DIY Black & Gold Globe

You like how I just tell you exactly what’s coming in that title? No cutesy puns or creative post titles for me. Just jumping right to the point.

But really, there’s no cutesy post title that can even come close to the awesomeness (yes, that’s a word) of this project. So I didn’t even try it.

Yup. I did that. I’m absurdly proud of this guy because I’m so, so, so in love with it.

Let’s start at the beginning, though.

We actually bought this globe from Goodwill a while back when we were looking for a project for round one of Creating With the Stars. We saw it almost immediately upon walking in the store and knew that we had to have it. It was $25, which was a bit on the steep side for our normal Goodwill purchases, but you don’t walk away from a globe with that much potential.

My mind immediately began racing with all of the possibilities for what we could do with this guy, but Corey had his mind made up from the start – a black background with gold-leaf continents. I love a man who knows what he wants.

This was an absurdly simple project – I started off with some black craft paint and painted all of the oceans black. I didn’t let myself get too fussy with this part – no one really has the entire globe memorized and won’t realize if a tiny little island in the middle of the ocean is missing. And, really, I wasn’t going for geographical accuracy so some of the smaller islands were sacrificed for the sake of my sanity (sorry, Hawaii).

It took two coats of paint for it to look good – it took maybe two episodes of Vampire Diaries. Or, for those of you who measure time like normal people, about two hours. But I’m slow…and maybe a little lot distracted by Ian Somerhalder’s jawline.

Mmm.

Uh, yeah. Moving on. Once the black paint was done, it was time for the gold leaf. I was a little terrified of this before I got started because it seems so intimidating. But this stuff is seriously foolproof. It looks amazing no matter how much you screw it up, and it’s really impossible to make it look bad. That’s my kind of crafting.

I just painted on the adhesive and waited a few minutes for it to become tacky – the directions say wait at least 20 minutes before applying the gold leaf, but I found that it didn’t take more than 5 or 10 for it to get tacky and if I waited much longer it started to lose the stick. So, I’d just paint it on and test it every few minutes until it felt nice and sticky, then I’d plop the gold leaf on and press it down until it all stuck.

From there, I just removed the excess gold leaf and we were good to go! It took a few applications in some spots to really get the whole thing covered, but when all was said and done it was a really simple process that was only slightly annoying. It did make a big mess though. Fair warning.

And just like that, it was done! We considered painting the base a fun color, but I kinda dig the wood look and we couldn’t agree on a good color so we decided to leave it as-is for now. The globe is hanging out in the living room for now, but who knows where it’ll end up long-term. We’ve talked about putting it up in the guest room or even our bedroom, so it may just migrate around the house so every room gets to enjoy it!

I’m pretty obsessed with how this turned out. The black and gold combination makes me weak in the knees, and I always love a more modern take on such a classic piece. Between our map wall and the two globes we now have in our house, I think we might have the beginnings of a collection on our hands!

Do you have a globe in your house? Anyone else drooling over Ian Somerhalder globes lately?

36 comments

  1. ErinY says:

    UM. HELLO. Did y’all unleash a beast with crafting with the stars??? I loved your stuff before but you have seriously upped your game these last few weeks! Keep up the great work, guys! Also, I totally vote for keeping the natural wood, I think it’s gorgeous with the black and gold.

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    Amanda Reply:

    Thanks!! The natural look grows on me a little more each day, haha

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  2. Mama Mimi says:

    Oh my goodness. GENIUS!!! I bought a globe from good will years and years and years ago and still have not come up with a clever idea to fix it up. But now I know. Thank you for this tutorial what an AMAZING creation!!!! This is exactly the type of bright idea I have been waiting for someone else to come up with first 😉

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  3. Sherry says:

    I’d paint the base a glossy black, not matte like the globe. (Or possibly an “antique bronze” color.) I think the existing wood tone kind of detracts from the sophistication of the black and gold, but otherwise it’s really nice!

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  4. stefanie says:

    Hi, just curious, but do you think you could write over the gold foil? Or is it too delicate? We are thinking of using a globe for our guest book at our wedding. I love this idea! But wasn’t sure a paint pen/sharpie would work over gold foil? Thanks!

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    Amanda Reply:

    You could probably write on it very lightly, but I would worry about it in a setting like that because people probably wouldn’t be very careful with it! You could always do a white (or gold?) sharpie on the black part, though!

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    stefanie Reply:

    Thanks, Amanda!

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  5. micaylamiller says:

    What type of adhesive did you use?

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    Amanda Reply:

    I used some glue that I found right next to the gold leaf at Hobby Lobby – it’s meant to be used with it, and I think they sell it as a kit!

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  6. Shirley says:

    Hi Amanda, This is gorgeous!! I was wondering if you used the spray sealer over the gold leaf? You didn’t mention it in your post so I was wondering if the gold is staying on it or flaking off? How long have you had the globe completed like this?
    Thanks! : )

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    Amanda Reply:

    Hi Shirley – I didn’t spray or do anything to the globe after adding the gold leaf, and it’s still in pretty much perfect condition two years later. It doesn’t get touched a lot, but has been in our living room for two years and doesn’t look any worse for the wear!

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    Shirley Reply:

    Hi Amanda…thanks!! That really helps to know. Hopefully soon I will have all of my supplies and I will be able to get mine done. I am actually going to do hanging lamps with mine and will try to show you when I have finished!

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  7. Shirley says:

    Hi again…also wanted to mention that I would have done the wire around the globe in gold leaf too and although the base looks ok, I agree with Sherry that it does distract from the sophistication of the black and gold, HOWEVER, if your home has other things like this then it’s ok but if you have a sophistication to your home, (which it sure looks like you do considering the walls and little bits of decor that I can see) then I would consider redoing it. Don’t get me wrong, it is just gorgeous!

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  8. Shirley says:

    Aw darn it…I also wanted to say that I am going to do one in black and gold and another in white and silver, however I haven’t quite made up my mind yet but I think I will making mine into lamps.

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  9. Kimberly says:

    Hi Amanda – Love this so much. What tool did you use to remove the excess gold leaf?

    I have really gotten into decorating globes. Obsessed might be a better word. Most of mine are full of bling – old costume jewelry and rhinestones :) they are fun – but I am afraid I will have to steal your idea now. Adore it!

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    Amanda Reply:

    I just used a small, dry watercolor paintbrush!

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    Kimerly Reply:

    Great. Thanks.

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