DIY Painted Gold Leaf Ornaments

Dec 14

DIY Painted Gold Leaf Ornaments by entertaining blog @cydconverse | How to decorate glas ornaments

If you were to ask my mother she would tell you that she isn’t the least bit crafty and that she’s not sure where I get it from. That said, I always thought of my mom as crafty as a kid and remember fondly the times we’d gather around the kitchen table to craft ornaments for the tree each year. That’s probably why I am so partial to really gorgeous handmade ornaments! I made a whole bunch of these painted gold leaf ornaments (you know me and my love for all things gold leaf), which are perfect for decking the halls, giving as gifts or exchanging as part of an ornament swap. They’re made with inexpensive clear glass ornaments and they’re also just so darn pretty!

DIY Painted Gold Leaf Ornaments by entertaining blog @cydconverse | How to decorate glas ornaments

DIY Painted Gold Leaf Ornaments by entertaining blog @cydconverse | How to decorate glas ornaments

DIY Painted Gold Leaf Ornaments by entertaining blog @cydconverse | How to decorate glass ornaments

DIY Painted Gold Leaf Ornaments by entertaining blog @cydconverse | How to decorate glass ornaments

Project Supplies

  • Clear glass ornaments
  • Assorted craft paints
  • Thin ribbon
  • Paint brushes
  • Gold leaf + adhesive

DIY Painted Gold Leaf Ornaments by entertaining blog @cydconverse | How to decorate glass ornaments

DIY Painted Gold Leaf Ornaments by entertaining blog @cydconverse | How to decorate glass ornaments

DIY Painted Gold Leaf Ornaments by entertaining blog @cydconverse | How to decorate glass ornaments

DIY Painted Gold Leaf Ornaments by entertaining blog @cydconverse | How to decorate glass ornaments

DIY Painted Gold Leaf Ornaments by entertaining blog @cydconverse | How to decorate glass ornaments

DIY Painted Gold Leaf Ornaments by entertaining blog @cydconverse | How to decorate glass ornaments

The first step is to coat the inside of your ornaments with paint. I chose three shades of turquoise, mint and pale blue, but you could stick to classic Christmas colors, too, if that’s more your thing. Squirt a generous glob of paint into the ornament, then close your finger over the open end and shake and swirl vigorously to coat the inside. Add additional paint as necessary to get a nice even coat covering all the glass.

DIY Painted Gold Leaf Ornaments by entertaining blog @cydconverse | How to decorate glass ornaments

DIY Painted Gold Leaf Ornaments by entertaining blog @cydconverse | How to decorate glass ornaments

Next up, it’s time for the gold leaf! Check the instructions on your particular brand of gold leaf, then use a clean paint brush to apply a thin coat of sizing to the exterior of your ornament. I chose to concentrate the gold leaf on the bottom half of the ornament, but you could easily gold leaf the entire thing.

DIY Painted Gold Leaf Ornaments by entertaining blog @cydconverse | How to decorate glass ornaments

DIY Painted Gold Leaf Ornaments by entertaining blog @cydconverse | How to decorate glass ornaments

DIY Painted Gold Leaf Ornaments by entertaining blog @cydconverse | How to decorate glass ornaments

Once the sizing is apply, allow it to dry until tacky, usually about 20 minutes. Then carefully place a sheet of gold leaf on the ornament, wrapping it around the ball and then burnishing it with a second clean paint brush to remove the excess. Apply a light coat of sealer per the manufacturer’s instructions, then allow your entire ornament to dry overnight, minus the top of the ornament, to allow both the adhesive and the paint to dry.

DIY Painted Gold Leaf Ornaments by entertaining blog @cydconverse | How to decorate glass ornaments

DIY Painted Gold Leaf Ornaments by entertaining blog @cydconverse | How to decorate glass ornaments

DIY Painted Gold Leaf Ornaments by entertaining blog @cydconverse | How to decorate glass ornaments

My ornaments had silver tops so before replacing them, I gave them a quick coat of metallic gold spray paint. Obviously you can’t skip this step if your ornaments come with gold tops or if you don’t mind the silver.

DIY Painted Gold Leaf Ornaments by entertaining blog @cydconverse | How to decorate glass ornaments

DIY Painted Gold Leaf Ornaments by entertaining blog @cydconverse | How to decorate glass ornaments

DIY Painted Gold Leaf Ornaments by entertaining blog @cydconverse | How to decorate glass ornaments

DIY Painted Gold Leaf Ornaments by entertaining blog @cydconverse | How to decorate glass ornaments

The final step is to cut a length of thin ribbon and string it through the ornament to create a hook for hanging. Of course, you could use ornament hooks instead of adding the ribbon, it’s entirely up to whichever look you prefer. Then just hang them on the tree or tuck them in a cute little box on a bed of tissue paper and they’re ready for gifting or swapping!

DIY Painted Gold Leaf Ornaments by entertaining blog @cydconverse | How to decorate glass ornaments

DIY Painted Gold Leaf Ornaments by entertaining blog @cydconverse | How to decorate glass ornaments

DIY Painted Gold Leaf Ornaments by entertaining blog @cydconverse | How to decorate glass ornaments

DIY Painted Gold Leaf Ornaments by entertaining blog @cydconverse | How to decorate glass ornaments

I love how these ornaments turned out. I realized the combination of the gold leaf and the green colors kind of made them resemble globes, which wasn’t my intention, but I’m definitely not complaining. Also, you know the drill by now. If you make these or any of my other Christmas DIY ideas, share with me on Instagram using the hashtag #thesweetestholidays! I want to see your craftiness in action.

[Art direction + styling by Cyd Converse | Photos by Alice G. Patterson for The Sweetest Occasion.]

The fine print: Please link with love! As with all of our posts, DIY projects featured on The Sweetest Occasion may not be copied, distributed or reproduced without express written permission. Love and links are always appreciated! If you’d like to share a maximum of 1 – 2 images from this post, please link to this post directly for the DIY tutorial and do not include the instructions in your own post. Thanks so much! xoxo

47 thoughts on “DIY Painted Gold Leaf Ornaments”

  1. Hi! I have made a couple of these and really like them but need some advice. After spraying the sealer on, how do you let them dry without smudging the sealer? I tried setting it on tips of thenornament but they always fall over. Thanks for the awesome ornament idea! Anna

    1. Hi Anna! I just set mine upside down back into the ornament carton that they came in. If yours didn’t come in a carton/box like that, I’d just find something similar to tip them upside down into. I hope this helps!

  2. Hi! I’m new to using gold leaf and I’m wondering if ModPodge spray adhesive will be good enough for sealing the leaf after I’ve applied it? Also, does the paint brush have to be any specific kind?
    Thanks!!

    1. Hi Beth! I haven’t used the ModPodge spray adhesive with gold leaf specifically, but I suspect it would work! You could always try on a small trial piece (maybe an old glass you have lying around the house) first just to be sure. I hope this helps!

    1. Hi Tara! It’s just basic craft paint. I used the Martha Stewart Crafts line specifically, but any craft paint will work. Hope this helps! xo

    1. Hi Odette! I can’t remember all of them exactly as I made these over a year ago, but I do know one of the colors is Beach Glass. I hope this helps!

  3. Can you recommend a sealer for the gold leaf? I am reading mixed reviews on the different brands I am looking at online! Thank you :)

  4. I made these ornaments 7 days ago, and not a single one will dry! I’ve tried putting them in the window and putting them in front of a heater, to no avail. How did you get yours to dry? Also, the paint falls down the inside of the ornament.

    1. Hi Kylie! I had no issues with the paint falling down inside the ornament. What kind of paint did you use? I used Martha Stewart brand craft paints. I set mine upside down in the carton/box that the ornaments came in and let them dry that way. I hope this helps!

    1. Hey Heather! I do think plastic ornaments would work, just make sure the surface is really clean before you get started. I’ve never gold leafed on plastic before, but I’ve used it on a lot of materials and they’ve all worked.

    2. Hi heather! I was wondering if you have tried gold leafing the plastic? I want to try with plastic ornaments too.

  5. Those ornaments are so gorgeous they look like little globes.
    I can’t wait for my daughter and I to try our hands at making them.

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