Monday, February 25, 2013


These vases have survived (well barely, there used to be three in the set!) many moves and decor changes over the years, so I decided to give them a little facelift using gold leaf. Of course I'm partial to the color, but gold leaf is surprisingly easy to work with and the results are worth the extra effort.

• glass bud vase
gold leaf
metal leaf adhesive size
metal leaf spray sealer
• two soft paint brushes (one for applying adhesive, and the other for the gold leaf)

1. Begin by deciding on the design you would like to create on your vase. I decided to cover the bottom of my vase and keep the edges uneven. I would suggest using painters tape or a stencil if you would like to create a design with a precise edge.
2. Use a paint brush to apply a thin even coat of adhesive to your vase. The glue is milky white and dries clear; it takes about 15-20 minutes to completely dry. Once it is clear, it should be slightly tacky and you're ready to apply the gold leaf!

3. Apply a sheet of gold leaf to your vase making sure to have the "bright gold side" down; you want to apply the gold leaf directly to the adhesive. Use your finger to slowly smooth the transfer paper over the vase to securely adhere the gold leaf. I found it best to work in small sections at a time; you don't have to worry about trying to cover your entire design at one time.
4. Slowly pull back the transfer paper leaving the gold leaf behind and use a clean soft brush to gently pat the gold leaf into place. Don't worry about any holes or any areas that didn't get covered;  just re-apply the gold leaf to fill in those areas in as you go.
5. Keep repeating steps 3 & 4 until you've completely covered your design with gold leaf. If there are still a few holes you would like to patch up, but the areas are no longer tacky, repeat step 2 and re-apply gold leaf to those areas.
6. Once you are happy with your design, seal your vase with a metal leaf sealer. This will help protect the gold leaf from tarnishing or changing color over time. As always, carefully read the instructions on the back of the can and be sure to use all aerosols in a well-ventilated area. Let your vase dry 24-hours before use.
* I found it helpful to read through the instructions included with the gold leaf, adhesive, and sealer before I began. Also, if you have any tips or tricks for using gold leaf, I would love to hear from you!

Photography, design, & styling by Jessica of SAS + ROSE.



  1. I love these! I might try a few for my upcoming wedding in May - it looks totally doable. Just curious, do you remember where you got these bud vases? They are so cute. I'd love to replicate this design exactly. Thanks!!

  2. I'm so sorry, but I cannot remember where I got these vases. I would look at Michaels though; I'm sure they would have something similar! Congrats on your wedding!

  3. Would you be able to do this over glass that has already been painted another color?


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