08.03.14How to: DIY Silver or Gold Leaf Canvas Artwork

willow&eve || diy foil canvas Time to get crafty! 

I'm really liking gilded prints and objects lately, so thought I'd try a bit of this metal magic for myself. All of the materials you'll need can be found at a good craft store. I got mine from my local Riot Art & Craft.

• Blank canvas or card – whatever takes your fancy
• Gilding gloves – to stop the metal from tarnishing if your bare/grubby fingers touch it
• Gold leaf size – I'm using Jo Sonja's Tanning Sealer & Gold Leaf Size
• Glue pen – I find it easier to outline shapes with the glue pen then fill in bigger spaces using the size and paintbrush
• Metal leaf – Riot has copper, silver and gold available in sheets or flakes – for whatever effect you want to achieve
• Brushes – nice soft brushes to sweep away the excess leaf. I'm actually using some old (clean) makeup brushes I don't use anymore as they are perfect for the job!


willow&eve || diy foil canvas


Now, if I could draw I'd just lightly freehand something directly on to the canvas, but I can't. So I found an image online that I wanted to try and recreate. I printed it off to size (had to split the image over 2 x A4 sheets) and then with a heavy hand and a thick lead pencil, traced the outline on the reverse of the page. When you flip the page back over and outline the front of the page as it's against the canvas, the outline you did on the reverse will transfer to the canvas, leaving a faint pencil outline on your canvas for you to work with.


willow&eve || diy foil canvas


Working in small sections at a time, I outlined sections of the design and then filled in with the gold leaf size using a small paintbrush. Wait until the size/glue feels tacky and then gently place a sheet of. metal leaf down. Use either your fingers (with a glove on) or a larger, fluffy brush to gently press the metal in to the glue. Give it a minute to really set and then gently circle the brush over the leaf, which will release any extra bits that aren't meant to be stuck down.


willow&eve || diy foil canvas willow&eve || diy foil canvas willow&eve || diy foil canvas willow&eve || diy foil canvas willow&eve || diy foil canvas

There are many sealers / varnishes available that you can use when you are finished, to help protect the metal of your print. Now I've got the technique some what sorted, I'm off scavenging to see what else I can find to lace with metal!



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