I have an obsession with agates. I love the colors, particularly the blue tones, the texture, and the glamorous yet natural aesthetic they provide.
I just moved into a new apartment in October, and I knew that I wanted to use agates to help decorate in some way. I toyed with the idea of coasters, but ultimately my friend Lauren and I decided to make agate bookends (the coasters might come soon!). They were incredibly easy to make, and not expensive at all! I have found similar bookends at Pottery Barn or other retailers, but they are $70+. Mine cost about $20 (I already had the gold leaf and glue).
The entire process was incredibly easy to do, and quick. The best part is once they are done, there is no waiting for them to dry or set, you can put them to use right away.
Tip: Make sure to put down paper on whatever surface you are working on, and be very careful of getting the glue on your fingers! It is super sticky and can really damage the golf leaf if it touches it too much.
Step 1: Use a small paintbrush to paint the glue onto the outside of the agate rocks. Make sure to get all of the crevices, without allowing it to pool at all. After doing a thin coat on the outside, the rock should have a slight white tint to it. Be mindful of the white color though- it showed up more on my friends agates than on mine. Let the glue dry for 30 minutes (or follow the specific instructions on the bottle!)
Step 2: Apply the gold leaf! This is the fun/challenging part of the project. In general the gold leaf applied easily for me, but the cracks and crevices in the rock proved difficult to cover properly. Use the (dry) paint brush to apply the leaf and brush off the excess. On a few spots I had to use a bit more glue to properly cover everything.
Tip: Be very careful working with the gold leaf! It is incredibly delicate. Try to use the clean paintbrush as much as possible, rather than your fingers. It can tear and flake very easily.
We toyed with the idea of coating the outside with a sealant, but ultimately decided against it. Mine has started to flake a small amount, so it could be a good idea!
Step 3: Style your bookends! It really is that easy. They look perfect on a bookshelf, desk, or counter.