There are some things that just go naturally together; salt with pepper, gin with tonic and leather with gold embossing.
Embossing leather with gold just looks right. It’s glamorous without being tacky. It’s luxurious without being pretentious.
Importance Of Embossing Your Leather Item
Gold embossing is the perfect finishing touch to a leather item, whether it’s for yourself, as a gift, for promotional purposes, or to commemorate or reward something or someone special.
Embossing a bag or case with initials, a leather diary or notebook with your business name and logo, or a leatherbound photo album with a special date, names or locations can turn something beautiful into something exquisite.
Although, for elaborate designs or for a truly professional look, it is a good idea to have your items gold embossed professionally. However, it is possible to learn how to do it yourself as a craft project and to work on embossing your own items as you improve your craft.
Equipment & Tools Needed
Depending on the type of gold embossing you would like to try, and on the leather item you are going to emboss the gold onto, you will need different equipment and tools.
The quickest and cheapest way to try your hand at embossing leather is to use the following:
- Leather stamps.
- A wet sponge.
- A mallet.
- Your leather item (better to use a practice item for the first few tries).
- A small paintbrush.
- Gold paint that is specifically for use on leather.
To try something a bit more challenging try using gold leaf. For this, you will need the following:
- Acrylic paint.
- Gold leaf sizing (special glue for gold leaf).
- Gold leaf sheets.
- Gilder’s tip.
- Foam brush.
- Dry paintbrush.
- Lint-free cloth.
Step By Step Leather Embossing Process
To emboss leather, the easiest and quickest way for beginners is to:
- Moisten the leather with a damp sponge.
- Arrange the leather stamp/s where you want them, measuring carefully.
- Hit the stamp handles with the mallet (tip: try lifting a portion of the stamp to check it has worked before removing the stamp completely).
If you are creating the gold effect with gold dye/leather paint:
- Protect your work surface.
- Use the gold leather paint to carefully paint over your embossed surface.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding base coats, drying time and ensuring you have adequate ventilation.
To use gold leaf, follow these steps:
- Protect your work surface.
- Ensure you have adequate ventilation but avoid drafts as you don’t want your gold leaf to blow about.
- Follow the instructions that came with your gold leaf/gold leaf sizing.
- Carefully paint the embossed pattern/text with acrylic paint.
- Ensure the paint is completely dry.
- Using a foam brush, coat the surfaces where you will be applying the gold leaf with the sizing.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how long to leave the sizing, as each maker can be different and you need your surface tacky.
- Apply the gold leaf either with a gilder’s tip or by placing the sheet on and gently pulling away the tissue paper (depending on the type of leaf you have).
- Use the dry paintbrush to push the gold leaf into the embossed area.
- Continue adding the gold leaf until the whole pattern/text is covered.
- Rub with a lint-free cloth to remove any areas of leaf outside of the embossed areas.
Using A Professional To Get The Best Result
At Furnells, we have been embossing leather for nearly 40 years so don’t be disheartened if your results didn’t turn out as you’d hoped. It is a craft that improves with time, practice and dedication. If you don’t have the time to perfect your craft, or if you want some gold embossing done for a special occasion or to promote your business, then get in touch with us at Furnells. We will ensure your leather embossed items are just as you would wish them to be.