Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Experimenting with gelli-prints

I have been drooling since months over all the pictures I found on the web about gelli-plates and the wonderful things that you can do with it. So I decided I'd give myself one as a present. While I was googling I came across  a video-tutorial about how to make your own gelli-plate. Huh!? I didn't know that was possible! Might be a good idea to try it out, 'cos maybe I wouldn't like working with it. Besides, being the impatient person that I am, I wanted to start experimenting right away and not wait until I got one.

It was real easy too: 100g gelatin from the supermarket, 1,5 cup cold water and 1,5 cup of boiling water. Two hours in the fridge (okay, I left mine for 4 hours, just to be on the safe side), and then I could start printing! (I'll post the how-to-video at the end of this post, if I can find out how to, I did it before but I forgot ....)

This is how my gelli-plate looked when I got it out of the baking-dish:

It was a bit too thin, for the size of my baking-tray I probably should've used double the ingredients. I put it on some baking-paper, which I later read somewhere is not a good idea, because the baking-paper gets all wrinkled and deformed, and starts deforming your gelli-plate too. And so it did .....

Then I got started. And I loved it! I still need to figure out how to work with the different colours in order not to get mud, but it was so much fun. I experimented with different kinds of paper. The best ones (for my plan to make a journal out of the pages)  were canvaspaper and watercolourpaper. Nice and sturdy. The thinner ones (different kinds of drawing-paper) sometimes got stuck on the gelli-plate, with pieces torn out of it.

Here are some of my experiments:

 oh, I looove using thin cotton thread ....

I used my self-made stencils, and a lot of thread. Although I also liked to just mix some paint on the plate and pull a print from that without using any stencils or stamps. And usually I liked the "ghost-prints" the most (this is the second print you take).

So how did the gelli-plate hold up to all the abuse?
Well, somewhere in the middle of my experiments, one of my papers got stuck and I tore off a whole corner of my gelli-plate ... It was a good thing that for most of my prints I got the first layer on already, so I just continued without the corner. But I noticed that the more I used it, the softer it got. It wasn't so easy to clean anymore, and I couldn't get the paint on evenly. Might also have something to do with the hot and humid weather we have at the moment here in Queensland, but still.... I had expected to be able to use it a bit longer.

Anyway, when I was ready (well, I could've gone on for some more hours, that's how much I liked it, but my household-duties called me ....), I decided to stick it back in the baking-dish and put it in the fridge, just in case. Alas, the moving proved too much for it and it cracked in a few places. So I threw the whole thing in the trash ...

Nevertheless, I'm happy that I found the tutorial and tried it out. It's perfect for when you want to try it just once, or when you can't afford to buy the "real' gelli plate. The whole thing cost me about 5$. And in case I was still wondering whether or not to buy it, I now know that I really really want it :-). And I found a few online shops here in Australia that sell it too! Can't wait!

Here's the tutorial that I found on the net (let's hope this works ...):

Thanks so much for visiting! See you on Friday for the Paint Party!


  1. thanks for sharing this. i've heard about it but never investigated. looks fun!!

  2. Thanks so much for sharing this, like you I have seen the results on people's blogs, but couldn't find a supplier in NZ, the response was a Geli - what? Will give this a go. before getting one from overseas.

  3. I saw that tutorial and I was intrigued. But I must say I LOVE my gelli plate - I use it several times a week and it is so addicting! Loving the pages you made. I have to try the thread - so cool!

  4. Moet nu helaas gaan eten.... maar kijk zeker nog even naar de video van de week en misschien is het ook wel iets voor mij...
    Bedankt voor de tip!
    Lieve groetjes,

  5. gelli plates are so much fun......I have only used mine for printing on fabric.....placing the thread on top is a great idea......

  6. Fabulous Denthe... love what you created here... I don't have one but have used my friends and do love it... we printed on paper and fabric... and used leaves, doilies, lace and wrote lots of words I see Blue Bazaar have them now too... your prints are gorgeous and I love the way the thread looks as well...

    Jenny ♥

  7. Way cool! That looks like a lot of fun! At $5.00, I could even use this idea in my classroom! I went to buy one of those Brayer rollers on the weekend. Michael's, an art supply store, wanted $31.00! Yikes! There has to be a cheaper tool!

  8. oooh! lovely papers, lovely colours and texture - will be good to see your journal pages and what you do with them

  9. Prachtige papers heb je gemaakt en het is echt verslavend he?

  10. Denthe, your gelli plate worked a whole lot better than the one I tried to make about 6 weeks ago. I love your papers you made with it. I think mine was much too thin. I had trouble cleaning it between colors. Your papers will make great collage elements or backgrounds for cards.

  11. It looks like you had a lot of fun with this technique! Gelli plates caught my eye last year and they've been on my "to do" list - along with encaustic and many other things! lol

  12. Did you know you can re-melt your gelatine plate in the microwave when it gets a bit 'used' and reset again?


Thanks for taking the time to comment! I love hearing your thoughts about my work. Because I am getting too many spammer comments, l have to use Captcha, sorry. Hope this is not a problem for you !