First Day Gelli Printing {Part 1}

Gelli PrintsMy husband read yesterday’s post and teased me for leaving him and the rest of you hanging. He does not like stories, movies, etc. that come to a certain point and then say…”to be continued.” He saw the strange glass pan in the fridge with a note that said “Not food. This is for a craft.” He was not home when I played with making gelli prints and is still wondering what that strange looking slab does.

Today I will show you what gelli printing is. After going through the pictures I took (which was only of a small portion of what I actually did since I tend to get caught up in the fun and forget to take pictures of what I am doing) I decided the first day of gelli printing fun would have to be in several parts.

To start you need a gelli plate which you can purchase or make at home. You also need paint (I used craft paint), a brayer, brush or flat card (credit card) to spread the paint around and some texture tool (pretty much anything around your house will work.) I squirted some paint onto the gelli plate and spread it out over the plate with my brayer. Then I lightly drew some squiggly lines with a comb across the paint (don’t poke the gelli plate) and lightly pressed some bubble wrap into the paint.Gelli Printing Basic Steps 1

I laid a piece of drawing paper over the gelli plate and rubbed across the back of the paper with my hand. Then I peeled the paper off the gelli plate and got my first print. You can see the design from the bubble wrap and some of the comb lines in the print. You also can see there is still paint on the gelli plate.

Gelli Printing Basic Steps 2

The paint left on the plate can be used for another print, called a ghost print.

Gelli Printing Basic Steps 3

Depending how thick the paint was to begin with the rest of the paint comes off the gelli plate with the second print or third print. I did learn that it was not a good idea to put the paint onto the gelli plate in a thick layer. Layering ghost prints on top of each other (dry between layers) can yield some interesting results.Ghost Prints Gelli PrintThese are the tools I played with:Gelli Printing toolsNow I keep looking at everything around me wondering if I could use it to texture the paint. This print was textured using a kitchen utensil used for mashing.Kitchen Utensil Gelli Print

The ghost print from the utensil print printed over a red gelli print:

Utensil Ghost Print Gelli Print

For this print I laid a brass letter stencil backwards on the paint on the gelli plate. You can see the outline of the stencil and the letter J. I also used a textured piece of craft foam in the lower right corner to make the small dots.J Stencil Gelli Print

For this print, I used a piece of craft foam with a wave design and a whale rubber stamp.Whale Stamp Gelli Print

We have been eating clementines like crazy this winter and as soon as I learned about gelli printing, I figured the net bags they came in would come in handy and started saving them. I laid the net on the gelli plate and used the brayer to roll a little bit of paint over the net. Then I pulled a print of the netting on another piece of paper I had been putting multiple ghost layers on. It gives a great effect.

Netting Gelli Print

Start looking around your house for possible texture items. Before you throw something into the trash or recycle bin, ask yourself if it could be used for gelli prints. Once you get started printing with a gelli plate you are going to want to try all kinds of things, so might as well start a basket of items now! I’ll share more of my first experience with gelli plate printing in the next post…to be continued!


First Day Gelli Printing {Part 1} — 2 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing your experience. I am going to attempt a DIY Gell Plate. I am glad you included the things you used to get some contrast and textures. I have watched many u tube videos about working with Gelli Plates etc and find most of them confusing as to the mixture. There is never a recipe listed at the bottom as they say. I had to read your 3 times to understand the 3 cup liquid to 6 pak Gelatin rule.
    Thanks again for the share.
    Good Job!

  2. THANK YOU for sharing this!!! I’ve been wondering about what one does with these gelli plates and why and couldn’t find a straight answer of how to start and what to expect! I’m off to read about your 2nd day…