How to Copper Plate a Leaf

Updated July 12, 2018

Taking ordinary leaves and covering them with copper plating is an educational and artistic project. You'll learn about the electroplating process, which has applications in several industries, including jewellery making. Plus, you will gain beautiful decorative pieces to place around your home.

Wrap wire around your leaf. Paint it on both sides with conductivity paint. When it's dry, put it in the electroplating bath.

Create a copper sulphate solution. One way to do this would be to combine 280ml of sulphuric acid (6M), 80ml of hydrochloric acid (0.1M), and 750 grams of copper sulphate. You can also add brightener as needed.

Add the solution to your electroplating bath. Make sure it covers the whole leaf.

Put the aquarium bubbler in the bath and turn it on. Then, turn on the electroplating bath and let the leaf sit there for 15 or 20 minutes.

Take the leaf out (using tongs) and rinse it in acetone and water.

Things You'll Need

  • Leaves
  • Wire
  • Conducting paint
  • Copper sulphate solution
  • Alligator clip
  • Electroplating bath
  • Paper towels
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