Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Making Foam Texture Plates for Gelli ® Prints!

When you want to create prints with your own original designs, consider making reusable flexible foam texture plates! Watch this video and see how easy it is!

Here's what you'll need:
  • Carpet tape (available at home improvement stores)
  • Craft foam (regular thin foam works well)
    Note: Craft foam is also available with sticky-back adhesive. It costs more, but eliminates the need for carpet tape.
  • X-acto knife, straight edge, and self-healing cutting mat (or other cutting surface)
  • Scissors and punches (note: fancy edge scissors are great for this!)

Here's how to make a foam texture plate:
  1. Cut your foam substrate to size. I usually make it about the size of my Gelli® plate. You can also create smaller stamp-like plates.
  2. Apply strips of carpet tape to your substrate. Trim tape from edges with an X-acto
    knife. Or — use craft foam that already has sticky-back adhesive ... and skip the carpet tape step!
    Note: Carpet tape is extremely sticky, gummy stuff . It can mess up your cutting tools — and you may need to clean them with an adhesive remover, like Goo Gone.
  3. Cut regular (no adhesive) craft foam into various shapes. Use fancy-edge scissors and punches to add more detail.
    Note: It’s easier to cut your shapes from foam that has no adhesive on it — and your scissors and punches stay clean. That’s why I prefer the adhesive only on the foam substrate :)
  4. Arrange and press foam design elements onto the sticky surface. Your texture plate is ready to use.

To create your Gelli® prints:
  1. Apply paint to your Gelli® plate. Use a brayer to roll paint into thin layer.
  2. Press the foam texture plate into the layer of paint — and remove it. (It will leave an impression in the paint)
  3. Cover the painted plate with paper, rub to transfer the paint — and pull your print. Leave the paint on the foam plate to use for your next print.
  4. Apply more paint to your Gelli® plate. A contrasting color usually works well. Press the the painted foam plate into the painted Gelli® plate. Some of the previous color should transfer to the gel plate. Cover with paper and pull your print.
Keep layering the prints. When the images are slightly out of registration, it can create an exciting visual vibration :)

Since the foam plate is flexible, you can bend it to press only part of it into the gel plate — which gives you even more creative options!

Your foam texture plate is also an excellent stamp! Roll a layer of paint on it with a brayer and stamp the image on some prints! Double the fun!

Have fun making your own designs! You’ll enjoy using your texture plates over and over! And they’re so easy to stack and store!

Looking for design inspiration? If you’re not familiar with notan — a Japanese design principle based on the placement of light and dark — please take a look at our Pinterest Board: “Inspired by Notan”. That’ll get you going :) Notan is a perfect concept to keep in mind when creating foam texture plates!

Areas between the design elements on the foam texture plate remain sticky. When the texture plate is pressed into a painted Gelli® plate, some of these areas will become coated with paint and lose their stickiness. You can brush or sponge a thin layer of paint or gesso onto any remaining sticky areas to get rid of the tackiness, if desired.

I’ve also used a soft paintbrush and dusted the sticky areas of foam texture plates with Perfect Pearls and Pearl-ex, adding a little mica sparkle in the process :) Baby powder works, too.

You can use a foam texture plate to create a series!

Or have fun embellishing your prints!

And now for the Giveaway!!!

This time I am giving away a 6"x6" Gelli® plate ... AND ... a set of 4 original one-of-a-kind foam texture plates — made by me!

Each foam texture plate is a 6x6 inch square. The foam texture plates have been dusted with Perfect Pearls to eliminate the sticky areas :) So they sparkle, too!

Our one lucky winner will be randomly selected on Friday - February 1st, and announced here and on our Facebook page.

All you need to do to enter is leave a comment here on the blog or on our Facebook page.

Want a better chance to win? Join Gelli® on Pinterest and let us know — you’ll be entered twice! If you’re already following us on Pintrest, tell us and we’ll count you in for a second chance!

Good luck and Happy Printing!

Don't forget - come find Gelli Arts® on Pinterest and check out our Notan Inspiration Board!
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