Making Gilded Holiday Decor With Foraged Leaves

Creating holiday greenery with foraged plants and a little gold paint is easy and fun. The true beauty of this project lies not only in the results, but in the fact that the outcome (depending on where you live and what’s available to you) will always be uniquely your own.

Here, Gardenista contributing editor Justine shows her passion for working with foraged greens and getting creative with the natural materials she found.

Above: The most important part of this holiday DIY project is to think outside the box. Justine happened to have holly in her yard, but eschewed it in favor of non-traditional greens like thorns and dried oak leaves.

Above: This project is about what you already have: paint brushes and whatever twigs and greens you can get your hands on. All you may need to buy is a little gold and silver paint. Justine used Martha Stewart’s Multi-Surface Metallic Acrylic Craft Paint and Liquid Gilding, both available at Michaels.

Above: Don’t be fussy with your project: Justine found that quick brushstrokes often had a more desirous effect than more deliberate applications.

Above: According to Justine, it’s fun to mix and match. Here is her little holiday “boutonniere” of beech, oak, and dried Black-Eyed-Susan.

Above: Use your gilded greens on packages, mantels, as a centerpiece for the holiday table, or to enhance wreaths and garlands. (Note that any leaves that are not already dried will wither once inside, unless you put them in a bit of water.) Click here to see more of Justine’s arrangements.

Looking for more DIY decor? See 235 inspired Holiday Projects in Remodelista‘s DIY section.


Michele Wilkinson

Thank you

Heidi Aubrey
Heidi Aubrey5 years ago


Armand B.
Past Member 5 years ago

Thanks....use a lot of pine cones, some natural, others "baked" or gilded.

Laura V.
Laura V5 years ago

love it!

Debbie Williamson
Solitary Eagle5 years ago

thank you

Talya Honor
Talya H5 years ago


susan k.
susan k5 years ago


Penny C.
penny C5 years ago


Thorn Briar
Past Member 5 years ago


Charla D.
Charla D5 years ago

Nice ideas! Pinecones are a great addition as well (and they hold up for years)