How To: Gold Leaf Pumpkins

Fall is a great season to bring metallic inspiration into your home. Mixing metallics with the strong, warm, darker colors of fall strikes a balance while allowing the metallics to shine. These gilded pumpkins are a temporary accent of gold, copper, or silver that can be worked into any interior.

Gather Your Materials
  • Metal leaf adhesive size
  • 1” foam brush
  • Soft, fluffy brush
  • Your choice of metal leaf
  • Pumpkins or gourds
Let's Get Golding
    1. Wash and dry your pumpkin. Make sure it has no dirt or wax and is completely dry before you begin.
    2. Set up your workspace. Gold leaf will get everywhere, so make sure it’s an easy-to-clean workspace with no drafts—gold leaf is very lightweight and can blow around easily.
    3. Using your foam brush, paint a thin layer of adhesive size on the pumpkin where you want the gold leaf to stick. Don’t get any adhesive where you don’t want the gold leaf to go. You can remove the size with a damp cloth before it dries.
    4. Leave the pumpkin to dry. The adhesive size must dry completely for the gold leaf to stick. This will take about 10 minutes. The size dries clear.
    5. Once the size is completely dry, carefully remove a leaf of gold from the paper backing and gently lay it on a sticky part of the pumpkin.
    6. Gently tap the gold down to create as much contact from the flat leaf to the curved pumpkin.
    7. Keep adding gold leaf until all the sized area is covered. Make sure there are no uncovered sticky areas.
    8. Once all the size is covered and the leaf if tapped down as much as possible, use your fluffy brush to begin knocking away unstuck gold leaf.
    9. Keep burnishing the gold sections until no more leaf falls away and the surface forms to the shape of the pumpkin. The result should be a shiny, uniform finish.

Now enjoy! These pumpkins can be worked into interior and exterior fall, Halloween and Thanksgiving displays. To see how they enhance an inspired fall tablescape, read our Journal post “Creating a Memorable Harvest Table”.