I am ashamed I'm not posting this DIY earlier. I've always though that gilt gourds is were so pretty, I just needed a good excuse to try it out! It makes gorgeous autumn decor - so I should have posted this in plenty of time for anyone interested to make it before the holidays. Regardless, I still thought it'd make a good post. My original inspiration was this gallery from Country Living.
I looked up a couple of step-by-step instructions, but the best instructions I found in the Mona Lisa Gold Leaf Kit, which I picked up at Michaels. This is what I recommend for beginners as it includes everything you need - primer, adhesive, gold leaf, sealer, and antiquing glaze.
My parents grew many gourds so I had my pick. You can get gourds online or from supermarkets if they're in season. Make sure they are dry, and have no punctures.
Here are a few supplies you may want to have on hand - gesso (which I used as a primer on the gourds that I only painted, not leafed). Paint (some of the gourds I just painted metallic gold to ad variety alongside the gilded ones). Brushes, paint stirrer, paint tray, palette knife for mixing small amounts of paint, a pencil and masking tape for creating designs on the gourds, and a leafing kit or supplies.
After picking the gourds I wanted to paint, I primed them with gesso, applying it only where I planned on painting them or applying the leaf.
This gourd I painted the top a metallic gold, and applied leaf on the bottom half. (Notice the red leaf primer on the bottom.) A dark color primer makes the gold leaf "pop" a little more.
Once the primer dries, apply adhesive as instructed on the label. I found applying the gold leaf was easy it I placed a piece of waxed paper over it, warmed the wax paper a little just by rubbing my hand over it, and then applying the leaf to the gourd. Try and touch the leaf with your fingers as little as possible. You only have to press the leaf to the gourd very lightly.
Brush off any excess flakes with a soft, dry, brush. A light touch will do. After that, coat it with the sealer well. After the sealer dries, apply the antiquing glaze as instructed on the label. This project does require a good amount of surface space, and can be messy so make sure you've allotted space and cover any surfaces. Also various amounts of drying time will be needed between steps.
So...without further ado...here are my results!
I lined a wood bowl with dried rye and than arranged the gourds to create a centerpiece.
What do you think?