Thursday, September 15, 2016

Gelli Arts® Printed Masks

Today I want to show you how you can create a complete “painting” using hand made stencils and masks on the Gelli® plate.

First you have to create a drawing of the image you want to print and you have to think carefully about the layers you want to create. I advise you to first try some easy prints to get the hang of the process as it involves some thinking to get it right. You could start with 3 or 4 layers and easy shapes before making it a bit more difficult.

In this print I worked with 4 layers. I drew a picture of tulips in a pot.
When your drawing is done you have to mark the separate shapes with numbers corresponding with the separate layers.
#1 for the top layer. These are the shapes that are not overlapped by anything else. They will appear closest to you in the final image.  Then #2 for the shapes that are only overlapped by #1, #3 for the shapes that are overlapped by #1 and #2 and so on. Make copies of your drawing for every layer, in this case 4.

From the first copy, cut out all the shapes marked with #1, from the second copy all the shapes marked with #2 and so on. You have to use a craft knife as you will need both the stencil and the mask to create your prints. Then place your original drawing underneath the clear gelli® plate.

Start with placing stencil #1 on top of the gelli® plate, lining it up with the drawing underneath.
Apply the first color, then remove the stencil.

Now line up the paper you want to print on exactly with the paper underneath the gelli® plate and pull the print.

Place stencil #1 back on the gelli® plate and repeat the previous steps until all the shapes of the first layer are done.

Once all the shapes of the first layer are printed you have to mask them with the parts you cut from the stencil. Use a repositionable adhesive to apply the masks to your print. Make sure the paint is dry before you do so.

Now it’s time to print the second layer. Place stencil #2 on the gelli® plate, apply the paint, remove the stencil and make the print on your masks paper. Again make sure you line up the paper exactly with the drawing underneath the gelli® plate.

Repeat all the steps for stencil #2 before you move on to layer #3. Mask both layer #1 and #2 before you start printing layer #3 and so on.

Repeat this process for all the layers.

If you like you can add texture to the different shapes too.

The very last layer will be your background and then the printing is done.

You can now leave it as it is and frame it, but of course you can also stamp, doodle, write and paint on top of your print as you can see in the examples below.

Finally I would like to show you some paintings from students who took my workshop to show how versatile this way of working can be. Even the most simple prints can be beautiful and real pieces of art.

I hope you enjoyed this process and got inspired! Thank you for stopping by and happy printing!

- Birgit


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!) Entries will be accepted until September 19th at noon EST. Our lucky winner will be contacted by email and announced here on the blog and on our Facebook page by 5:00PM EST the following day. 

PS: Please—share your prints with us on our Facebook page, or on Instagram using the hashtag #gelliprint #gelliarts and #gelliplate. Tag us with @gelliarts on Instagram and Twitter too! We love to see what you're creating!!

Remember, we now have Gelli® partners all over the world, so it's easier than ever to find a Gelli® retailer near you!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Gelli Arts® Printed Tote Bag

Hi there! It’s Marsha back again with a fun Gelli® Printed Tote Bag for your cool kids!

With school starting again, there is always a need for another bag. So why not decorate your own personalized tote bag using the fun little Gelli Arts® Mini Plates!

In my video I use acrylic paint mixed with a fabric medium to print on fabric. 

Paints like Jacquard's Lumiere Metallics, Neopaque Opaques and Textile Colors, Versatex Printing Ink and Speedball Fabric Opaque Screenprinting Ink should work well for Gelli® printing on fabric!

Before you start printing, the cotton tote bag needs to be washed and ironed. The paint will grab onto the cotton fibers better when all sizing is washed out.

Find a cardboard panel that you can place inside the tote bag whilst you are working on it. Slip the cardboard into a plastic bag before you place it inside the tote.

The panel will help keep the fabric straight and it will prevent the paint from seeping through to the other side of the bag. The plastic bag will prevent the paint from soaking the cardboard as well as prevent the fabric from sticking to the cardboard, making it easier to remove the panel once the paint is dry.

Also, check the instructions on the paints you are planning to use. Some fabric paints just need to dry for a set amount of hours before they are permanent, others need to be heat set in order to become permanent and washable.

Step 1:
Create a background layer for the Gelli® Print using fabric spray paints and a stencil. The spray paint will soak the fabric, so let it dry before you proceed to the next step.

I found the stencil in the craft section of a dollar store.

Step 2:
Mix your paints when using acrylic paint and fabric medium. I used Liquitex Fabric Medium and I mixed one part fabric medium to one part acrylic paint which was recommended on the package.

Step 3:
Choose a Gelli Arts® Mini to stamp with. I used the 3” square mini plate because I wanted to create a checkered pattern. Mount it onto an acrylic stamping block.

Apply fabric paint to the Mini Plate with a brayer, place a mask on the fabric and stamp over it.

Repeat until you are happy with the design!

Step 4:
My animal masks had little eyes, mouths and noses that didn’t transfer onto the fabric, so I first drew them in with a Sharpie and then I traced them with 3D fabric paint. You can of course use a fabric marker instead of the Sharpie.

3D fabric paint needs to dry flat for a long time before it’s set. Make sure that it’s completely dry before you turn the tote bag over to work on the other side or before you remove the cardboard sheet.

Step 5:
Let the paint dry for the hours stated on the instructions on the package. Heat set if needed.

Step 6:
Take your new bag out for a spin! Or create another one because this tote bag will be a cool gift too!


Cotton tote bag
Fabric spray paint (Tulip)
Acrylic paint (Royal Talens Amsterdam: Oxide Black, 
Sky Blue Light, Turquoise Green)
Fabric medium (Liquitex)
Fabric marker (Sharpie)
Stencil and masks (Flying Tiger)
Similar Stencils here
Cardboard panel
Plastic bag
Acrylic stamping block

Optional: 3D fabric paint (Tulip Slick Black)

PS: Please—share your prints with us on our Facebook page, or on Instagram using the hashtag #gelliprint #gelliarts and #gelliplate. Tag us with @gelliarts on Instagram and Twitter too! We love to see what you're creating!!

Remember, we now have Gelli® partners all over the world, so it's easier than ever to find a Gelli® retailer near you!

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