In celebration of beach season, I’m showing off my seashell collection and a craft I first shared last year in a guest post at seven thirty three.

Easy Seashell Craft: How to Make Gilded Seashells with Gold Leaf Paint and Gold Leaf Sheets

Aren’t these gilded seashells the prettiest things ever? So beachy glam!

Easy Seashell Craft: How to Make Gilded Seashells with Gold Leaf Paint and Gold Leaf Sheets

I experimented with two methods to give my shells the heavy metal treatment. I tried out liquid gilding and gold leaf sheets (which I’ve used for projects like my Gilded Valentine’s Day Plates), and I love the results you get from both.

Seriously, I can’t pick a favorite.

Easy Seashell Craft: How to Make Gilded Seashells with Gold Leaf Paint and Gold Leaf Sheets

Gold leaf sheets really work well on shells with smooth surfaces. So luxe!

Easy Seashell Craft: How to Make Gilded Seashells with Gold Leaf Paint and Gold Leaf Sheets

But liquid gilding looks bling-tastic on textured sells, like the ones you see in the forefront of the photo above. The painted on metal leafing really highlights the knobby bits of the shells.

The quickest, easiest method, by far, is to use liquid gilding.

Easy Seashell Craft: How to Make Gilded Seashells with Gold Leaf Paint and Gold Leaf Sheets

(The supply list below includes affiliate links; if you make a purchase from my referral, I will receive a small commission.)

I used the Martha Stewart Crafts Liquid Gilding, which comes in four colors: gold, brass, copper and silver. I used brass and silver to create my seashells.

Just brush it on with a paintbrush, and you are done! The liquid gilding dries quickly, which is a bonus. But it does have a strong smell.

Atta Girl Says: How to Make Gilded Seashells

Using gold leaf sheets will take you longer, but the look is so rich!

I recommend getting a metal leafing starter kit, which has all the supplies you’ll need for your project.

Easy Seashell Craft: How to Make Gilded Seashells with Gold Leaf Paint and Gold Leaf Sheets

When gold leafing, first coat the shell with a thin layer of adhesive size — a thin, ultra-sticky glue. Allow the adhesive size to dry for 20 to 40 minutes, until the surface of the shell is tacky or sticky, but not dry.

Easy Seashell Craft: How to Make Gilded Seashells with Gold Leaf Paint and Gold Leaf Sheets

Gently lay a sheet of gold leaf over the shell. The leafing is super thin, and a bit tricky to handle. Make sure you’re not sitting near a fan or a vent when working with it or your gold will blow away!

Easy Seashell Craft: How to Make Gilded Seashells with Gold Leaf Paint and Gold Leaf Sheets

Use a soft, dry paintbrush or a soft rag to burnish the gold leaf onto the surface and remove any excess.

Easy Seashell Craft: How to Make Gilded Seashells with Gold Leaf Paint and Gold Leaf Sheets

You will probably have to follow up with a second layer of adhesive and gold leafing to cover any spots you missed on the first pass.

Easy Seashell Craft: How to Make Gilded Seashells with Gold Leaf Paint and Gold Leaf Sheets

Over time, gold leaf will develop a tarnished patina, like many metals, so you need to seal it. Most metal leafing starter kits come with a clear sealer. You can also use a spray sealer.

Easy Seashell Craft: How to Make Gilded Seashells with Gold Leaf Paint and Gold Leaf Sheets

There are all kinds of ways you can decorate with gilded seashells. They look great in a bowl, mixed with natural seashells, or scattered on your coffee table atop a stack of books.

Easy Seashell Craft: How to Make Gilded Seashells with Gold Leaf Paint and Gold Leaf Sheets

Use larger gilded seashells as bookends or cover a frame or mirror with clusters of smaller gilded shells. Or you could just put them in a jar on the back of the toilet, which is where seashells go when you don’t know where else to put them. Right?

If you want to make these seashells, don’t forget to pin this post so you can easily find the tutorial.



Easy Seashell Craft: How to Make Gilded Seashells with Gold Leaf Paint and Gold Leaf Sheets

For more ideas on going for the crafting gold, check out out these other gilded projects:

Handmade Christmas Garland of Magnolia Boughs and Gilded Pinecones

Gilded Christmas Garland

Romantic Valentine Craft Ideas: Gilded Heart of Gold Heart Plate

Heart of Gold Valentine’s Day Plates



Comments

  1. Ohhh! I love this project! Thanks so much for the great tutorial on using the two types of gold. 😉
    ~ Ashley
    Ashley recently posted..Co-Hosting Turn It Up Tuesday!My Profile

  2. So great! Makes me wonder what else I could gild around here!

  3. These look awesome!!! They are so pretty

  4. I’m getting the gild out – Right Now!

  5. Wow. Beautiful! Gold is so in and I Love it! I would love to find something I could use this method on. Thanks for sharing, :)

  6. These are the most amazing thing ever! We are doing our bathroom in a coastal theme and these are perfect!

  7. So cool-they look amazing mixed with the natural ones too!

  8. These are so pretty! I actually have a couple of leftover gold leaf sheets sitting around here just waiting for a project like this!

  9. Oh, wow! Beautiful! Gild all the things!! The girls have been asking to go to the beach… :)
    Albion recently posted..Caffeinated Crafters Link PartyMy Profile

  10. Very cool! I love how classy they look!

  11. I love the look of a couple gilded shells along with the natural ones.

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