Hello friends! I’m Lorene, and I work behind the scenes here at Remodelaholic helping Justin and Cassity — but about once a year I rear my blogger head and share something with you! Last year for the 12 Days of Christmas, I shared this easy ornament tree to hold the vintage ornaments we inherited from my husband’s grandmother. This year, for our black and gold Christmas here, I put together a fun gallery wall full of gold foil prints on old book pages:
Before this project, I’d never really used much gold in my home decor but now I am HOOKED! And since I love experimenting, I tried not just one but FOUR different ways to create a gold art print for your home. And no, you don’t have to be a natural artist to do any of these — I even included a free printable (in both black and gold, at the end of the post) just in case you’re really crunched for time or your creative energies are zapped! If you’re ready to DIY it: grab your x-acto knife or digital cutting machine and let’s get started!
(Note: I own a Silhouette cutting machine, the dinosaur-age SD 😉 and these projects use a couple different Silhouette products, but this post is not sponsored by them in any way. This post does contain affiliate links for your shopping convenience, since it’s so nice to be able to order online and not go to the store! You can read our full disclosure policy here.)
How to Create a Christmas Gallery Wall with DIY Gold Prints
by Lorene for Remodelaholic
I used an old falling-apart dictionary I picked up a few years ago as the backing for my gold art prints. You could also use cardstock or any other kind of paper. And before the book purists converge to tell me how terrible it is that I used real book pages: I promise, this dictionary had a full life and had nothing left to give to literacy — the binding was shot and the pages were just falling out. I’m pretty sure I heard them sigh happily to be given some new life and new love 😉
(If you’re short a decrepit vintage dictionary, you could try these printable dictionary pages from Knick of Time.)
Method 1: Gold Foil
I’ll start with the easiest of the four ways to make your own gold print: using this Silhouette printable gold foil. I purchased mine on Amazon (again, no going to the store!) but it’s also available in most larger craft stores locally, like JoAnn’s and Michaels. There are other gold foil products out there, but the nice things about this particular one is that 1) it’s printable (which means you could have a lot of fun variations!) and 2) it’s already adhesive (no messing with fancy glues).
And it really is so simple — just cut the shapes that you want, peel the backing off, and stick it on the paper. (Yes, I video’d that in case it was too many steps 😉 — be sure to subscribe to follow us over on YouTube so you’ll see all our new videos!)
So incredibly easy to make something that looks so awesome! The cute family in the car is shape #72147 from the Silhouette store, and you can download the “let it snow” image at the bottom of the post, to print and trace to cut by hand, or trace in the Silhouette software to cut your own. You could also use a craft punch to cut the foil — even just a circle punch for polka dots would be so cute!
Method 2: Gold Leaf
This method of making a gold print turned out as my favorite, but it does take a little bit more patience than the gold foil, since gold leaf sheets are a little more delicate to work with. You could use a glue pen to draw or trace the shape you want, but I decided to try the double-sided adhesive by Silhouette, to make it even a little bit easier. (Again, you can buy it on Amazon or locally at most JoAnn or Michaels stores.) I picked up my gold leaf at Hobby Lobby, but again — you can gold leaf sheets on Amazon, too (and for a lower price per sheet than I paid in the store!)
The double-sided adhesive sheet is just a sticky sheet with paper on both sides — so you cut, peel, stick, peel, and then adhere whatever medium you want on top. I used a tree shape that came pre-loaded with my Silhouette, and I created my own “ho ho ho” that you can download at the bottom of the post. Here’s how to make your own easy gold leaf print:
- With the white side of the double sided adhesive sheet facing up, cut your desired shape using scissors, an x-acto/craft knife, or your digital cutting machine.
- Carefully remove the shape from the sheet, keeping both the white and yellow papers attached to the adhesive center part.
- Peel off the yellow backing and stick the shape on your backing paper with the white paper still attached (and yes, I did it backwards in the video and peeled off the white instead — the yellow wasn’t coming off, and my shapes were symmetrical, so it worked!)
- Peel off the white paper to expose the adhesive sheet.
- Gently lay a sheet of gold leaf on top of the adhesive sheet, as flatly as you can. Press down and rub the foil gently to adhere it to the adhesive sheet.
- Using your fingers or a brush, remove the gold leaf around the edges of the shape, and gently clean up the edges of the shape so the lines are crisp.
For the more intricate shapes and curved edges of the “ho ho ho” it just takes a little more time to clean up the edges; the straight edges of the tree cleaned up really easily, just like you see in the video.
Method 3: Gold Glitter
This is exactly like using gold leaf, but sub in glitter! And then silently curse every time you find random pieces of glitter around your house, because no matter how careful you are, that stuff gets everywhere! but the finished product looks amazing, so it’s all worth it 😉
See the step-by-step directions above (for the gold foil art); the only difference is that I used a spare sheet of paper to help rub the glitter and adhere it to the adhesive shape. You could use your fingers, but then you’ll really never see the end of the glitter! Once the glitter is stuck to the adhesive, carefully shake and brush off the excess glitter, either into another container or back into the original container.
I used the angel, shape #14916 from Silhouette, and JOY is font Fonesia, free via dafont.com (and included in the file and image below for you to download or trace to use with your digital cutting machine).
Method 4: Gold Paint Pen
This is the only method that requires any artistic skill, and you could use a stencil if you want! I wasn’t sure how the gold paint pen would look on paper, but I really like the look! It does make me wish that I were a better freehand artist because a hand-lettered saying would look amazing… but I’ll keep practicing.
Just shake the paint pen well (I used this one by Krylon, but a gold Sharpie should work just the same) and start drawing! I suggest practicing with the pen a bit before you draw on your final backing, just to get a feel for how the paint flows from the pen. I drew a simple snowflake, because that’s about as artsy as I get when freehanding it (although I am pretty proud of how that gift-wrapped bow looks!):
Hang It Up!
When all of the gold prints were finished, I rounded up a collection of frames to put together my gallery wall.
top left: hand me down, not sure the original source
top center: black clipboard, found on clearance at Michaels
top right: deep shadowbox, from Michaels
middle left: everyone’s favorite — the 8″ square RIBBA frame from Ikea!
middle right: 11×14 floating frame from JoAnn’s, “matted” with a gold printed vellum from Hobby Lobby (with a white sheet of paper behind it)
bottom left: washi tape. My favorite way to hang a gallery wall! (Great for other things, too!)
bottom center: $1 craft wood frame from Michaels (not online), covered with gold foil, with a black paper Santa silhouette
bottom right: 8″ square black shadowbox from Michaels, backed with gold metallic paper from Hobby Lobby
My favorite method for setting up a gallery wall: cutting out paper shapes and sticking them on the wall. It lets me move and rearrange without pounding a bunch of extra holes in the wall!
Don’t forget to get your free printables here!
for personal use only; if you want to share, please direct people back to this post
And, giving credit where credit is due — thanks to awesome designers for sharing their work for non-design folk like me 🙂
Cassity Kmetzsch started Remodelaholic after graduating from Utah State University with a degree in Interior Design. Remodelaholic is the place to share her love for knocking out walls, and building everything back up again to not only add function but beauty to her home. Together with her husband Justin, they have remodeled 6 homes and are working on a seventh. She is a mother of four amazing girls. Making a house a home is her favorite hobby.