|These make lovely little gifts.|
I believe this is what they call a tutorial, but it is so easy, it hardly needs any explaining. In truth, if you buy a little gold-leafing kit, like this one here at Dick Blick, it will come with instructions, and you'll be like, "Thanks for nothing, Catherine." Fair enough. I think they have that kit at Michael's too, by the way, and if you have a 40% off coupon, well, so much the better. The kit costs around $10.
You'll start with your gold leaf, your gold leaf adhesive, a small screw eye (from the hardware store), a paint brush, a walnut, some thread for hanging, and a piece of wax paper.
First you'll screw in the screw eye. Like this.
Then you will hold the walnut by the screw eye and paint it with an even coat of the gold-leaf adhesive, which you shook before opening. Lay it on the wax paper to dry for 1/2 an hour or up to 24 hours, as per the instructions on the bottle. I left mine for half an hour.
Now tear a sheet of gold leaf from the little booklet and begin gently wrapping it around the walnut, pressing and rubbing into all the little crevices as you go. Eventually you will get yourself into a bad situation with overlapping gold leaf heading the wrong way, and so you will tear the sheet there and start again in a blank place, tearing and pressing and rubbing until the whole walnut is covered. None of the seams will show, amazingly--the gold leaf will kind of seal up around itself in a lovely way, and it will look perfect, no matter how many little patches you needed to add. I even needed to dab a little more adhesive on a bald patch, wait another half hour, and then leaf just that tiny patch--and this, too, was no big deal.
There's also a sealant in the kit that you can use or not. We've done it both ways. It dulls the finish a little, so we stopped using it--given that these ornaments aren't getting a lot of rigorous use or anything. Tie a thread through the screw eye, and you're done. Or thread a chain through for a totally original necklace that would be what they call "a conversation piece." It is lovely, no? I want to do an acorn too. And a silver nutmeg. I'm not so sure about the pear, though. I can see how Midas got himself into so much trouble. Ben and Birdy would look so cute gold.