Experiments in Gel Printing

At the Craft & Hobby Association’s Mega Craft Show this year, I met Laurie Karian, who has her own line of gel printing plates at www.gelpress.com.

I’m a relatively new convert to the joys of gel printing but now that I’ve gotten started, I can’t stop!

I was lucky enough to get a 3×5 inch gel plate to play with, and I went a little crazy:

Gelli Art bckgrounds 712 DSC_0768

Look at all pretty pieces! (Did I mention how addictive this is?)

I played around with a variety of acrylic paints, including Americana® multi-surface Satin™ by DecoArt® and Dina Wakely heavy body acrylic paint from Ranger. To create the patterns, I also used a variety of objects, including stamps, bubble wrap and corrugated cardboard.

I really loved using Plaid’s Fabric Creations™ block printing stamps, which look like old-school wooden block print stamps from India, as well as some foam stamps from Art Foamies (which worked really well with the paints).

The small plate was perfect for creating smaller 4-bar cards, which measure about 3 1/2 x 4 7/8 inches when folded). Some I kept clean and simple, some I indulged with stamps, etc. Here is a sampling:

prickleypear 711 gold emb bird cage DSC_0772

The bird and birdcage are from a Prickley Pear stamp/die set. The birdcage was die cut twice, then stacked and gold embossed. The bird has a coat of clear Wink of Stella. The sentiment, black embossed on vellum, is from Hero Arts’ Everyday Sentiments CL497 and attached with a Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher.

Gelli yellow, gold 713 DSC_0804

For this piece, the foam stamp was stamped into the wet paint, removing some of the paint; the green leaves were stamped after the print dried, using StazOn ink. The Dew Drops are from Robin’s Nest and were attached using Ranger’s Glossy Accents.

Gelli silhouette best wishes 713 DSC_0802

Here I cut poppies and a sentiment (both from Elizabeth Craft Designs) and added some Ranger Glossy Accents dots. So easy! (The pattern was made using good ol’ bubble wrap.)

One note I have neglected to mention for a while … I have been using ScraPerfect’s Best Glue Ever for a lot of my gluing, especially of tiny pieces. I’m loving this adhesive!

Stay tuned for more of my gel addiction!


2 Responses

  1. Greetings! Although a long time stamper, I have not become involved with gel plates – yet. In fact, I haven’t ever seen a live demonstration or felt any of the designed papers. Your email today raised my interest because I have thought about gel pads in the past and watched Utube videos a while back but never made the plunge. I love backgrounds and usually make my own one way or another (sponging, blitzing, spraying, etc) but I like the concept of putting paint on the gel pad, make a stamped design, and then add paper. That is, if I got the technique right. Some friends of mine even used new styrofoam (like you get in fresh meat packaging) and substituted that for the gel pad and lifted designs from it but I think it’s too light weight to produce a clear design. Haven’t tried it yet so I don’t know for sure.

    So, thanks for the email and inspiring me to find a place where I can purchase my very first gel pad. Heaven knows I have plenty of acrylic paint just waiting to be used on a new project!

    Keep the good projects coming! Susan V

    • Hi Susan! Thanks for the comment, and for coming to my blog. I, too, was a bit intimidated at the thought of gel printing … until I tried it! The beauty is, you can’t make a mistake! If you don’t like something, you just paint over it! I’ll be posting some of the prints that didn’t quite make it — and what I did with them!
      The best thing to do is just jump in! I’ve tried other surfaces but I do like the “feel” of the gel plate. I’ve never used Styrofoam, but I have used Styrofoam to create stamp-like images to use on my gel plates. You can cut them into great designs, then paint over them (like stencils.)
      I hope you try it, and have fun!

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