If you do any kind of craft that calls for patterned papers you are going to want to learn more about the Gelli Arts Gelli Plate.
What is a Gelli Plate?
Gelli Arts sells plates in four sizes (one is even round) that allow you to make monoprints with materials as inexpensive as craft paint and copy paper. The plates have a gel like consistency that mimics the more traditional method of using gelatin to create a printing surface.
What can I do with it?
The things users have found for their Gelli Plates are as varied as the human imagination, but one of the most popular techniques involves using stencils and masks.
Simply apply a thin layer of paint with a brayer and cover the section of the plate you want to use. Lay a stencil or mask over the area. Lay your paper over the plate and rub firmly.
When you’re done, carefully pull the paper back and you’ll have color from the exposed area of the plate, while other areas will remain white due to the area being blocked by the mask or stencil you used.
At this point you’ll want to remove the stencil or mask and pull another print with a fresh piece of paper. This is called a ghost print and it won’t be as vivid as the first. If you’ve done multiple prints, you might even notice some earlier colors making an appearance.
You can use the same paper you printed on over and over again with different colors and stencils. This results in a visually complex design that can be the base of a project or look lovely on it’s own.
What do I do with my prints?
You can use your prints the same way you’d use any other piece of patterned paper. These are some of the ways I’ve used mine:
- Cut them to 3×4 for Project Life
- Glued them into my art journal as a background
- Cut them into strips to use as “washi tape”
- Wrapping paper
- Greeting cards
- Cut with a round paper punch and sewn into a garland
Besides the versatility of the prints, I like to use my Gelli Plates when I’m feeling blocked creatively. It’s a quick way to produce something beautiful without having to come up with a creative idea. Making prints is a zen-like experience.
I think that a Gelli Plate is a tool for everyone. Anybody can successfully us one. My kids use mine all the time. There are no special requirements for additional tools or materials and within a few minutes you’ll start to see piles of gorgeous prints piling up.