gold leaf ketubah

i think that a little gold makes everything better, especially a ketubah.

and since i love to add 24 ct. gold leaf to many of my ketubot, i thought it would be interesting to show you how i do that.

gold leaf can be added anywhere to add a touch of shine and richness: it can be a border, a detail in a painting, lettering or i can make an entire design out of gold leaf. once i have decided what i’m gilding, be it a design or some lettering, i apply some special glue, called size, that the gold then sticks to. i can either paint it on with a brush like you see here or write with the glue in a dip pen as if it were ink.


when the glue has dried and become tacky, i place the gold leaf where i want it to be, smoothing it with my finger. if you miss that sweet spot and it gets too dry, you can revive it by gently breathing on it. here i’m using patent gold leaf, meaning that the gold is mounted to the paper, which makes it much easier to work with than the loose sheets that fly about. i love that the envelope says it’s meant ‘for gilding in the wind’.


usually more gold will come off than i wanted, so i brush away the excess gold, the gold that doesn’t stick, pushing it up along the sized area so that it will stick to the next length of border. i try to keep as much of the gold as possible that doesn’t stick to keep using as i go along, but mostly it just turns to dust. it’s quite lovely to have gold dust floating about my studio, especially if it’s a sunny day and it catches the light.


and there you go! a thin gold leaf border to add a little extra something to my just text print ketubah, simple & elegant.