Do it Yourself Gold Leaf Planters

Pottery requires patience, endurance, and tenacity – all are traits which could use a little polishing. In pottery and in life. I never quite got into the rhythm before Coco was born, but I’m looking forward to re-enrolling and experimenting with more interesting vessels and glazes. In the meantime, I’ve got some new plants that are in desperate need of homes. I stumbled across a lot of awesomely simple $3 terra pots from a recent Ikea pilgrimage.

They went from being a temporary solution to a bevy of chic planters, thanks to some extra paint and gold leaf I had laying around in my craft closet. The possibilities are endless here but there’s nothing quite like gilding with high quality gold leaf. Besides, it’s such an easy way to make something look far more expensive than it really is!

You’ll need:

  • Terra cotta pots
  • Paint
  • Foam brushes
  • Gold leaf sheets
  • Gold leaf adhesive
  • Gold leaf sealer
  • Painters tape sheets
  • Scissors or x-acto knife

Start by painting the pots with a wide foam brush. I like using Martha Stewart’s Vintage Decor Paint for it’s matte finish. It also dried very quickly which makes this project so much easier.

Then, use the sheets of painters tape to draw your shapes. If you feel comfortable just applying the glue free-hand on the pot, go ahead. I, for some reason, can’t draw the “perfect” oblong for the life of me. After you draw your shape, cut around it and then cut the shape out without cutting into the outline. Place the section, with the negative space, onto a pot.

Spread a thin layer of gold leaf adhesive over the shape. Definitely use gold leaf adhesive here. Mod Podge or other glues won’t work as well. As soon as the glue is spread on, remove the tape. The glue will spread on in a milky, translucent hue. Wait for at least 20 minutes or until the glue becomes clear or transparent before adding the gold leaf.

I like using the transfer style sheets of gold leaf. It’s much easier to use and is less wasteful. Place the sheet, shiny side down, onto the adhesive. Take a clean and dry foam brush and rub it over the sheet of gold leaf and over the shape.

Carefully remove the sheet. Take the dry foam brush and brush away any loose edges. At this point, you can just leave it or carefully apply sealer to help keep the gold leaf in place. Especially if if you had to apply gold leaf in patches.

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