First, thoroughly clean your dishes, removing all dust, lint, or price tag residue.
Next, tape out your preferred patterns. Use the suggested patterns below or create your own. Be sure to seal the edges of the tape very well with your finger. I can't emphasize this enough if you want clean, straight lines.
Apply the adhesive gold leaf size (the technical name for gold leaf adhesive is size) according to the directions on the bottle. There's a curing time until the adhesive size gets tacky, so wait it out until it's ready or the gold leaf won't adhere correctly.
Next, carefully (and I mean carefully – those gold leaf pages are finicky little suckers) apply the gold leaf to the areas of your tray that you've covered with the adhesive. Gently smooth down the gold leafing with a soft cloth or clean paintbrush. Cotton gloves also work well for this task. Use any excess gold leaf that falls off to apply to the next spot. If you like an abstract or rustic look, don't worry about the gold leafing being applied too perfectly.
Let your trays dry according to directions, or overnight.
Next, apply gold leaf sealer and let it dry thoroughly before using your trays. Please note that gold leaf is not food safe so after gold leafing, please don't use the trays for anything other than holding jewelry, or other odds and ends.