Monday 1 December 2014

How To Make Your Own Gilded Wreath!

Welcome to The Relics Festive December Post! 
This year, we're giving you a seasonal tutorial to create a stunning wreath,using variegated leaf to gild, making a beautiful statement on your front door, or as a Christmas table centrepiece.

We stock variegated metal leaf in two forms: loose metal leaf and transfer leaf. Transfer leaf, which we're using today, is easier to work with as the wax-backed paper allows a firmer hold, as well as strengthening the leaf.

Here's how to make yours!

You will need:

One of our vine wreaths
Garden foliage

Select evergreen foliage from your garden or the hedgerow. We've chosen viburnum, but ivy would work just as well. Holly is an option but be warned: it bites! 

Our vine wreaths are like round, plump doughnuts, with plenty of room to build up a layers. Begin by inserting your first stem. 

The stems work best if they are cut to a medium length (about 20 cm) with the leaves stripped from the lower end of each. This means that the bare twig can be inserted into the vine wreath without getting clogged up.

It's a good idea to keep all your stems flowing in the same direction to give the most professional finish. You'll notice that much of the foliage will have a natural bent one way or the other. Make sure that you manipulate the stem so that it bends the same way as the wreath base before insertion.

Keep building layer upon layer until you can't see any more of the vine base, and your wreath has a pleasing fullness.

Working your whole way around the wreath, squeeze your hands gently but firmly over the foliage to make a tighter shape. This helps to calm any wayward tendencies!

Pick out 7 or so new stems to gild. These should have nice big leaves so the gilding shows up really well. Coat each leaf surface with acrylic size. When size is ready, it becomes transparent and has a glossy sheen, whilst still remaining tacky.

Press a sheet of the transfer leaf onto each leaf at a time, using your finger, or a brush to give firm pressure all over. Then peel the wax paper away. This will leave the variegated leaf clinging onto the size.

Check for any areas that need a second (or third...) attempt. The wonderful thing about gilding with this method, is that you can have multiple attempts to get the look you want. Keep going until you are satisfied with the coverage.

Softly rub the gilded surfaces with a brush to remove any loose flakes and apply a thin coat of Liberon's Black Bison Antique Pine wax with a soft cotton cloth to protect the gilded finish. 

This is essential if you're planning to hang your wreath outside. Once the wax has been left for its allotted time, you can buff the waxed surface with a clean cloth. This will bring out a superb lustre to the variegated leaf.

Insert these gilded stems into the wreath, and remove any leaves that are not in tip-top condition.

If you're only just getting the gilding bug then you'll love our Gilding Kit, full of the essentials to get you going, and, at only £14.99 is a huge saving on the sum total.

We hope you love it as much as we do.

Happy Gilding

Merry Christmas!

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Monday 3 November 2014

The Very Best Gilding Craft Projects...

We, at Relics of Witney, are enthralled with the process of gilding. To be able to bring such life, such sparkle, such magic to everyday objects, particularly at this time of year, gives us a special kind of crafty thrill. In this post, we present to you a round-up of the very best gilding craft projects out there, from the easy everyday right through to those festive jaw-droppers that Santa himself would be proud of.

For example, what do you think about this incredible gilded craft: a map art tutorial using gold leaf?

Gilded Map Art (would personally use silver leaf, but the idea is awesome!)

Our gorgeous gold leaf gilded terracotta pots invoked an avalanche of compliments over Christmas last year. Find the full tutorial here. You can find our special variegated leaf here.

...or try this tutorial for another take on gilded terracotta pots...

DIY Gilded Terracotta Pots

gilded pine cone garland will add more than a touch of rustic luxe this Christmas.

Follow our simple gilded pine cone tutorial using Liberon's Gilt Cream to create one of your own this Christmas.

Find out how to make these beautiful gilded seashells here:

Easy Seashell Craft: How to Make Gilded Seashells with Gold Leaf Paint and Gold Leaf Sheets

These simple but eye-catching pebbles are gilded using gold leaf. The tutorial uses an ingenious method to create really intricate designs using gold leaf.

DIY gold leaf rocks. Perfect combo of nature and sparkle!

Aren't these gilded gold leaf balloons glorious? We love projects like these that give fantastic results even for beginners.

{how-to | the top six best DIY's of the moment : gold edition}

We found a tutorial for these gilded table numbers here. Wouldn't they be perfect for a wedding?

gilded table numbers diy #diytablenumbers #weddingreception #weddingchicks

As these next projects show, it's possible to gild onto a number of different surfaces, including glass. In this tutorial, Mason Jars are given a new lease of life. Use our gold leaf to get the same effect.

Upgrade your dinner table with gilded DIY vases and votives. Use a foam brush to apply adhesive to the outside of a mason jar in small, irregular patches. When the sticky substance turns clear—in about 30 minutes— press on sheets of gold leaf. Then, rub away excess flecks with a paper towel for a lovely weathered patina.

Stencil How-to: Reverse Stenciling and Gilding on Glass (Going to do this to my kitchen chairs)

For the more adventurous among you, have you considered using gold leaf to gild an entire piece of furniture? This tutorial is fantastic...

Martha Stewart takes through a gilded craft project here, with a step by step guide to gilding a lamp shade.

DIY Gilded Floor Lampshade from Martha Steward : I had no idea how gilding was done. Martha makes it easy.

Find out how to make a gilded letter edge here. This would be a perfect craft project for ultra-smart Christmas cards. See our full range of different coloured leaf for a full range of effects.

how to make a gilded edge envelope - Gold Bow Stationery | Damask Love Blog

If you're itching to get started with gilding projects, then take a look at our Gilding Kit, which includes: 25 sheets of gold leaf, 40ml of acrylic gold size, a small pack of steel wool, gilding base coat and 25ml of antiquing wax. 

At only £14.99, this Gilding Kit is fantastic value for money, and would make a perfect present for the crafters in your life!

And now, it's time for us to get going with Christmas gilding craftproject of our own, which we'll be sharing next month.... 

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Wednesday 1 October 2014

How To Create The Perfect Boot Room

Aaah, October. 
The cosier evenings, the warming drinks, the roaring fires....

....and the mud, the grime and the dirty leaves! 

If you have the space, may we recommend 
The Boot Room?

plain bench. 2 levels of hooks. cubbies for shoes as they never get neatly stacked anyway.....

And if you don't have the space, please don't fret. It's an easy task to carve out part of your hall, kitchen, garden shed or utility room as a boot space.

INTERIOR DESIGN ∙ COUNTRY HOUSES ∙ Wiltshire - Todhunter EarleTodhunter Earle

Here's our Source Book of Boot Room essentials...

Lots Of Pegs
Peg rails are a great way to add multiple pegs to a wall. They add a touch of Shaker simplicity that feels right for such a busy space.

Boot, Pantry and Utility room’s | Lewis Alderson

Try our stunning peg rails in unfinished oak. They come in lengths of 2, 4 or 6 pegs to suit your needs exactly. 

UK (company Border Oak, Green Oak Framing)

Boot Scraper
Choose one with a heavy cast iron finish to withstand all that your muddy boots can throw at it. We love this boot scraper with its antique finish and simple detailing:

Wellington Storage

Organizing Ideas - Repurposed DIY Vintage Crate Boot Rack - utility area once more...

We adore vintage boxes for boot storage. They're large, airy and are pre-dirtied! We're currently selling a range of old-style Coca Cola boxes that would work well for busy boots and shoes. With an aged patina and metal trivet detailing, these will add a touch of vintage charm to your space.

Alternatively, try our untreated oak Welly Boot Racks. These are easily fixed against a wall, and will make a great feature, as well as tying in with our peg rails. Too often, storage solutions are either stylish or practical. We're always thrilled to find products that manage to be both.

Cast iron boot racks can work just as well outside if treated. Ours is sturdy, strong and beautiful (and available in store). What more could you need?!

Fallen Fruits Cast Iron Boot Rack


Baskets are an easy and stylish way to give yourself more storage. 

Laundry Room / utility room. Storage. Cabinets. Counter space.

At Relics of Witney, we have a whole host of gorgeous baskets in a large range of shapes and sizes that will give your Boot Room (or Boot Space) the wow-factor. 

A nice orderly boot room, yes please. Great for hiding the dyson.

With these Boot Room essentials in place, you'll have a perfectly prepared Boot Room, ready and waiting for the coming Autumn days.

college greenlight, coffee1, unknown, toddhunter earle, Lewis Alderson, Border Oak, Relics of Witney, finding home, Relics of Witney, wayfair, unknown, remodelista

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Thursday 4 September 2014

Earthborn Claypaints: Green And Gorgeous

Earthborn are the heroes of the green paint movement. 
There's no doubt about it. 

In fact, in honour of Earthborn, this month, we've restyled the window display at Relics of Witney. It now features lots of ideas to inspire you to get creative with this delicious paint.

Why do we love Earthborn paints so much? We're sure you don't need us to tell you that historically emulsions have contained VOCs but you may need your eyes opening to the fantastic range of truly stylish and environmentally friendly paints available, and that's where Relics of Witney can help.

Colours | Earthborn paints
The Earthborn Range Of Paints

VOC stands for 'Volatile Organic Compounds' which are emitted as gasses from some paints, not only when initially painting but in the weeks, months and years to come. We've been unintentionally contaminating our homes. All paint companies are moving away from using these nasty chemicals but Earthborn has taken an altogether different route.

Pictured here is the beautiful Button Tin from earthborn. Other earthborn colours shown are The Lido, Riverbank, Story Book and Fuggles
Earthborn Button Tin, The Lido, Riverbank, Fuggles and Storybook

Earthborn come highly recommended by Relics of Witney for areas where walls need to 'breathe' because their Emulsions are clay-based, Eggshells oil- and acrylic-free and Woodstains water-based. You see, the water absorbed by old buildings needs to escape through its surfaces; if these are covered in non-permeable paint then you may end up with damp problems. Earthborn's gentle formula allows the moisture in older walls to evaporate freely.

Paint that looks good enough to eat from Earthborn, shades of Vanilla and Straw
Earthborn Vanilla

And there's more good news! Earthborn Claypaints have been created with an ultra-chalky finish that softens and enhances the light in your room. The thoughtfully put-together range of sixty colours allows these paints to be used right across the design spectrum. 

@Earthborn @Ercol Furniture  Earthborn Paint in Nellie and an Ercol chair at our desk. Photo by Hannah Cooper
Earthborn Nellie

There's an Earthborn paint with your name on, whether your look is feminine....

Earthborn paints are high quality, odour-free and sustainable, making them perfect for high-traffic areas like children’s rooms. Shown is Tutu, Cupcake, Lily Lily Rose and Eiderdown in Claypaint, £31 for 2.5 litres. “Earthborn paints don’t contain any nasties such as VOCs or toxins found in conventional paints. Earthborn is only made from natural ingredients, giving you peace of mind that no chemicals are being released,” says John Dison of Earthborn. 01928 734171 or
Earthborn Lily Lily Rose, Cupcake and Eiderdown

Earthborn Gregory's Den with Farrow and Ball's Blue Gray
Earthborn Gregory's Den alongside Farrow and Ball Blue Gray


earthBorn's 'Muddy Boots' looks great in a bathroom
Earthborn Muddy Boots

or coastal....

A local house painted in our beautiful Earthborn Silicate Masonry Paint. #Earthborn #SilicateMasonryPaint #CelticSustainables
Earthborn Masonry Paint

Earthborn paints are fantastic for painting furniture. If you're looking for a paint that needs minimum prep work then have a look at Earthborn, as they are designed to be used with no primer at all. However, we do always recommend using primer for all brands because we believe more preparation means a better, more long-lasting finish. 

They can be combined with Osmo Oils for a really hard-wearing finish that's also good for your health.

Using Earthborn Claypaint For Furniture Painting - Part 1: Inspiration
Osmo Oils

Earthborn paints are the perfect excuse to let your creativity run wild. For example, we love the way they've been used on these tiles with stencils. The ultra-flat finish complements the matt-ness of the terracotta surface.

Moroccan effect tiles created using a stencil and Earthborn paints

For more information that tailor-made to your needs, come and see us at Relics of Witmey, or visit our online store.

We've recently added these large wooden circles showing samples of Earthborn paints. Seeing is believing! 

Images via: Relics, Relics, Earthborn, Earthborn, Earthborn, Earthborn, Earthborn, Modern Country Style, Anna Starmer, Earthborn, Earthborn, Relics, Relics, 

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