Make This: Golden Squirrel DIY

By Brittni • posted on 07/07/2021

I have one last (semi) Thanksgiving-related DIY to share before the holiday hits…I found these cute little salt and pepper shakers at Target a while back and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them – make them gold (of course). I originally wanted to keep their function as salt and pepper shakers, but as I got into the project, I changed my mind. Now, I use them as gilded home decor props. Here’s how I made ’em…


squirrel salt and pepper shakers (from Target – similar here) // gold leaf // paint brush // gold leaf adhesive // sealant

Step by Step Instructions:

1. Clean your salt and pepper shakers free of debris and plug the holes with rolled up cone-shaped pieces of tape to prevent glue or gold leaf getting inside the squirrels.

2. Paint on a thin coat of gold leaf adhesive, over the entire surface. Wait for the adhesive to set up. Should be tacky to the touch before adding gold leaf.

3. Apply sheets of gold leaf to the surface until fully covered. You can use a dry paint brush to smooth it out (or your fingers).

4. Apply a sealant. Wait for it to dry. Remove tape plugs. All done!

About half way through the process, I gave up on using these as salt and pepper shakers because I like them better as figurines. So I ended up removing the tape plugs and covering each piece entirely in gold leaf. Here’s another photo of the finished piece…

Apparently, this little guy likes to play with pom poms as much as acorns. But I think he would look good next to a vase of flowers at your Thanksgiving table too.

*Concept, photos and styling by Brittni Mehlhoff for papernstitch

On another note, I am going to be taking tomorrow off to get ready for Thanksgiving, and work on a couple of behind the scenes things. I will be back on Thursday (yep, Thanksgiving Day) to share the 4th Annual Handmade Holiday Black Friday / Cyber Monday List. So be sure to check back here on Thursday, before you pass out from a turkey coma, to get a jump start on deals from some of your favorite handmade + vintage shops.

11 comments | Click here to reply

Target has some squirrel figurines right now that would be perfect for this! They kind of look chiseled out of marble, so the flat surfaces would take the gold leaf really well.


After seeing the blue tape in action.. I now want to do this and give them horns in the process 🙂


You’re right – totally looks like those chocolate Easter bunnies.


This is great! They remind me of the chocolate covered bunnies that come out around Easter!


Thanks Jenny. 🙂


So pretty! I love this gold leafing effect!


I agree with you featheringtodo. If it wasn’t so expensive, I would hold leaf everything that came into my path. 🙂


Hmm.. I think everything looks pretty in GOLD:) (or glitter) This squirrel certainly does!


Loving this gold leaf squirrel DIY from @papernstitch! So cute! >>

(@ckelso) (@ckelso)

RT @papernstitch: Make This: Golden Squirrel DIY: I have one last (semi) Thanksgiving-related DIY to share…

Explore*Handmade (@ExploreHandmade)

Make This: Golden Squirrel DIY: I have one last (semi) Thanksgiving-related DIY to share…

(@papernstitch) (@papernstitch)
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