Make it: Gold Leaf Word Sign

Oh my word! We’re on day 5 of the Six Days of Spring. Don’t forget that Monday is your turn to share your projects right here with a special linky party – and one lucky person will win $250 Pottery Barn gift certificate.

If you know me, like realllllly know me, you know that I’m quite fond of quoting lyrics from 80’s/90’s rap songs. To this day I can recite every single lyric of Ice Ice Baby. Yes, I’m quite the rapper – haha! You’ll know that you are a very close friend of mine when you say something smart and I reply, “Word!” Yes, I’m that dorky mom that embarrasses my teenage girls by acting like a retro-rapper. I’m cool like that.

So when I decided that I needed a BIG piece of art for my office wall, I settled on a typography sign. I thought long and hard about the perfect quote. I tried song lyrics, lines of poetry and famous quotes from all kinds of authors. Then, it hit me – WORD. Yep, yep! Word to your mother.

I started with a sign (that was originally a table top.) It was a left over from my booth at Peacock Lane, so when I brought it home and hung it up I knew that I’d be reworking it.

First, I painted just the top with a coat of white paint. Then I realized that was kind of boring, so I decided it needed a little detail.

I taped off a frame using Scotch Blue Painter’s Tape, then I gave it a coat of black paint.  The frame really made it look more modern and adds a little sign cred to it.

My main goal was to gold leaf the actual word part – so of course I had to have gold leaf. This is the first time I’ve ever used it and it was super simple.

I printed the letters off, one letter per sheet so they were as large as possible. I spaced it out by eye and taped them down lightly with more painter’s tape to keep them from shifting.

Using a ball point pen, I traced the letters pressing down very hard, so that the paint underneath would hold the impression of the outline. (You’ll see it in just a second.)

To give the gold leaf sheets something to attach with, I applied some Adhesive Size (which is basically gold leaf glue.)

I carefully painted inside of the traced outlines, just like painting a sign. The size needs to get dry just a few minutes until it’s tacky before applying the gold leaf.

Then I used a soft paint brush to help smooth out the sheets of gold leaf. It seems complicated, but it’s a seriously easy process. I used whole sheets, but you can be more sparing and tear off bits and then add them as needed. You can also save the scraps for other projects. It only took 5 sheets out of a 25 sheet pack to do all the letters.

Once it was all covered and brushed off to clean up the letters, it was like solid gold.

Gold leaf needs a thin coat of sealer to keep it all safe and secure.

Just a light coat is all that it needs – and it dries in just a few minutes.

OOooohhhh yeahhhhhh!

Now I have a one of a kind piece of art that’s totally me! It makes me smile every single time I walk in the room. Speaking of the room, my office is getting close to being complete! I’ve got a few more projects to share, and I can’t wait for you to see it all put together.

Be sure to check out all the other great Six Days of Spring Posts in the series:

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About Gina Luker

Gina Luker is a writer, photographer and lover of all things quirky. She's usually found with a drill in one hand and a cocktail in the other while blogging along the way. She's addicted to coffee, polka dots, rock stars, Instagram, and everything aqua.


  1. NICE IDEA!!!!

  2. Word to your mother is right! This is right up my bling loving Jersey girl side!!

  3. This is in one word – amazing! So simple and fun and cool! Thanks for all the inspiration this week.

  4. Word! I love it! Gold leaf is so cool and you did an amazing job explaining it step by step.

  5. Ha, love this! Especially the gold leaf so fun.

  6. Love it and so perfect in gold leaf.
    Have really enjoy all the interesting inspirations.
    Audrey z. Timeless Treasures

  7. Love this so much! Could you tell me the name of the font you used for “word”? 🙂

  8. thank you


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