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Make This: Decorative Copper Leafed Plants

by on Jun 17, 2020

Photos: Marlene Sauer

“I have too many plants…” — said no one ever. 

Except, perhaps, people who can’t keep plants alive.

Good news for all you plant-murderers: faux plants can often look as gorgeous as the real thing. Especially if you glam them up with my all-time favorite crafting material, copper leaf.

Today I’m going to show you how to make copper leaf plants so that you can bring some unique and botanical beauty to your summer decorating. That’s right, we’re leafing leaves! Ready to see how?          

If you’ve never tried metal leaf before, you’re going to love how easy it is to use, and how stunning the results turn out!

How to add metallic leafing to plants


Materials needed to copper-leaf your leaves!



Step 1 | Copper Leafing a Fake Plant

Pour out a small amount of the gilding adhesive and brush it onto the faux leaf. Start with just a small section so you don’t have to work too quickly from it drying too fast.


Step 2 | Copper Leafing a Fake Plant

Allow the gilding adhesive to dry for a couple minutes until it becomes clear and tacky. Then, tear off a few pieces of copper leaf and press them onto the adhesive.

Note: Be sure to follow the instructions of your gilding adhesive brand, since it may differ from the one I used! 

Don’t worry about completely covering the area with copper leaf, you can fill in any gaps later. 


Step 3 | Copper Leafing a Fake Plant

And you’re off! Repeat steps 1 – 2 until you have covered as much of the leaf with leaf (ha) as you like. Then wait for the piece to dry.

The adhesive will dry more quickly on a plastic-y leaf like the one I’m using. If you use faux plants that are more silky, like flowers, it will still work great, but will take longer to dry.


Step 4 | Copper Leafing a Fake Plant

Once the gilding adhesive has completely dried, use the foam brush to gently brush away any excess leaf that isn’t glued down.

You can see here that there are quite a few gaps on my leaf — that’s because I didn’t wait long enough for the adhesive to dry! However, I was going for a more raw look anyway, so I was happy with how this came out.

If you have bare spots that you would like to fill in with copper leaf, simply brush on more adhesive and repeat the process to cover those gaps.

A metallic-leafed plant

And that’s it! Plop those shiny copper botanicals in a vase and enjoy.

Pink and white flower in a glass vase in front of a blue painted wall.
Photos: Marlene Sauer

Copper leafed plants

I absolutely adore how the copper leaf looks on the protea blossom — check out at all that glimmer!
Copper leaf on fake flowers

Copper leaf on fake flowers

What do you think of embellishing artificial plants with copper leaf? Would you try this in your own home? I would love to know your own unique decorating tips and ideas!

A art crafts on the table
Share this project on Pinterest!



Looking for other ways to decorate with plants? Check out some more project ideas here


Bonus: we’ve got a roundup of gorgeous fake plants to choose from!

DIY Plant Projects

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