Thursday, May 21, 2015

Gelli® Plate Printing with DIY & Found Textures!

Have you been overlooking some readily available, fun textures for creating great images in your Gelli® prints? 

Watch this video and refresh your printing experience with textures from everyday items! What FUN!!!

With the dizzying array of stencil designs, stamps, embossing folders and other fun texture tools in the marketplace it's easy to lose sight of some of the most exciting ways to create wonderful texture in your prints — using common household items and found materials!

Here's a handy list of some great texture items you may already have on handhave fun & experiment!
    • String, Thread, and Yarn
    • Rubber Bands
    • Credit Cards, Hotel Key Cards, etc.
    • Plastic Wrap
    • Wax Paper
    • Cotton Swabs
    • Bottle Caps and Jar Lids
    • Disposable Cups
    • Straws
    • Pencil Erasers
    • Leaves and Botanicals
    • Feathers
    • Cheesecloth
    • Burlap
    • Sponges
    • Textured Fabrics
    • Textured Wallpaper (Anaglypta)
    • Corrugated Cardboard
    • Toilet Paper Cardboard Rolls
    • Plastic Shelf Liner
    • Bubble Wrap
    • Doilies

Another useful supply you may already have on hand — 3x5 inch index cards! They're perfectly sized for masking the 3x5 inch Gelli® plate! Not only do they work great for this purpose — but you also get great printed cards from using them as masks!

The paint used in all of these prints is Golden® Open Slow-Dry Acrylics. A small amount of this paint goes a long way! And after you've pulled a print, the second (ghost) print can reveal the most amazing — almost photographic — details. Sometimes a pale third pull is possible — even when it looks like there's hardly any paint left on the plate! Create beautiful images — especially effective as ghost images from leaves and other highly detailed textures.      

Golden Artist Colors also makes Open Acrylic Medium — in gloss and matte. Add this to any acrylic paint to extend its working time. As we head into summer — and for those of you in hot, dry climates — this may be just what you need to keep your paints — any acrylic paints — from drying too fast. For gel printing, that can be a huge benefit!

The paper used for the prints in the video is Yasutomo Kozo Rice Paper. I cut 8.5" pieces from an 11" x 60' roll. The cut pieces had some curl to them, so I took a few minutes to iron them flat — not really necessary, but to me it's worth the extra effort to work with nice flat sheets.

I also created prints on paper from a pad of Hosho rice paper by Aitoh.

Both of these rice papers have a smooth side and a rough side. Printing on the smooth side with Golden Open Slow-Drying Acrylics gives you a beautiful printed image.

TIP:  When the paint on the gel plate is too dry — rice paper can tend to stick to the plate and tear when you pull the print. If you find that happening, either use a little more paint or add Open Medium. Adding water can create a soggy mess with rice paper!

Instead of cutting rice paper — use a water tear to get beautiful feathery edges. To do a water tear — wet a clean pointed brush with water and 'draw' a line where you wish to tear the paper. Gently push the pieces apart along the water line. The paper tears easily and has a natural-looking edge. This is a great technique for using pieces of rice paper prints in collage, as you can tear it into any shape.

Here's a process for working with your found textures to make prints like those demonstrated in the video — using the 8x10 and 3x5 inch Gelli® plates together! So look around for textures and get ready to make some unique prints! For this process, the 3x5 inch Gelli® plate is mounted on an acrylic block and used as a stamp. 

(p.s. For more on using the 3x5 printing plate for stamping... watch this video.)

  1. Apply two colors of acrylic paint to an 8x10 Gelli® plate and roll into a thin layer with a brayer. To create a gradient effect, apply each color to opposite sides of the plate. Roll out the lighter color on one half of the plate — then roll out the other color — meeting in the middle of the plate.
  2. Apply a textured item into the paint. Some textures can be pressed into the paint and removed (i.e. bubble wrap, wadded waxed paper, jar lids). Some textures (i.e. cheesecloth, leaves, string) are placed on the painted surface. Cover those with a piece of thin paper, such as deli paper — and press into the paint, outlining the objects with your fingers. Remove the cover paper (which are often beautiful prints!) then remove the textured item from the plate.
  3. Place several 3x5 inch index cards — as masks — on the painted gel plate.
  4. Cover with the printing paper — rub with hands to transfer the paint — and pull your print.
  5. Place the 3x5 Gelli® plate onto an acrylic stamping block or other clear mount.
  6. Apply acrylic paint to the 3x5 Gelli® plate and roll into a thin layer with a brayer.
  7. Follow the same process as Step 2.
  8. Stamp the small plate directly onto a masked area of the printed paper.
  9. Repeat steps 6-8 to fill each masked area to complete the print.

There are so many ways to approach this interesting printing process. Look around and you'll find all kinds of textures for printing! Use simple paper masks for building interesting layers! Imagine the possibilities!!


Winner is Jane!

And we have a fabulous GIVEAWAY so you can make colorful, textured, multi-plate prints like those created in the video!

Our GIVEAWAY package includes:
  • 1 - 8x10 inch Gelli Arts® Gel Printing Plate
  • 1 - 3x5 inch Gelli Arts® Gel Printing Plate
  • 4 - Golden Open Acrylic paints — 4 oz. jars
  • 2 - Golden Open Acrylic mediums — (gloss and matte)
  • 1 - Yasumoto Kozo rice paper — 10"x 60' roll
  • 1 - Aitoh Hosho rice paper — 9x12 inch pad
  • 1 - Speedball 4" Soft Rubber Pop-in Brayer
  • 1 - Surprise Kit of Assorted Textures!

To enter the giveaway, click on the red "ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE" button below! (This will ensure that we can contact the winner and that entries are limited to one per person.) One winner will be selected from all the entries via a random number generator to receive this very special giveaway!
Terms & Condition for Giveaway 


Entries will be accepted until Tuesday, May 26th at noon EST. Our lucky winner will be contacted by email and announced here on the blog and on our Facebook page no later than Tuesday May 26th at 5pm EST. 

Special thanks to Golden Artist Colors for their generous donation to our giveaway!
Remember, we now have Gelli® partners all over the world, so it's easier than ever to find a Gelli® retailer near you!

We all have our favorite textures, tools and methods for making our marks in monoprinting. Please leave a comment and share some of your favorites! Thanks!

Good Luck and Happy Printing!

Materials Used In Today's Blog:

3x5" Gelli Arts®
Printing Plate
8x10" Gelli Arts®Printing Plate
Golden Open Acrylics

Golden Open Acrylic
Medium - Gloss

Golden Open Acrylic
Medium - Matte
Yasutomo Kozo
Rice Paper
Hosho Rice Paper
by Aitoh
Pointed Brush
Acrylic Block


  1. I enjoyed watching you with the Gelli Plate.
    Thanks for inspiring me. Going to give it a try.
    Love it Anneke.

  2. You gals are so amazing with all these gorgeous papers!

  3. Love the 3x5 card idea. I was wondering what the Gelli plates are made out of? I tried making my own plates that are supposed to be permanent so I could try using them before investing a lot in various sizes of the Gelli plates you sell, but I wasn't very successful with making my plates. It fell apart and wasn't permanent and had air bubbles that showed on the printed material. Are the Gelli plates you sell a silicone material? I think that would work better than the gelatin plate I made.
    I hope I am lucky enough to win, but if I don't I would like to buy a plate or two if I know the material of the plates will last. Thank you.

    1. Hi Daryl - The Gelli® printing plate is made with mineral oil and is a hypoallergenic polymer material - no silicone material. The plates are very durable and easy to clean - I think you'll be happy if you take the plunge and purchase one :) Keep us posted!

  4. This may be my favorite tutorial yet! Never would have thought of the index card as a mask. I'm thinking I need to run out TODAY to pick up the 3x5 plate. Love, love, love what you've done and am incredibly inspired!

  5. I'm always so happy when you have a new blog post. I always learn something new. I thought I had a pretty good stash of texture tools, but I see a few new ones here!

  6. Fantastic post and video. Love creating textures on the gelli plate- my favourite is using bubble wrap.

  7. How Awesome!!! Can't wait to try!!!

  8. How Awesome!!! Can't wait to try!!!

  9. I look forward to your posts and the ones you keep sharing on your Facebook page !! love the process of printmaking as every print is unique !! I like to use stencils with my homemade gelatin plate. loved the idea with the rice paper.Thank you for the chance to win the original !!

  10. THIS is why I have a hard time throwing away anything will a cool texture on it! :) Great video. Very inspiring and a good way to feature that your Gelli tools don't have to be expensive to be amazing! I am loving the smaller plates and stamping with them. Could really use a few more for class I hope I win one of these days. :) Thanks for the chance to win some amazing prizes...and for the awesome video tutorial too!

  11. Wow, this looks great and
    pretty easy!
    Carla from Utah

  12. What an AMAZING give away. I just ordered my first Gelli Plate and it should be here on Saturday so I can play all weekend. I ordered the 8x10 plate. I am soooo excited! I entered the giveaway and I love the tips you gals give out for using your products. Awesome!!

  13. Wow Joan! Such an amazingly textured variety of prints you've achieved and thanks for sharing such beauty too.
    Thanks too for the fab giveaway.
    Fliss x

  14. What a great video hightlighting these wonderful tools and textures.....I love playing with my own handmade tools and items found around the house. Thanks so much for the great opportunity to win also. xx

  15. So inspiring! I have been very ill for a long time and your videos always inspire me. I do not have the luxery of owning a gelli plate, I am forced to use alternatives, which are clearly not the same. Today is my b-day, and I wished for a gelli plate! :) A gelli plate would make life more enjoyable! Keep the videos coming! :)

  16. OMG! These are absolutely fantastic prints! I really need to get my hands on a Gelli plate so that I can get started on making my own prints!! These would make my cards and mixed media projects even more amazing!! Fingers crossed and thanks for the chance to win these awesome treats!

  17. Very creative I love these videos

  18. It looks so EASY. I need to try all this stuff. How well it would work for my collages!

  19. I'm a Gelli plate newbie, love these videos for inspiration. Thanks :-)

  20. I love the closeups of the leaf prints and how using the smaller on larger papers creates a framed appearance of art. Also really appreciate these videos of inspiration makes me remember to once again pick up my gelli and play play play!
    Thanks so much,Sanna.

  21. How many was are there to create wonderful backgrounds....if i look around my house is see so many possebilitys. Thanks for the inspiration

  22. Love how these prints turned out. My very favorite was the feather!

    Elaine Allen

  23. I loved this tutorial it's really inspiring I love my new 3" by 5" Gelli too. Each Gelli Plate size definately has its own unique use. X Sam Crowe

  24. Gorgeous - I love how the fine details like the veining on the leaves and the feathers come out.

  25. Your videos are always so inspiring. Everyone can fun with the Gelli plate and it can be used so many ways. I look forward to each and every video. Playing with the Gelli plate--can one have a more "fun" job? I'm envious.

  26. I am still in awe of the whole Gelliplate and all that
    can be done with it! This is an awesome tutorial
    and what a fabulous giveaway, which I would so love to win :-)
    Thanks for both!

  27. I just loved this video, colours so vibrant and textures so clear. Thank you.

  28. I love the wonderful textures created with all of the methods they used. Another good random "crackle" effect can be made with crumpled up tin foil. And don't forget you can use rubber stamps for texture, too.

  29. I love your videos. You make it look so much fun!!

  30. Wow, the possibilities are endless, thanks for the awesome video tutorials! A great give away, a chance to win some of these goodies!

  31. Great ideas!
    Enough of that kind of stuff around. :-)

    Greetings, Trix

  32. marvelous video, great textures and rock!

  33. Was just playing with my gelli plate tonite. Wish I would have seen the video first.. LOL! GREAT ideas!!

  34. Great too I collect a ton of strange things to use with my GELLI... but I have the same problem ... I'm not able to enter the code to take part the giveaway... can you help me please??? I would be very happy to have this opportunity! Thank you ! Kisses

    1. Hi Rossana - we will make sure you're entered! Please email me at so I have your email address in case you win! Thanks.

  35. I really love your videos, so much inspiration, I'm going to start a "texture" box for when I have a gelli print session, you're really not helping my hoarding tendencies lol, seriously tho thank you for so many great ideas 😁

  36. Wow!!!!!! Totally fabulous ideas!!!! Thank you!!! Love!!!!

  37. This is THE BEST ever video that I've seen using Gelli Art. I am so inspired now. Thank you.x

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  39. Lots of good ideas, I must be the only home with no bubble wrap - can't find any at all : (

  40. I made a knitted square that I use to create texture. Looks very cool, if I do say so myself!

  41. Thanks for showing. Very inspiring!


Thanks so much for taking the time to comment on our blog! We hope you find it fun and helpful in your artistic endeavors!

We will try our best to answer your questions and provide good, helpful information in a timely manner.

We look forward to hearing from you and thank you for stopping by!

Happy Printing!
Gelli Arts®

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