I've had this gold leaf pen kit for a while, just waiting for the perfect application. And I think these sweet little bowls and dishes are just right! I have bowls and trays scattered all over my apartment to catch my earrings and necklaces that I seem to shed as soon as I walk through the front door. Place a necklace or pair of earrings in one, tie it up with cellophane, and you have a pretty handmade gift! Here's what you'll need:
- Gold Leaf Pen Kit with gold leaf sheets. My kit was about $8 at Michaels.
- Small ceramic dip bowls. I got these at Pier 1 for less than $2 each
- Soft brush
Wash your ceramic pieces well, and remove any stickers or labels. Try not to handle the upper rim of the bowl much. The oils on your fingers may prevent the adhesive from sticking fully.
Follow the instructions on the package to get the gold leaf adhesive pen flowing. The package says the adhesive goes on clear and dries blue. The adhesive actually goes on clear and dries clear, so try to keep track of where you draw!
Starting on one side of outside of the bowl, simply dab the pen across the top rim, concentrating the dots at the top of the rim and staggering them out towards the bottom. Try to keep your pen strokes on the larger side. Tiny details will get lost. Continue all the way around the bowl. Let it dry for 10 minutes.
Lay some paper down on your workspace for easy clean-up. Cut your gold leaf sheets into strips that approximately match the width of your drawn design. Smaller pieces of leaf are easier to work with than full sheets. Lay the leaf onto your design, with the paper side up. Lightly rub with your finger over the design. Remove the paper backing, and repeat.
Using a soft brush (I used a large watercolor brush), sweep it over your gold design, exfoliating the excess gold leaf. The leaf will brush off of the areas with no adhesive and will leave your design in place. This part takes a little patience, so take your time cleaning up the details of your design. If the leaf doesn't stick where you wanted it to, you can reapply the adhesive and leaf again.
That's it! There are sealer sprays that you could use on your design, but I didn't since my design is on the outside of the bowl and won't get handled much. These dishes are definitely not microwave, dishwasher, or food safe.
It's easy to try out some other designs, too. I did this scalloped design, and the ginkgo leaf.