Make Abstract Black and Gold Leaf Canvas Art
It’s the last week of my first One Room Challenge, yay! And today I’m sharing another ORC DIY project with you: abstract black and gold leaf canvas art! I decided I couldn’t spend any more money, so I upcycled an old canvas using some paint, glue, and gold leaf. Isn’t it lovely?
This was an easy DIY, too! All you really need to be able to do is glue in a semi-straight line. No kidding. I made the glue and gold leaf pattern up as I went, too. So yes, I’m using the term “abstract art” to mean “something I completely made up as I went that has no real meaning except to look cool.” Want to make one like it? Read on!
Here’s what I used to make abstract gold leaf canvas art:
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And here’s how I did it!
(Remember to wear an appropriate mask while working with paints, stains, and finishes. Follow the directions and warnings from your particular brand.)
Step 1: Prep the canvas. I was working with an old canvas, so I painted over the entire thing using black acrylic paint.
Step 2: Break out the glue. Using glue, I started “drawing” horizontal and vertical lines of different lengths. I started in the top-right corner of the canvas and only did about a quarter of the canvas because I was worried about the glue drying before I could adhere the gold leaf. I started out using a glue stick, but that didn’t hold the gold leaf very well, so I broke out my Loctite clear superglue. Probably overkill, but it’s what I had on hand, and it did the trick!
Step 3: Adhere the gold leaf. I used tweezers to gently lay pieces of gold leaf over the glue lines. Gold leaf is incredibly fragile, so I tried not to work too quickly. Also, Don’t work anywhere that has even the slightest breeze or you’ll have gold pieces flying everywhere.
After the glue had dried, I gently peeled away the excess gold leaf from each area to save it. Then I used a balled up paper towel to gently rub the rest of the gold leaf off of the canvas so that the glue lines were the only thing that retained the gold leaf. Does that make sense?
Step 4: Repeat steps 2 and 3 on other sections of the canvas until you’re happy with the design. You’ll see in the shot below that some of the glue lines look finished, while some still have the excess gold leaf.
I completely free-handed everything and did not have a plan at all, so don’t worry if you don’t have one, either! You’re just drawing lines with glue!
Here’s my finished piece. What do you think? I love it and am so lucky that the old canvas I had fit perfectly into this space!
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See more One Room Challenge progress:
- First week: The grand plan
- Second week: Choosing paints and lighting
- Third week: Window treatments and rug
- Fourth week: Gold accents and greenery