I can hardly contain my excitement for the change in seasons. Hellooooo Fall! Almost. It takes a little while to show its face around here but when it does it’s fantastic!
The first event I get excited about when fall comes is Halloween. I LOVE Halloween!
The goth in me has been inspired to do some Halloween type things. I’m on a roll with it so I thought I’d share a few things with you. First up, my gold leafed skulls…
If you want to gold leaf stuff yourself you’ll need:
1 package of gold or silver leaf (you can find this at any craft or art supply store)
adhesive (I used Old World Art gold leaf adhesive in the 2 oz. bottle)
varnish (Again, I used Old World Art gold leaf varnish in the 2 oz. bottle)
A tooth pick or stick (or anything you can use to move your item around without touching it during the adhesive & varnish process)
Paper towel or rag (for removing ink)
Newspaper or junk mail (to lay under your project
Paint thinner (for cleaning your brush)
A pic of the supplies.
I got some awesome resin skulls from this lovely gal on Etsy. She did a custom order for me. As you can see, I started out with plain white skulls. Black ink was painted onto them for some depth.
They look kind of cool with just black on them, no?
After letting them dry, the adhesive was added. I was kind of amazed how little I needed. Once you apply the adhesive, you have to wait an hour before the next step. I busied myself with putting together the other half of my project which you’ll see at the end.
Here’s a blurry pic of one of the bird heads with the adhesive applied. it starts out white and dries to a clear tacky surface.
Get your leaf ready to apply. You have to be pretty gentle with this stuff.
Once the adhesive was dry, the gold/silver leaf was applied to the skulls. The instructions said to use a soft brush. I started with a super soft brush and realized I needed one that had quite a bit more stiffness to it. The skulls I’m working with have much more texture than a flat surface. For the effect I wanted, the gold needed to get into some of those crevices and the stiffer brush really made all the difference.
Here is the cat skull with the gold leaf applied before burnishing.
Another of all of them after burnishing. I didn’t take a photo of this step, but after the gold leaf is applied you want to polish the skulls with your burnishing tool. You do this by rubbing the surface gently with your tool. Do it in small circular motions. This smooths the surface, makes sure the leaf is pushed into the crevices, and gives the leaf a more natural look.
After burnishing my skulls I added some black ink to them.
I then rubbed the ink off with a moist paper towel. This will take the ink off the high spots and leave it in the low spots. It defines the detail and gives it a weathered look. You can skip the inking step entirely if you want a cleaner look.
Here’s one of the skulls after the ink has been rubbed off.
Once the ink has dried (which just takes a few minutes if even that), you’ll want to add your varnish. Definitely do this in a well ventilated area or outside.
Here are my lovely bones. The varnish takes 2 hours to dry. I put them in my laundry room with the vent fan on and left them overnight.
Here’s what I did with the gold bird skull. I made a head-piece with recycled leather flowers, copper studs, and feathers.
What do you think? I can’t wait to do the other skulls. It’s always satisfying to have an idea executed from start to finish. This was fun. It’ll be for sale in my shop.
I also couldn’t help myself. I’ve been wanting to do a bat for a while. I cut this one out of copper and enameled it with an opalescent charcoal grey. The result was more of a brown, but I like it just the same. It’s available in my shop for purchase.
I know this isn’t Halloween related but, I’ll be participating in the sketchbook project this year! I finally took the plunge. There are so many stories brewing in my head, it’ll be great to have them on paper and in all kinds of people’s hands. There’s still time to participate if you’re interested. I’ll be posting my progress as it goes.
Well, my jewelry isn’t going to make itself so I’m going to get back to work. The holidays are right around the corner ya know! Thanks for hanging out with me.