Autumn Leaf Dishes for Fall Decor

Autumn Leaf Dishes for Fall Decor

Since Fall is my favorite season, I am always drawn to anything Fall-related at thrift stores. Acorns, squirrels, pumpkins- you name it. So, it’s no surprise that these wooden leaves stopped me in my thrifting tracks. Of course I needed these autumn leaf dishes, and I knew exactly how I wanted to jazz them up.

wooden leaf dishes

Normally, I’d grab up wooden dishes like these and paint them! Goodness knows I’ve done it many times before, such as with these painted wooden pumpkins

painted wood pumpkins for rustic fall decor

But, it just so happened that I’d just seen a Michaels ad for a craft product that I hadn’t ever used before. And I decided that these wooden leaf dishes were the perfect upcycling guinea pig.

wooden leaves for November decorations

This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. All blue, bold, and underlined text is a clickable link, either to a product or to a related post.

Crafting with Foil Flakes

Ok, so my plan was to use these foil flakes from Michaels on the wooden leaves. I’d never worked with gold leaf before, but it made (punny) sense to try it on something leaf-shaped!

foil flakes for autumn leaf dishes

Aren’t they lovely? In all those metallic shades of autumn, with some tourmaline hues thrown in? They weren’t available in any of my nearby Michaels stores, so I ordered them online.

Anyway, before I got started with the gilding flakes, I cleaned off the grease pencil price first. Then I planned to paint the base of each leaf dish in a matte gold before doing anything else.

making the autumn leaf dishes

Why? Well, for a couple of reasons. One, if I did a sub-par job with the foil flakes, then a gold surface would peek through instead of bare wood.

But perhaps more importantly, the gold paint gave me an outline to follow when I used the gilding adhesive! Once the gold paint dried, I layered on some adhesive and let it “dry” for nearly an hour.

adhesive for foil flakes or gilding flakes

Allowing it to dry for a while was in the instructions- trust me!

Gilding the Autumn Leaf Dishes

Next, once the gilding adhesive had dried, it was VERY tacky and ready for the foil flakes. So, I sprinkled them across the sticky gold surface.

gilding flakes on wood

When using these gilding flakes, it’s definitely important to use special adhesive to get that tackiness!

Then, I burnished the flakes with my fingertips, pressing all the flakes firmly against the tacky surface. Pressing and smoothing down, until the entire surface had been foiled.

foil flakes on wood

After that, I used a fairly stiff stencil brush to remove excess flake from the gilded surface, until it was smooth.

leaf decoration for November

I actually think I overdid this step and lost some of the shimmer and shine. But, it *was* my first time using gold leaf or foil flakes, so I cut myself some slack.

Lastly, I gently dusted off the autumn leaf dishes with a soft, dry cloth before using the varnish that came with the adhesive.

autumn leaf dishes for november decorations

I used two coats of varnish to protect the foiled surface and that was it! My decorative leaves were all done.

Autumn Leaf Dishes for Fall Decor

This is one of those projects that is hard to photograph. The foil flakes almost have a holographic look and change color depending on the light, the angle, and even the camera I used.

autumn leaf dishes

But they really are lovely in person, truly capturing the essence of late Fall in November. And now that I’ve tried foil flakes on something, I’m definitely interested in trying them again!

autumn leaf dishes with gilding flakes


And, guess what? Today is the second Wednesday of the month, which means it’s Thrift Store Decor Team Day! Check out what my upcycling gal-pals have been up to!

repurposed projects or thrift store makeovers from upcycling bloggers

1. Thrifted Spice Rack Repurposed As Christmas Decor ShelfOrganized Clutter

2. Pressed Glassware MakeoverHouse of Hawthornes

3. Small Hanging Christmas DisplayPetticoat Junktion

4. Folding Tray Table MakeoverMy Repurposed Life

5. Autumn Leaf Dishes with Foil FlakesSadie Seasongoods

6. Tray Makeover Using Peel and Stick TilesMy Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

7. DIY Outdoor Two Tone Furniture FinishOur Southern Home

8. Easy Layered Chippy Paint FinishReinvented Delaware

9. Christmas Farmhouse ToolboxDomestically Speaking

10. Repurposed Wooden CalendarShop at Blu


I hope you enjoyed my autumn leaf dishes! And trust me when I tell you that they are SO much lovelier in person. If you’ve never tried gilding flakes or foil flakes before, think you will now?

Also, don’t forget that I have even more Fall decor ideas (and Christmas, too!) in my book, “Crafting with Flannel”! It’s available for online purchase from Amazon, Target, Barnes & Noble, and Walmart.

fall leaf wreath from flannel shirts

And if you enjoyed this upcycling idea for autumn leaf dishes, then you may also be interested in this fall sign that features painted leaves, as well!

fall leaves decor on an autumn sign

Craft on!


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gilding flakes for november decorations

crafting with foil flakes on wood

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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. I like this gilding medium. the leaf tray are awesome!

  2. Sarah, the gold leaf flakes and the colors they are look perfect for these sweet dishes! Pinned😊

  3. What a wonderful idea!! They came out really nice!!

  4. Sarah I love this texture! I’m all about those new products and when it makes things shimmer…whoohoo! This would be great on acorns too!

  5. Those foil flakes are so pretty!!! I need to look for those!

  6. These are beautiful, I have never seen the foil flakes before. I need to check those out. Pinned

  7. What? Those are too cute! I always love what you can find to do with all the old wooden stuff from the thrifts!

  8. Rebecca Payne says

    I love these posts.

  9. Your wooden leaf dishes turned out soooo sweet! Great tips and I love your honesty.



  10. Becky Perrella says

    Love wooden containers and love what you’ve done with yours.

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