I met Sophie, the incredibly talented designer behind Sophie Monet jewelry, last year while in New York and we instantly bonded over a love of all things DIY. Soph handmakes the gorgeous pieces under her label, painstakingly sculpting them out of wood, and adding stone, chain brass and gold leafing, skills she picked up while growing up in her dad’s woodworking shop (fyi, I have a little studio envy right now). The mix of sanded dark wood, precious stones and hints of gold are a nod to her love of art and nature and her experiences living between LA and New York. I was lucky enough to get to browse through her pieces in person when we had some downtime at our hotel and was blown away by her gilded collection, handshaped wood pieces with accents of gold leaf made into the most unique necklaces, rings and bracelets – the sort of jewelry you can imagine wearing everyday.
Gold leafing is a technique I’ve been forever wanting to try and when Soph offered to give me a masterclass, I knew it was something I would be sharing with you guys. What I love most about this project is that once you have the process down you can apply gold leafing to virtually anything – I sooo want to do it to the inside of a white porcelain bowl. Soph recommends that you don’t skimp too much when you buy your gold leaf, she used 22k yellow gold leaf (not the fake stuff) which is essential for the look and feel of the finished product.
- a popsicle stick or wood bead
- gold leaf adhesive
- gold leafing sheet
- clear wood finish
- paint brush
- jump rings
1. Start by cutting both ends of your popsicle stick so you are left with a wooden pendant shape.
2. Sand the edges of the pendant so they are smooth.
3. Place the pendant on a block of wood and drill a hole in one end.
4. Spray the pendant with wood finishing spray as a base coat.
5. Use a paint brush to add a thin coat of gold leaf adhesive. Let adhesive dry for 20 minutes. The wood will become sticky.
6. Carefully lay the gold leaf paper on top of the wood pendant.
7. Press down to make sure the wood is completely covered and there aren’t any air bubbles.
8. Carefully peel back the paper.
use a dry paint brush to remove any excess gold leaf.
9. Spray Gold pendant with at least 3 coats of clear wood finish.Be sure to let each coat fully dry before applying another.
10. Attach your gilded pendant to chain using an open jump ring and pair of pliers.
11. Use two jump rings and pliers to attach your clasp and chain to one another.
And you’re done!