It’s pumpkin week on the blog! This week I will be sharing tutorials for each of the three pumpkins I made for the West Elm workshop I hosted here in Atlanta. Today, I’m sharing my Gold Leaf Dipped Pumpkin tutorial. I’m sharing my technique, what I learned, what products I used, and more. (Also, major shout-out to Plaid® for providing all of the craft supplies for the workshop!)
(Affiliate links included.)
- Pumpkin (Obviously!)
- Martha Stewart Crafts® Gilding Sheets
- Martha Stewart Crafts® Gilding Adhesive
- Martha Stewart Crafts® Gilding Brush Set
- Painter’s Tape
- Paper Plate (for a paint palette)
- Rubbing Alcohol
(As an alternative, you could use Plaid® Liquid Leaf instead of the gilding sheets. I’ll talk more about this in a minute.)
First, thoroughly clean your pumpkin, removing any dirt and debris. I recommend using rubbing alcohol after you’ve cleaned the pumpkin just to remove any remaining traces of residue or anything that might prevent the gold leaf from adhering to the surface.
Next, tape off your diagonal design using painter’s tape.
(Tip: Place your pumpkin upside down on top of the painter’s tape roll to hold it still while you work.)
Then, paint on a thin layer of your gilding adhesive to the area where you want your gold leaf. Allow the adhesive to dry until it is tacky to the touch. It goes on white and dries clear. When it starts appearing clear, touch it and see if it’s tacky but not wet. This means it’s ready for the gold leaf.
Press a sheet of gold leaf onto the surface of the pumpkin where you’ve applied the gilding adhesive. Peel the paper backing off. Repeat this process until you have the pumpkin covered. It’s very forgiving, and you can go back and patch any areas that aren’t covered. It’s ok to overlap, as you’ll be removing the excess in the next step.
Finally, take a dry brush and make circular motions all over the pumpkin to remove excess gold leaf flakes. Go back and touch up with additional gilding adhesive and gold leaf sheets as needed.
Now, let’s talk about what I learned. The gold leaf sheets are a little tricky to adhere to all of the crevices. It can be done, but an easier alternative is to use liquid leaf instead. You get a very similar look, and it’s super easy to use. It is oil based so it does have a bit of an odor, but you can brush it on and it has excellent coverage so it only takes one coat. One tiny bottle goes a long way, and you can cover multiple pumpkins with it. You won’t get the texture of the gold leaf sheets, but it does have the same beautiful metallic sheen.
Stay tuned this week for tutorials for the other two styles of pumpkins I made!
Will you be decorating any pumpkins this year? Let me know!
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