Monday, December 10, 2012

DIY Christmas Gifts: Gold Lettering Print

This week I am sharing a super simple Christmas gift that you could easily make several in an hour or two! 

I've been eying a lot of fabulous gold letter prints recently, such as herehere or here. They are a great way to add a simple statement piece to a gallery wall or to brighten up a dark corner. 

I thought it would be relatively easy to make my own. I'm so glad that I tried it,  I love how they turned out!

Here's how I made my own:

I started with thick paper, water color is what I had on hand. I laid the letters out in Illustrator (any program to lay out lettering would work).  I then cut the letters out on the Silhouette ...

If you don't have a Silhouette, an Xacto knife, cutting mat, and ruler will work well too. 

I've spent a lot of time cutting things out with an Xacto knife. Between lots of projects in my undergrad, presentation boards in Grad school, all of my wedding invitations. I've had a lot of practice! Getting clean cuts can be frustrating, but with a little practice, can be very easy.

Here are a few of my tips: 1. Hold the metal ruler (with cork underneath) tight with your non dominant hand. You want the pressure to be next to where you are cutting (keep your fingers clear, always watch where you are cutting!), for longer cuts, pause from cutting and adjust your hand. 2. Keep your cutting hand on the table and drag your hand, not the tip of your knife. Also, keep the blade fairly even with the surface (don't just press with the tip) This gives you more control and a straighter cut 3. Protect the side that you are cutting with the ruler. You can see in the photo above that I am protecting the outside of the J, since I am throwing out the J. This way if your Xacto knife slips, you will most likely not damage what you are keeping. 4. Change your blade often. A sharper blade will help a cleaner cut. 5. Keep your blade parallel and tightly against the ruler. This will help keep the cut straight.

Above all, make sure that you go slow and watch your fingers!

After you've cut out your letters, put them to the side and cut a piece of paper to go behind the letters to attach the gold leaf to. I cut mine slightly smaller, to line it up easily. If you would like the back to be perfect, you may want to make this piece a little larger and trim the edges at the end.

Lightly spray with spray adhesive

GENTLY apply gold leafing sheets to the tacky paper. It is VERY fragile. I used the paper sheets that it came with to place it down and then gently press it to the surface. Hold with two hands when applying, not one like the photo (guess I should of gotten the tripod out :)

Spray with a thin coat of clear to protect it. Once dry, place your piece of paper with text (lightly sprayed with spray adhesive) on top. Apply a thin layer of craft glue to the center of O, R, D, etc and place on top.

Trim any excess of the back piece of paper and frame!

 I love how different it looks depending on the angle of the lighting

and how the wrinkled texture looks a little like leather.

I moved the mirror temporarily to put up a boxwood wreath, I love the texture against our stenciled wall

I also made one for our entryway, it is my new favorite spot in the house!

The gold leaf was $6 with a 40% off coupon at a local craft store, and came with 25 5x5 sheets. I used 2 sheets per 8.5x11, so you could easily make about 12 for only $6! 

Click here to look at all of my DIY Christmas ideas.


and don't forget to enter for a chance to win {4} prints from my Etsy shop, click here to enter

Winner will be announced Thursday!


  1. They look beautiful. I love the added texture too!

  2. I love these! The gold definitely takes everything homemade one step up in my book.
    With Luck

  3. What a beautiful wreath, and a great project! I've never thought of gold leading a print like this, it looks awesome.

  4. That's it, I'm ready to try!! Oh, and your wreath is the best I've seen. GORGEOUS.

  5. Replies
    1. Hi Vicky! Thanks so much for following along! :)

  6. Replies
    1. send me an email at sarah.m.dorsey at and I'll send you a copy :)

  7. I just found your site. LOVE everything!

    I'd love a PDF of the "LOVE" print.


Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts! I love hearing what you think! :)

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