Weekend decorator: Gold leaf cushions

A fine coating of gold leaf brings a metallic lustre to everyday items, and can add a hint of Versailles-style grandeur
Melissa Heath

Bring a little glitz and glamour to your interior with these stunning cushions.

You will need:

Plain scatter cushions (we used Target ‘Axis’ cushions,  43cm x 43cm, $10 each)

Tape measure

Tailor’s chalk

Masking tape

Stencil brush

Gold leaf size (a quality adhesive used for gilding); we used Jo Sonja’s Tannin Sealer, $13.99, Riot Art & Craft

Cotton gloves

Gold leaf or imitation gold leaf; we used AFC Gold Leaf Composition, $11.99/25 sheets, Riot Art & Craft

Soft, dry paintbrush


How to:

1. Remove the cushion insert. Measure and mark the centre of your cushion with tailor’s chalk. Use this mark as a guide to create the boundaries of a cross with masking tape; keep in mind that each side is the same length, so for a 30cm cross, you would need 12 x 10cm lengths of masking tape. Do not move onto step 2 until you are satisfied with the shape and position of your design. See note below for gold frame instructions.


2. Using your stencil brush, dab a 1mm coat of gold leaf size onto the exposed area (your design) and leave for about 20 minutes, or until the adhesive becomes tacky.


3. Wearing cotton gloves, adhere gold leaf sheets by pressing down gently onto the size. When complete, set cushion aside for a few hours to allow to dry.


4. Using the dry paintbrush, gently brush away any excess gold leaf. Remove the masking tape to reveal your design.


5. Seal the gold leaf with your tannin sealer, or a clear acrylic spray, such as White Knight Crystal Clear Acrylic.


Note: To create the template for the gold frame cushion, use the edge of the cushion as a guide. Measure in 5cm and apply masking tape in a long strip along all four sides. The inner square requires more careful measuring – aim to leave around 5cm between the inside and outside border.

Related stories