Thursday, July 30, 2020

Accordion-Style Home Book by Kirsten Varga

Home sweet home!

Houses are a recurring icon in my artwork. I have lived in many houses over the course of my life, and so I find myself fascinated by their visual variety as well a the symbolism they inherit. During this time when we are asked to stay safe in our homes, they are an even bigger influence in my art. 

Today, I would like to share with you an accordion-style book that features several of my favorite quotes about "home". 

I am using the Gelli Arts® 3x5" printing plate to create landscape monoprints. For these, I ditch the brayer and apply the paint with a palette knife. I do use the brayer later on but not on the plate! I will also show you how to fold an origami pocket envelope, which I use to tuck my hand drawn houses into each page. As with most of my books, they are never truly finished. I tend to add journaling and drawings to them over time. I hope you are inspired to make your own book and write down your thoughts about "home". 

Click below to watch Kirsten's video!

Thanks for being here and happy creating!

Gelli Arts® 3x5" Printing Plate
Gelli Arts® mini printing tools
Gelli Arts® brayer
Bone folder
Canson mixed media paper (18x25" sheet cut down to 6x24")
Canson watercolor paper (9x12" sheet cut down to 1.875x3.25")
Liquitex basics acrylic paint (in various shades of blue, green, yellow and white)
Palette knife
Embossing stylus
Bubble wrap
Double sided tape (I use a Scotch ATG)
Adhesive for paper (I use Yes Paste. A glue stick would be good, too)
Dictionary paper
Dip pen with nib and black ink
Yellow colored pencil

Thursday, July 23, 2020

DIY Stamps, Stencils and Layers by Helen O'Hara

Hello everyone!

This week I have a bumper 3 part tutorial for you on how to make and combine stamps, stencils and layers. 

There are 3 videos so be sure to watch them all. First up, I’m making stamps with adhesive craft foam and a soldering iron. 

Craft foam is usually available in the kids section of craft stores. Be sure to get the one with adhesive backing.

Using a soldering iron to melt and cut foam can give off some fumes, so be sure to work outside and wear a mask. You need to cut on a heat proof surface such as a glass table, glass chopping board or ceramic tile. Make sure your rulers are metal- not plastic- or else they will melt! 

I used some wooden and cardboard templates to draw around and cut into the foam with my soldering iron but you can just draw with a ruler or freehand. Keep the paper backing on as you cut. Mind your fingers! 

Details and patterns can be added with the tip of the soldering iron.

Once the foam is cut, you can really easily peel the stamps off the release paper and stick them onto a backing. I’m using Coreflute plastic (often use in real-estate signs), but any scrap plastic will do. You can even use cardboard but it will go soggy after using the stamps for a while.

The stamps are now ready to use in your Gelli Arts® projects, but you might like to make matching stencils – read on and watch video 2 for how.

To make my stencils, I’m using Craft Plastic and Dura-Lar both from Grafix®.

Take a stamp and roll some ink or paint onto it and print right onto the plastic. Be sure to leave a boarder around the shape.

Use scissors and a craft knife to cut the stencils out. If you are careful you can get both a positive and negative shape.

To see how to use these stencils and your stamps in a layered print watch video 3.


In this project, I’m using acrylic paints and fabric but you could print onto paper as well. If using fabric you will need a smooth fabric with a high thread count. Here, I’m using cotton but satin works well too.I have masked off the edge of my Gelli Arts® plates to get a straight edge but this is optional.

You could start by adding some paint using one of your stamps.

Or, you could roll on some paint and then pull parts off with a stamp.

You could mask areas with a stencil and then roll paint over the top before pulling the stencil off. You want to leave some parts with no paint at all.

It’s really important to LET THE PAINT DRY before starting each layer. Keep layering paint using stamps and stencils until the whole plate is covered in paint. In warm weather it should dry quickly. I’m working on several Gelli Arts® plates at a time so I don’t have to wait! You can use combs and bubble wrap and other textures as well. Keep layering!

The WHOLE PLATE MUST BE COVERED WITH PAINT before you begin the last step. If in doubt just roll a thin layer of paint over the whole thing and again, let it dry.

When it’s time to make the print ensure all the paint is dry and then roll a layer of white paint over the whole surface. It’s worth spending a little time on this to make sure every single bit is covered. 

Then, pull the masking tape off to reveal a nice straight edge if using. Whilst the paint is still wet, lay your paper or fabric over the top and smooth down to make good contact. Leave it all to dry. 


Once completely dry, peel off the fabric or paper carefully. All your layers should come up together.

Here are some of the prints I made using this technique. I hope you enjoy it too. 



Michael's Stores

Blick Art Materials


Helen's blog:
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Thursday, July 16, 2020

Basics: Media That Can Be Used On The Gel Plate. Part 1: Dry / Permanent Products by Birgit Koopsen

Hi everyone and welcome to the Gelli Arts® blog!

It’s Birgit here today with another “Basics” video.

This time it’s all about the variety of products that you can use on the gel plate.

Although most people start out with acrylic paint, there are numerous media that can be used on the gel plate.

In this video, I show you how to use Pastels, Eye shadow, Solvent, Dye and Pigment inks and how to combine them.

The steps show how to apply these products but just as important, how to pull the prints.

Different than with wet products, like acrylic paint, you need a second medium to let the plate release the dry/dried product.

This can be a thin layer of paint, but could also be a thin layer of slow drying ink.

Got curious? Then check out the video and play!

This video is only covering a small part of the products you can use so you better start following us as there will be a part 2 next month and a part 3 after that and… ;)

Thank you for stopping by today.

Happy printing!


Products used in this video:

Gelli Arts® 3”x5”Gelli® Printing Plate



Jane Davenport Palette Pastel

Jane Davenport Baton Blenders

Jane Davenport Shimmer Pastel

Rimmel eye shadow

DecoArt Premium Acrylic Paint

DecoArt Americana

Ranger Archival

Ranger Distress Archival


VersaFine Clair

Spectrum Noir Harmony Dye

Memento Luxe

All stamps and stencil by Birgit Koopsen for Carabelle Studio


Michael's Stores

Blick Art Materials


Thursday, July 9, 2020

Mixed Media Tag with Gelli Arts® by Sara Ferret

Hi there! It's Sara here today, to share with you a mixed media tag made with Lindy's Magical's powders and new stamps from Birgit Koopsen.

Watch my new video to see how my tags come together!

Gelli Arts® Gel printing plate Birgit Koopsen stencils and stamps Lindy's Magical Powders FaberCastell Polychromos pencil Sariribbon Posca markers

I hope you like it, if you try this technique please tag @sara_ferret and @gelliarts, we would love to see the results!

Thursday, July 2, 2020

The Principle Methods of Gelli Arts® Gel Plate Printing by Marsha Valk

Hi there! It's Marsha here today! I'm so excited because this is my 50th video for Gelli Arts®!!

When you're just starting with gel printing, the number of different techniques, mediums and supplies you can use can appear daunting.

However, did you know you can group all of those different techniques into three basic monoprint methods, regardless of the supplies or mediums you use?

The three approaches are:

1. Subtractive/reductive

2. Additive

3. Masking

The subtractive or reductive approach is all about removing or manipulating the paint on your Gelli Arts® gel printing plate.

For this method, you start by applying a layer of paint or ink on your gel plate and then you draw into the paint, use tools, rags or fingers to remove paint and push objects into the plate to manipulate it before you pull a print.

Tools you can use to draw with: rubber-tipped shapers, q-tips, rags, brushes, fingers.

Tools that will lift paint or ink from the plate when pushed into it: texture plates, stamps, sponges, found objects, corrugated cardboard.

You can also use thin paper to remove paint or ink from the plate. It's especially helpful when you want to print the positive part of punchinella, stencils or open-weave fabrics.

Tip: if you find your acrylic paint is drying too fast while you are still working on your design, it usually helps to add a so-called extender or retarder to the paint to increase the open time.

The additive approach is when you apply paint or ink to the plate before pulling a print.

Tools you can think of: brayers, brushes, fingers, stamps, sponges, found objects.

For the masking approach, you place a thin flat(ish) object in between the inked up surface of the gel plate and the paper. 

The object doesn't have to be a mask or a stencil. Anything that (partially) blocks the paint from transferring from the gel plate to the paper works.

Think of: feathers, leaves, rubber bands, string, punchinella, gauze, tape, masking fluid. 

Of course, the fun begins when you start to combine the subtractive, additive and masking methods into one print!

You don't have to limit yourself to acrylic paint or ink either. Once you get going, you'll notice that the principle methods apply to all media suitable for gel plate printing.

See what you can find around the house or in nature to make unique marks and have fun trying them out with your Gelli Arts® gel plate!




Gelli Arts® Gel Printing Plate 5"x7"

Gelli Arts® Mini Printing Tools

Gelli Arts® Circle Stencil 5"x7"

4" roller


Acrylic paint

Slow dry medium

Paper (I prefer drawing paper)

Thin paper (deli paper, tissue paper, newsprint, computer paper)

Q-tip, paintbrush, rubber shaper, sponge, empty tape roll, corrugated cardboard, DIY foam stamp, found object, punchinella, open-weave fabric, foam brush, textured wallpaper, lace, rubber bands, textured fun foam, cosmetic sponge

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