Gilding wax can be used to create fantastic metallic effects on paper, card or other surfaces. Its metallic lustre won’t fade or tarnish, and you can apply the wax with a brush, cloth or directly with your finger. Each colour is stunning on its own, but the effect really comes to life if you mix and match the different shades on one piece. In this gilding wax tutorial, designer Dorothy Wood shows you how to work the gilding wax in such a way that creates an aged, vintage look to your papercraft projects.
If you leave gaps between the areas of wax, extra colour can be added with watercolour paints, and the wax can also be used to age edges in the same way as Distress Inks. Gilding wax works really well with other altered art techniques such as texture paint and torn or rough edges. Try using the wax with antique-themed die-cuts, and experimenting with different papers and card thicknesses for a variety of finishes.
Here’s a top tip for using gilding wax: Create a metallic leather look by crumpling your gilt-covered shapes, then smooth the paper out with your fingers, et voila! You’ve just created a metallic leather look with your gilding waxes.
Short on patterned paper? Take a look at our ever-growing collection of free patterned papers, there are lots to choose from and there are lots of different themes. We love these vintage sewing papers! For more general card making, let us show you how to make cards.
You Will Need
- Gilding wax
- Patterned paper
First, set up your workspace. Always work on a non-stick, heat-resistant craft mat (or sheet) for projects like this. It will protect your worktop, stop your project from sticking and be really easy to clean down afterwards.
Die-cut a large frame and any embellishments from favourite dies in your stash. Pick up some of your gilding wax with a paintbrush, we’re going in with a pewter colour, and add to your frame in a scattered, blotchy pattern by swirling the brush.
Clean your paintbrush by rubbing it onto a soft cloth before applying the next colour.
Repeat with different shades of metal gilding wax, we’re using gold and copper, to build up the colours and cover all of the frame. Then use a water brush to dab some watercolour paint over the frame (we’ve gone for a cherry sorbet colour), especially on any card shining through.
Use a heat gun to dry the wax gilt before you buff it with a soft cloth, or it will wipe off.
Repeat this method on your die-cut embellishments to give them a vintage, aged look using your gilding wax. You could also use paper ephemera!
Now let’s start building up the card. To tie the gilded wax theme in with the card, add some gilding wax around the edge of any panels of paper that you use as you build up the main design of your card.
Finally, add all the elements together to create a card or other papercraft project. If you’re building up a project with lots of elements, like we are here, it’s a good idea to test out where you want everything first, before glueing it down.