December 3, 2012

DIY Gold Leaf Agate Coasters

It's Monday and you know what that means! It's the third round of the Dare to DIY challenge I'm participating in!

This weeks theme was 'give handmade' and our project instructions were to DIY a gift made by you.

Ready to see what I made?

Drum roll please...

I DIY'd a set of gold leafed agate coasters!

I was inspired by a set from High Street Market but couldn't justify spending the money on them when I knew I had all of the supplies on hand and could make a set of my own.

Speaking of supplies...

I used the following:
  • Speedball's metal leaf adhesive size, $4
  • Speedball's metal leaf sealer, $4
  • Gold leaf (obviously), $10 for a pack of 25 but I had a 50% off coupon so it was $5
  • An old makeup brush to apply the adhesive and sealer, free
  • 4 agate slices that I got at a local gem show last January for $2/each

I started gold leafing each coaster by applying a thin coat of the adhesive size to the edge of each agate slice:

It's kind of hard to tell but see how the edge looks wet? That's where I applied the adhesive.

The bottle said that the adhesive would be ready for the gold leaf in about 30 minutes or once it turned from milky white to clear. I don't know if it's because my agate slices were porous or what but I noticed that the edge was clear in about 10 minutes. I waited 15 minutes just to be safe and then I laid out a sheet of gold leaf and got to work.

This was my first time using gold leaf so I'm not sure if this is how it's supposed to be done but I basically took the edge of my coaster and rolled it along the edge of the gold leaf like so:

Once a good amount was stuck to the agate slice, I gently tore the section away from the rest of the sheet and was left with this:

The directions said to use a brush to smooth the gold leaf out but I just used my fingers. I made sure that it was stuck to the edge of the agate before I tore away the extra and after a little finessing, I was left with this:

After a small section was done, I rolled out a bigger one:

Smoothed it out with my fingers and tore off the extras:

Until it looked like this:

One coaster down, 3 more to go! I repeated the same steps for the other coasters.

Once again I started by applying the adhesive size:

And then the gold leaf:

Sometimes the gold leaf peeled away in places where I wanted it to stick:

When this happened, I grabbed tiny pieces that I had ripped off before and stuck them on the gaps until the edge was completely covered. Thankfully gold leaf is pretty forgiving and your mistakes can be corrected easily without having to start all over again!

After all of the gaps were covered, my second coaster looked like this:

After all 4 agate slices were gold leafed, my gold leaf sheet looked like this:

Yep, it took less than one sheet to make 4 coasters! Sidenote: I'm now a gold leaf fiend and want to gold leaf the world!

After the coasters were done, it was time to seal the newly gold leafed edge. I don't know if this step was necessary but the directions recommended it so I did it. I used the same makeup brush to apply the sealer. I just dipped it in the bottle and spread a thin coat over the gold leaf.

The bottle says to not over brush the sealer on and they mean it. I learned very quickly that if I went over a spot that I had previously applied sealer to that the gold leaf would almost lift up and shift over causing an ugly gap where you could see the original agate edge. It's not very noticeable unless you're looking for it but just make a note of the fact that they're serious about their warning haha

I let the coasters dry for about an hour after they were all sealed.

Then I grabbed some rubber bumpers (like the kind you put on kitchen cabinet doors so they don't slam into the cabinet frame):

And applied four to the bottom of each coaster:

Then I made an agate coaster stack:

Which I tied up with some ribbon and paired with a bottle of wine and a wine glass (ornaments optional):

The perfect gift for the hostess on your list!

What do you think of the coasters? Will you be making a set of your own?

I'm sharing this project at the Dare to DIY party hosted by Decor and the Dog, Maybe Matilda, Newly Woodwards, Our Fifth House, and Two Twenty One!

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  1. LOVE them. What a beautiful gift! Love that paired it with wine :)

  2. Oh my gosh, these are gorgeous! Nicely done :)

  3. These are absolutely stunning! Such a great idea. I'm dying to know more about this gem show, and where I can get beauties like this for $2?! Great job!

  4. Thanks Shannon! The gem show is crazy! It happens twice a year but I go to the big show in the beginning of February. Thousands of vendors from across the country come to town bringing all of their goodies to sell. Most of the tents are filled with vendors selling beautiful jewelry and expensive loose gems but others are filled with vendors that sell things like my agate slices, large geodes, fossils, beads, candle holders, etc. that sell for dirt cheap because they're priced for wholesalers to buy. I scooped up 20+ agate slices (small to huge like the size of a cheese platter) last year for less than $40!

  5. Oh I love these! So fun & any hostess would LOVE to receive them.

  6. Super pretty Caitlin!! I haven't ever used gold leaf. I know it's shocking. I need to remedy that. If I invite you to our party, can I please get the coasters and the wine? I promise to be the best hostess ever!

    Amber @ Wills Casa

  7. I would be THRILLED to receive these! They are really amazing. :)

  8. These are so pretty! What a wonderful gift to give or get! I love the pretty blue colors in the stone. And the gold is just marvelous.

    Thank you so much for linking up to Dare to DIY!

  9. These are sooo pretty Caitlin! You've been doing some pretty awesome stuff lately (and as usual :).

  10. ournextgreatadventure - Thanks! :)

    Amber - Haha yes! I'll package them up tonight ;)

    Amy - Thanks! :)

    Kim - Thank you! And thanks for hosting!

    Crystal - Awww, you're sweet! Thanks :)

  11. Love those! What a great gift; they came out beautiful!
    Visiting from the DIY party...

  12. These are so lovely! What a great idea! I'm so glad I found your post!


  13. So awesome! I must love everything you do because for the past 3 weeks I have clicked on your image first in the link party having no idea whose blog it will take me to! I am just drawn to the things you make!! You have officially made me a follower :)

    xo Cindy@Made2Style

  14. These are so pretty! The agates alone would have made amazing coaster but the gold leaf takes it up another notch - they look like something you'd shell out big bucks for!

  15. Thanks Lyndsey!

    Awesome Cindy! Thanks for following :)

    Thanks Becky! After I finished the first coaster I thought it would make a pretty pendant. Maybe that'll be a future DIY project :)

  16. These are GREAT! What a great idea and I love that you tackled the gold leaf. It adds just the perfect touch! So creative!

  17. How pretty!! I wouldn't complain if these were under my tree! Thanks for joining the Dare to DIY again this week.

  18. so pretty! Thank you for sharing your DIY project.

  19. These are beautiful! I wonder where I can get agate rounds like yours.

  20. Thanks! I'd try eBay or Etsy! I found this one on eBay just now and it's not too expensive:

  21. Now that I framed a set of gold edged coasters I am hunting for more but can't find any! There will be a gem show in my city in September (CANNOT WAIT) and I plan to hoard all the agate slices then and try your tutorial! Beautifully done.

  22. Thanks Tanya! You're going to have so much fun at the gem show! I can't wait to check out your finds!

  23. This is so exciting! I've been trying to figure out how make these for a while. Thanks!

  24. Hi Caitlin.

    Can you provide links to where you found the metal leaf adhesive , sealer and gold leaf for the prices you mentioned.


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