This seems to happen to me all of the time. It especially occurs when I trying to make a gift for a friend. (When am I just going to learn to go buy all of the presents I give that the store!) OK, back to my story. One of my good friend’s birthday was coming up and we both really like fancy things. When I saw these gold leafed pillows on thegatheredhome.com I knew that they would be a perfect gift. And being naïve and completely stupid I imagined that on my first try I would take them a step further then original pillows and stencil on words instead of a pattern. It looked so perfect in my head. I knew it couldn’t go wrong. Ha! (that’s all I can say)
First of all, one thing that I read as I was in the middle of this process is that if you are a perfectionist, this project is probably not for you. Amen to that! The gold leafing tends to not come off in completely solid. There are always little flecks through out it that are missing. If you are a personality, like me, that this will bother you for all eternality, just back away now and don’t even consider it. You and your stress level will thank me, I promise. (This picture is an example of one of my practice tries.)
Another part of my, I know better then the person in the tutorial was that she bought drop cloth material and after applying the gold leafing pattern, made it into a pillow slip cover.
I thought this sounded like more effort then I wanted to do so I bought a pillow to work directly on. Let just say a flat hard surface would have worked better.
Now to my stenciling. I have another good friend, Carla, that cuts vinyl and she was kind enough to cut me two copies of the “Be You tiful” sign that I wanted so I could mess up one and still have an extra. Yeah, I still needed a third. The vinyl didn’t stick very well to the pillow and I ended up mounting it on cardboard and cutting it out with an x-acto knife.
In the end I also did not use any gold leafing and instead stenciled with gold puffy paint. Believe me, it’s the last thing that I expected to use, but Carla said that she and seen it done on fabric and it looked great. I have to agree with that. I used a stippling brush and after getting a small amount of paint on it, I gently dabbed it up and down on the stencil. Any awfulness of the stenciling is the fault of the creator, not of the paint.
To finish up my pillow from h-e-double hockey sticks, I used a thin liner paintbrush to outline the edges of the stencil and “make it look better.” It did look better when I got done, but it was so far from the vision I had in my head I wanted to cry.
The “artwork” that I had done was on the back so I ended up giving it to her anyway and just telling her that the back was a something to remind her how grateful I am for our friendship and that no one would ever know it was there but her. I also had chocolate to go with it, but that mysteriously disappeared before she ever go it. (sorry Becky)
Bottom line- try gold leafing on something other than fabric first, don’t attempt to do it if you’re a perfectionist, and never be afraid to let your friends know you’re not perfect. I guarantee that last one will make you better friends in the end.