The Gelli Plate is a fun and low stress way to make art prints. It is easy enough for children but has so many uses professional artists use it as well.
For the most basic card all you will need is the following:
- Gelli Plate (I bought mine at Amazon and am using the 8 x 10 size)
- brayer (I also bought this at Amazon and am using the 4 inch size)
- acrylic paint (Any grade will do. For this project I used craft paint bought at a craft store.)
- paper (I used 65 lb card stock, size 8.5 in x 11 in bought at a craft store but printer paper and deli paper also work great)
- baby wipes or wet paper towels to clean up with
- scissors and/or paper cutter
- white glue
If you want to add extra elements and patterns find things around the house with texture like the silicone pot holders I use here. Even bubble wrap or cut up cardboard will work! You can also cut out some shapes with scissors and paper. I cut out hearts to use for my card.
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Step 1: Preparing the Gelli Plate
First, choose the colors you want in your print. You can add as few or as many colors as you wish. I chose a red, a light pink, and a tan.
Next, spread the paint across the plate in several different directions with the brayer. Use a light touch and move in different directions. The goal is to have the whole plate covered in an interesting pattern.
Hint: If you use too little paint it may dry too quickly and you won't be able to pull a print with the paper. Too much paint can create a thick, mushy print with very little detail. Experiment! You can always clean the plate and the brayer with a baby wipe and start over. Also, prints you don't like can be printed over or cut up and used in different ways.
Step 2: Pulling the Print
After the paint is spread across the plate lay a piece of paper on the top of the plate.
Gently press and rub over every spot on the paper. You want the entire surface of the paper to be gently pushed onto the painted Gelli plate.
Finally, pull the paper off of the Gelli plate.
Lay the paper flat to dry.
You have a basic print!
Step 3: Cleaning the Plate and Brayer
To clean the plate all you need is a baby wipe or wet paper towel. Wipe the plate until the paint is gone.
To clean the brayer run it over a scrap piece of paper. (This paper can be saved and cut up and used as decorative elements for your card or other projects.) If there is still paint on the brayer a baby wipe or wet paper towel can be used to wipe it off.
Step 4: Creating Texture and Adding Elements
Once you have some practice pulling basic prints it's time to start adding texture to the paint on the Gelli plate.
The prints you pull off the plate can have very interesting patterns made from things you probably already have around the house. For this project I used a silicone pot holder.
After spreading paint on the plate with the brayer as before, I pressed the textured element into the paint on various parts of the plate. You can also cover the whole plate with texture if you choose.
Next, I placed the hearts I cut out onto the plate.
Finally, I laid a piece of paper over the plate as before, gently pushing and rubbing the paper, and pulled the paper off to reveal the print.
I set the printed paper flat to dry.
Before the paint dried on the pot holder I pressed it onto my scrap piece of paper. It made a really interesting pattern that I decided to use later in the project. I also pulled the cut out hearts off and placed them flat to dry to use later.
Step 5: Sort Through the Prints and Scraps
Now it's time to sort through the piles of prints you made with the Gelli plate and any scrap paper you used to clean off the brayer and textured elements. Go through everything and look for sections you love because of the patterns and colors. You will find interesting pieces and patterns to use. Cut out the parts you like for your final card.
I examined my pulled papers and scrap papers. After I found the sections I liked best I cut out hearts and rectangles from the sections of painted scrap papers.
I played with different arrangements until I liked what I had. I was easily able to find enough for two cards.
Step 6: Putting It All Together
To make my cards I used the hearts from Gelli plate pull and other hearts and rectangles I cut from my scrap paper.
I glued the scrap paper hearts to my pulled print. I folded the paper in half and had my first card. Next, I glued the hearts made with the pulled print to a fresh piece of card stock along with rectangles cut from scrap paper.
Mix and match what you have for your own cards!
This is a fun and easy project that is great for children and adults alike.
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