This TikTok Hack Recreates the Look of Gold Leaf for $0—with Impressive Results

published Oct 1, 2020
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Credit: Lara Bezzina

If you’re looking for glitz and glamour, it’s hard to beat the look of gold leaf on frames, on vases, and even—as shown in gold leaf artist Lara Bezzina’s home—on architectural features like fireplaces.

And while gold leaf is actually cheaper than you might guess (a small booklet of genuine gold leaf sheets will run you about $20), it’s certainly not free. And free, if you’re a clever DIYer with a penchant for upcycling, is the name of the game.

Take this genius hack from Emma Foss of Y Street Studio, which has amassed over 40,000 likes since she shared it on TikTok. Foss, an experienced DIYer, was about to throw away some empty Modelo beer bottles when she was struck with a realization: their gold-toned foil wrappers are a pretty convincing dupe for gold leaf. So Foss carefully removed them from the bottles’ necks and smoothed out their creases, carefully collecting everything into a bowl.

Foss painted a glass vase gray and glued the wrappers in a cascading design on its rim, making for a finished item that’s just the right amount of glam. This easy afternoon project can also be done on frames, as Foss mentions, and other small accessories, too—especially as the holidays get underway. Think: candlesticks, wreaths, ornaments, and table centerpieces.

If you don’t have any Modelos on hand, consider this a perfect excuse to kick back for a relaxed happy hour within your social distancing bubble. Of course, you’re not limited to bottles—let this hack inspire you to look at your entire recycling bin with a fresh eye toward DIY.