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Easy Gold Leaf Gilding on Wood Necklace Tutorial

I have been noticing for some time that gold and gold tone jewelry is gaining in popularity especially among younger folk.  That was also observable when I wrote about the jewelry category in this year's Etsy Design Awards recently

TierraCast, the US company which makes beautiful pewter charms and findings also offers gold plated designs.  I was indeed charmed when I received their hammered gold findings collection for review. They are a wholesale company but you can purchase their findings from various vendors

I've always been intrigued with gold leaf (foil, flakes) so I decided to use it for this tutorial.  I experimented with several sizes of double holed discs to see which went well with Tierracast's round hammered gold rings. 

I sanded, then painted my wood selections with black acrylic paint. See (How to Sand, Stain, Paint and Seal Laser Cut Jewelry Designs).

I didn't use real gold leaf just the imitation variety!  The feather-light gold leaf which I had was flake like. I found it best to brush some Mod Podge's water based satin sealer onto the wood.  Then a second fluffy brush to pick up some flakes.  It is a bit tricky but I tried to place the gold flakes onto the glue without letting the brush touch.  I was not always successful!

As I wanted the black to show, I didn't fully gild the wood discs. I just pressed down the flakes.  I added more glue and/or flakes as necessary.  I let that dry before added 2-3 more layers of Mod Podge. 

All there was left to do was to add jump rings to connect the round findings and the chain. Viola!

Photography I used  my iPhone 8+ for final product photography in natural light. I used  the Orangemonkie studio which comes equipped with LED lights - for artificial light photography in my windowless basement studio. The Foldio2 Plus is excellent . I use the Foldio3 because I need the room for tutorial photography.  

My online class Easy Guide to Smartphone Jewelry Photography is now available. Read more about it here.  

Before You Go:

This blog may contain affiliate links. I do receive a small fee for any products purchased through affiliate links. This goes towards the support of this blog and to provide resource information to readers. The opinions expressed are solely my own. They would be the same whether or not I receive any compensation. 
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM 


  1. I love gold leafing and I have been using it like crazy in my recent project. But I feel that it becomes tacky/sticky with time regardless of whether I seal it or not. Maybe it has to do with the humidity in my place, but how do we get rid of the tackiness? I use little birdy glue for foiling.

    1. Try a different kind of glue. I don't get any tackiness with the Mod Podge.

  2. This is a lovely design Pearl!

    You've got me thinking about the problem of foil placement. Instead of using a brush I'm wondering if the bedazzling tool would work better? It has that slightly sticky rubbery end for picking up crystals etc. Why wouldn't it work here? Without the bristles to contend with you wouldn't be touching the glue during placement.

    Just a thought.

    1. I don't think so. The brush works because we are using static electricity to pick up the foil bits. I think I will use perhaps a toothpick to tap down the foil bits bit by bit.

  3. Pearl, this is such a lovely, contemporary looking design! Well done!!

    1. Thanks Shirley! That was indeed the look I was going for.

  4. your project looks like a high-end piece, very nice job!

  5. Love the findings and the design! Foil flakes are so tricky to use, they just stick to the brush :) But the effect is worth it!


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