the leaf and it will look like the whole thing has stuck to the cardboard (like the left side of the above picture), but as you brush over it, the leaf NOT on the tape will gently fall away, as you can see on the right side.


7. Keep brushing until the leaf is only on the sticky bits. It really doesn’t take long at all. You can reuse the leaf that falls away on other sticky areas if your sheet doesn’t cover the whole area (mine didn’t).

8. Gather up all your leaf excess and pop in a small container – you might want to use for another project another time. Now really carefully use an eraser to remove the pencil lines. The eraser will also gently remove any strays of gold leaf on your cardboard.

9. Find the centre of your gold leaf pattern and cut in half lengthways so you have two strips of cardboard with a gold-leaf pattern on the top and blank white space on the bottom. Cut those to the width of the tags you wish – mine are 7cm by 3.5cm.

10. Punch a small hole in the top of the gold leaf and attach to your gifts!

  Individual sparkly gold tags!

And there you go! A little fiddly getting the tape all ready, but a good start in gold leafing – the glue is certainly stickier and more difficult to use if you’re trying for a particular pattern. And I like how they’re all different and how well they go with my gold baker’s twine and kraft and Ikea paper. I might try some stripes/chevron for my next lot…
{Images by Belinda Graham for The Happy Home}

4 Responses to “gold leaf gift tags how-to”

  1. mindi says:
    simple + beautiful + decadent!
  2. [...] a little bling to your gift tags this year with this gold leaf gift tags tutorial from Belinda at The Happy Home. In her post, she said that she might do a chevron pattern [...]
  3. kellie says:
    These are so amazing! What a great idea. I loved them so much I made a calendar. You can see it on my blog here: http://www.dykast.us/2011/12/29/diy-2012-calendar/
    Thank you so much for the inspiration!!
  4. Kate says:
    I like DIY,it is cheap and funny

No comments:

Post a Comment