DIY Gifts House & Decor Repurposed Techniques

Preserving Memories…

December 19, 2015


[no-stal-juh, -jee-uh, nuh-]


1. a wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one’s life, to one’s home or homeland, or to one’s family and friends; a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time, a nostalgia for a past family gathering.

2. something that elicits or displays nostalgia.
I’ve always had this thing… this need to collect/keep/hold onto… not like a hoarder but with special little pieces. Ticket stubs, birthday cards… things that I can look back on and smile… that warm me up from the inside out… I sit here writing this listening to Kenny and Dolly’s once upon a Christmas… we listened to it every Christmas season when I was growing up… I swear I must have worn that tape out… This time of year I get incredibly nostalgic… for my far away home, far away family and friends… good times and good food… We hold a big Christmas Party every year for all of our friends here in Calgary… to catchup, have fun; to create new memories…
I have a DIY to share with you to preserve what is surely always a great memory, that you can do after EVERY turkey dinner, throughout the year, to then hang on your Christmas tree! Gilded wishbones with darling little tags upon which to write your dinner guests names, the occasion and date on… to look back on for years to come to reminisce about the great meal had with loved ones…
Gold Wishbone - 16
Let’s get this gilded wishbone party started shall we?
I have two methods for creating gilded wishbone ornaments. The first is a gold painted version and the second is created using gold leaf.
For the gold painted version you need:
Gold paint – I recommend Liquid Leaf or a metallic gold from Testors
Paint brush (disposable or have some mineral spirits on hand for cleaning)
Darning needle or Awl
Turkey wish bone
Scissors or Paper punches
For the gold leaf version you will need to drop the paint and add the following:
Gold leaf (or copper or silver)
Adhesive size
Soft paint brush

Gold Wishbone - 1

Start by preparing your turkey wishbone. Give it a wash in dish detergent and scrape off any extra turkey… place the wishbone on a baking sheet and dry it out in the oven on the lowest temperature setting for 30 minutes. Check after 30 minutes on the state of its dryness… if it needs more time pop it back into the oven and check on it every 10 minutes until you are satisfied with the dryness.

Gold Wishbone - 2

For the painted version I like to use a good quality metallic paint. Liquid leaf or the metallic Testors enamel paints can be found at craft or hobby supply stores.  Before getting to work paper your working surface for protection and then give the dried out wishbone a coat of paint… with these types of paints one coat will do the trick!

Gold Wishbone - 3

If you’re not feeling the metallic gold you can pickup liquid leaf and metallic enamel paints in a range of metallic finishes from silver to copper to a variety of golds… customize your wishbones to suit your decor!

Gold Wishbone - 4

For a true gilded finish you can go the gold leaf route… like the paint leaf products come in a variety of options from silver to copper and gold… and as intimidating as leafing may seem at first I promise it isn’t hard!… just take your time as you work… I do recommend working on a practice piece first, to get familiar with the process and how to handle the leaf!… and like I say with the projects that I share, don’t fret If you don’t like the first layer of leafing or you have spots that were missed or seams that you don’t like – you can add another layer of leaf to create your very own gilded wishbone!…

The leaf supplies can be found at craft stores… leaf, leafing adhesive sizing, and a leafing sealer to protect the leaf from tarnishing.

Gold Wishbone - 5

…because I can be a messy leafer I like to work on a hand towel to catch the loose bits of leaf that go flying!.. start by coating half of the wishbone in the adhesive sizing following the recommended setting time on the container. Leaving half uncoated gives us something to hold onto while getting the leafing started {tip: if you have overly moist hands you may also want to wear a pair of thin cotton gloves to keep the leaf from sticking to you while you’re trying to move it into place}

Pick up a piece or half piece of leaf and lay it over the area that has been coated in the adhesive size… gently brush the leaf down onto and around the bone working out any wrinkles… if you get adhesive size on your fingers be sure to wash it off, or handling the sheets of leaf will be very difficult… and you’ll gold leaf yourself in the process!

Gold Wishbone - 6

And then comes the fun part… gently brush away excess leaf, pressing down as you go to ensure good adhesion of the leaf… revealing your gilded wishbone!

Gold Wishbone - 7

After one side of the wishbone has been leafed coat the second side in the adhesive size… and let the adhesive size set and get tacky… (I know its hard to wait but your patience will pay off in the end results)… once the adhesive size has set apply the gold leaf to the second half… don’t fret if the remainder of your sheet has wrinkled, it can still be used.

Gold Wishbone - 8

This next step can be done before painting/leafing or after… If you do it before you’ll have to redo it a little after coating the wishbone to ensure a clear pathway through… using a large needle or an awl carefully poke a hole through the top portion of the wishbone… Lay the flat area of the wish bone tip on a flat surface and gently, yet firmly, press the needed down into the bone… then flip it over and press in from the other side in the little hole that the tip of the needle created… the needle does not need to pass through… just the point… the hole needs to just be large enough for the string…

Gold Wishbone - 9

If you experience cracking while pressing apply a little glue to the crack with a paint brush and let it dry before finishing the through hole…

Gold Wishbone - 10

Once the hole is through string up the wish bone… I chose red and gold metallic threads to hang my wishbone ornaments… again use what works for your decor… once the string is through now is a good time to seal the gold leafed wishbone using the sealer!… sealing prevents the gold leaf from tarnishing from being handled or just with the passage of time.

Gold Wishbone - 11

To make the tags to attach to the ornament I used paper punches… you can also use pre made tags or even scissor cut your own…  For each tag I chose a card stock to write our names, date and event onto and then a second tag from a piece of sheet music…  this is another way to customize your wishbone ornament… glitter papers, patterned papers, gift wraps… there are a pile of possibilities of papers… and even tag shape to make this ornament fit perfectly into your decor!

Write up your tag… string it onto the string… hang on your tree and remember great turkey dins with great friends for years to come!

Gold Wishbone - 14

I had been saving this turkey wishbone from the turkey that Chris and I made and had together… last years quiet Christmas with just the two of us…

Gold Wishbone - 15

For comparison here are the leafed and painted versions together…

Gold Wishbone - 13

I hope you have fun making your wish bone ornaments to reminisce over for years to come… I wish you love and happiness this holiday season, and all year round, and fun times with loved ones that become new memories to preserve!

I would love to see your wish bone ornaments and hear about the memories tied to them… please come and share a photo on the Dote and Feathering My Nest Facebook pages! I can’t wait to see and read about your preserved memories… and a big squishy THANK YOU to Dote Magazine for having me guest post this DIY on their site! Checkout the post over there right here!




You Might Also Like