Fun with Gelli plates

23 Dec

Gelli Arts Printing Plate

Gelli Arts gel printing plates are a fun, new innovative product to use for mono-printing. I’ve been doing mono-printing with gelatin plates for some time now, which are great and fun to use, but you have to plan ahead to use them. After all, you have to mix up the gelatin and let it set and preferably refrigerate it overnight for really good results. And I have had some issues with the gelatin plates occasionally not setting up correctly or not being able to pop them out of their trays to use. Of course, you do get some great texture with actual gelatin plates with lines and marks and damage to the plate that makes marvelous marks on your fabric or paper.

Now there is this great new product called Gelli Arts printing plate  (available at Blue Twig Studio) that is always ready when you are. No need to mix up a batch or worrying about waiting while it sets up. It can be used over and over and over again. Just clean it up with soap and water and stick the plate back in its handy storage pack and stick it on the shelf until you need it again. You don’t have to refrigerate it or anything. You do need to be careful with it (although it is pretty sturdy), it will still be damaged if you use something too sharp. Some ideas for tools to use to imprint: bubble wrap, q-tips, sponges, brushes, stamps.

One thing I like about it, is that it is always there if I need it. What if I am painting some project and then I have all this leftover paint? You know that we don’t like to waste anything. You can just whip out your Gelli printing plate and brush on some paint and make a few marks on it and voila! you can mono-print on a piece of scrap fabric or paper and have a new piece of art in just moments! All because you had your handy-dandy Gelli printing plate ready to go! Woo hoo!

Here are some photos I took while making a few prints on some paper to have for journaling. Here is my workspace with the tools and Gelli plate ready to go.

workspace & tools

I added some acrylic paint to the Gelli printing plate. (The plate is clear, but it is placed on some kraft paper so it looks brown).

Then I spread it around on the Gelli Arts printing  plate using a foam brush. This brush has some notches cut into it to leave gaps (I like the effect). You can also use a brayer to spread the paint around too.

Using a stamp in the paint also. (press gently)

Here is the printed paper from the brush and stamping.

Here I am using sequin waste to imprint on the Gelli plates.

Here is the printed paper using this technique.

Here I am using an empty tape roll to imprint on the Gelli plate. You can use any type of object for this technique. I like old lids off cans or jars, empty tape rolls, empty paper towel rolls, etc.

Here is the printed paper using this technique. You can see that I had too much paint on the printing plate and the resulting print is a bit globby. Which I don’t mind at all as it gives lots of texture. But if it bothers you, you can also press two pieces of paper together and spread the paint a bit thinner.

Here I am using a scraper (pressing gently again) with a decorative edge to spread the paint around the Gelli printing plate. This is a great tool and easy to find at any hardware store. You can see that there is still some of the first layers of paint on the Gelli plate under the new color I added. I like the look that comes with bits of other paint popping through the print. If it bothers you, just clean the plate between uses.

Here is another printed paper.

Another printed paper made.

All of these printed papers I made in just a couple of minutes. And you can see the paper that I used underneath to catch drips and what I used to clean off my tools with is another interesting bit of paper that I will keep.

These papers are ready to be used as a base for other collage work or in journals. I feel like these are just the first layer of work, but they are ready to have additional layers added to them now. It was so quick and easy to do using the Gelli Arts printing plate and a few tools around the studio.

I hope you have fun playing with the Gelli Arts printing plate in your studio too!


Blue Twig Studio


11 Responses to “Fun with Gelli plates”

  1. Sonja Milojevic December 24, 2011 at 4:27 am #

    This is really a great thing to have! I love your papers Deb, you got some lovely combinations of color and texture. Thanks for sharing! 🙂


    • Deb Prewitt December 24, 2011 at 9:27 am #

      Well those are just the beginnings of really good pages. Can’t wait to add some more layers to the paint. I usually am of the opinion that more is more! Sometimes I end up with that one too many layers, but it is all good.


  2. Carmen Lucero December 24, 2011 at 10:48 am #

    Thanks for showing the different effect you can get with different objects. One thing I’d like to know is what kind of paper can be used for this technique. I would appreciate your suggestions and happy crafting!


    Carmen L
    cal8007 at aol dot com


    • Deb Prewitt December 24, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

      Hi Carmen, thanks for joining the discussion. I have used all kinds of paper with mono-printing and have had success with most of them. You are dealing with wet paint, so you need to take that into account. A thinner paper will absorb a lot of the moisture and will cause warping in the paper. Of course, you can always iron the paper afterwords to ease some of the warping. Or maybe you like that effect. A lot of time I am just tearing the papers up, so it doesn’t matter to me. If you use water-color paper you will get really great results. Or canvas works really well also. But try some other types of papers for lots of fun. Old book pages, music pages, maps, photos, etc. all make a great base for mono-printing. And of course fabric is always good! Have fun!


  3. Gerrie Johnnic December 24, 2011 at 6:30 pm #

    Thanks for all the ideas, my plate just arrived…..and I can’t wait to get into it too!


  4. Annie May 30, 2012 at 8:03 am #

    Thank you for your techniques and samples. I was wondering how to get more than one color on the Gelli plate. This looks like so much fun!


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