What to do with your Gelli Plate Prints

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For those of you who have been playing with your Gelli Art mono printing plates I’m sure you have a huge collection of colourful prints. So what are we actually going to do with all of these Gelli plate prints?

using background papers for mixed media art ideas

Here are some of the projects Michelle has undertaken to put these colourful prints to use. If you don’t have a Gelli plate or a huge collection of Gelli plate prints, you can always use bought background papers or backgrounds you have made using other mixed media technique, like Credit card printing or found object painting.

Swap and Share

One of my crafting friends had admired my colourful Gelli print backgrounds. For her birthday I chose some of my favourite prints and put them into a nice folder. She was delighted with them and even made me a card from one of the prints I had given her.

using background papers for mixed media gift ideas

The prints are also fun to swap and share with friends, as each of us has a different style and colour preference, so all of the backgrounds turn out so differently.

Handmade greeting cards

using background papers for mixed media art ideas

It is easy to turn your Gelli plate prints into lovely handmade greeting cards. My preference is to simply cut or tear to size, add a little ink around the edges and stamp a greeting. Then use double sided tape to stick it to the card. This is a great way to show off the colourful prints and not hide any of the details.

using background papers for mixed media art ideas

I have also used my punches to cut out shapes from the Gelli plate print. These cards were made for my Christmas cards for 2013. Firstly I punched shapes out os several sheets of gelli print paper, so I had a variety of patterns and colours available. I then arranged the pieces and checked I was happy with the overall colours and patterns. The shapes were stuck down using a glue stick. To finish off the cards are used some Christmas stickers. These were simple to add and stood out well on top of the brightly coloured background.

using background papers for mixed media art ideas

Teabag Folding

Teabag folding is a specific kind of origami. You can buy prints that are identical to make these arrangements. I decided to try using my Gelli plate prints.

Firstly I cut out 8 2 inch squares. Then folded them into the correct shape.

using background papers for mixed media art ideas

I stuck into the eight pieces carefully into the flower arrangements using PVA glue on a toothpick to get into the folds of each piece.

using background papers for mixed media art ideas

Once the flower arrangement was dry I did added it onto the card background with double sided tape.

using background papers for mixed media art ideas

These cards are not as simple as the ones above but they are worth the effort and are perfect for crafting friends who appreciate them.

Art journalling

While I am making my Gelli plate prints, I also use the excess paint from the stencils and brayer in my art journal to create a pre-painted background. It is then easy to use the colour-coordinated prints to add features in the art journal layout.

Here are a few of my favourites:

using background papers for mixed media art ideas

using background papers for mixed media art ideas

using background papers for mixed media art ideas

using background papers for mixed media art ideas

Paper ornaments

For my 2013 Christmas ornaments swap I also used a piece of Gelli plate print. You can see the full details of how these were made here at #4. Like the teabag folding it was a tricky process but I love how it turned out.

using gelli arts mono printed papers for mixed media art ideas

Personalised Envelopes and Stationery

Having these prints lying around certainly makes it handy when you need inspiration. When I needed a quick gift wrapped for a Christmas gift, I decided to turn one of my sheets into an envelope. I then sealed it with double sided tape.

using background papers for mixed media art project ideas

using background papers for mixed media art project ideas

That inspired me to make more envelopes. And want to have finished with the envelopes I still had more offcuts, so I got out of my punches and created some stationery to go with the envelopes, decorating the plain copy paper. It will make a lovely gift.

using background papers for mixed media art project ideas

using background papers for mixed media art project ideas

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We hope this has given you a few ideas as to what to do with that BIG pile of Gelli plate prints you have been creating. Of course, this list isn’t exhaustive – if YOU have another great use for handmade background papers, we’d LOVE to hear from you – just leave a note in the comments!
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Fixing Your Gel Prints

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When getting started with gel printing, it’s easy to create gel prints that we just don’t like! Sometimes with our first gel prints there is too much white space or the second print, also known as the “ghost print”, hasn’t turned out as we had wanted. But do not despair, we can fix these minor problems with a few more layers.

beginner prints mistakes

Here Michelle introduces us to techniques to solve the three major problems when we  get when starting out with gel printings.

Argh! Due to technical difficulties, only the first part of the video is playing – we are working on fixing it!

This video was originally shot on Periscope, so it’s a bit slow to get started!

When you try these techniques to fix your gel prints, remember the that translucency of your paints makes a big difference with your results. This is where the glazing medium is so important – it makes your paints more see through, which is just what we want when fixing our gel prints, so we can see the lovely layers underneath.

gel print techniques

 

And we’d love to hear from you – what ways and techniques have YOU found to help “fix” your gel prints?

Leave a comment below.

 

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Storing your Gelli Arts & Gel Press Prints

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When you get into creating your own background papers with monoprinting, whether you are using a homemade gelatine plate,  a GelliArts plate or a Gel Press one, once you get started, the prints start flowing!

Before you know it you have  H-U-G-E pile of gel prints!

Storing your gel press monoprinting gelli arts gel press gel prints

When it comes time to use your some of your beautiful papers, it gets frustrating when you have to shuffle through a large pile of printed paper and deli papers. Here Michelle talks about her approach to sorting and storing her gel prints, as inspired by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer.

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I hope you find this simple concept easy to adapt to your own gel prints storage. It can even be adapted to all of your scrapbooking and ephemera papers. You can always create more categories to sort but remember that if you make your system too complicated then, you’ll be less likely to use it, so keep it simple when you are getting started with sorting and storing your gel prins. You can improve on your storage system once you have a simple system that works for you.

If you are looking for ideas on using your lovely printed papers, see What to do with your Gel Plate Prints for inspiration. Having your own, unique gel prints allows you to create simple pieces that will always have a personal touch, because the printed papers are originals.

Happy creating,
Michelle

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Mixed Media Canvases with Plaid Folk Art Paints

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This article is written by Michelle G. Brown

This week I got to play with some FolkArt paints, provided to us by Plaid, to see what I could do with them. I do love playing with paints; they are a relatively cheap materials, come in lots of wonderful colors and gives me the ability to coordinate all of the elements I need to create many types of mixed media art

Acrylic Paints Folk Art with mixed media collage

The colors looks all so nice together (I’m a real sucker for “Rainbow” colors) but I was worried about using so many colors on the one canvas, so I did some testing to find color combinations that I liked; remember that I’m not very brave when it comes to combining colors. These were the trials that I completed:

Acrylic Paints Folk Art

I actually liked most of them but only had three canvas panels so I narrowed it down to three combinations that used a variety of paint colors.

Acrylic Paints Folk Art

Top: Lime Green, Deep Ocean Blue and Ivory White

Middle:  Deep Ocean Blue, Perfect Purple and Toasted Vanilla

Bottom: Vivid Orange, Parisian Pink, Moon Yellow and Ivory White

With my color combinations selected, I was ready to get started.

Materials and Tools for the Mixed Media Canvases

- selection of acrylic paints: here I used Plaid FolkArt Paints

- 3 5”x7” canvas board panels

- collected ephemera; 5 different fonts

- Matte Mod Podge and sponge applicator

- Gesso and applicator

- Gelli Plate 8”x12”

- Brayer

- Deli paper, ephemera and copy paper in A4

- Stencils: here I used Stencil Girl L174 Ward Quatrefoil Mix

- Variety of rubber stamps and grey archival ink

- Watercolor pencils: black and white

- charcoal pencil and blender

- Markers and pens: I used Sharpie White, white gel pen, black Sakura Pigmento Micro 02 and Montana Extra fine Acrylic Marker filled with black Golden High Flow Acrylic in Carbon Black

- Spray varnish

Creating the Background Layers

1. Lay out the canvas panels

Acrylic Paints Folk Art with mixed media collage

2. Collect a range of ephemera and tear into pieces. I like to use four to five different texts and fonts to make sure there is enough variety in the background. Get these ready before you start to get sticky.

Acrylic Paints Folk Art with mixed media collage

3. Adhere to the canvas panels, leaving some pale edges overlaying the edges

Acrylic Paints Folk Art with mixed media collage

4. Cut off the excess ephemera with a craft knife and use a sanding block to smooth the edges of the canvas

Acrylic Paints Folk Art with mixed media collage

5. Get out your Gesso and an old store card or spatula and roughly apply a layer of Gesso over the dried ephemera layer. Leave to dry.

Acrylic Paints Folk Art with mixed media collage

Acrylic Paints Folk Art with mixed media collage

6. Add a layer of bone coloured acrylic paint, then a little ivory white and then a layer of yellow as a wash

Acrylic Paints Folk Art with mixed media collage

Acrylic Paints Folk Art with mixed media collage

Acrylic Paints Folk Art with mixed media collage

Leave canvases to dry.

Creating Color Coordinated Papers with Gelli Plates

While the canvas panels are drying, get set up to create some color coordinated papers to add to the canvas panels. This is the advantage of using paints where we can make all of our bits and pieces match. Here I’ve used  a Gelli Arts Gelli plate, with the paints and stencils and a variety of ephemera.

creating prints with Acrylic Paints Folk Art

Firstly I used these colors to make a few pages

creating prints with Acrylic Paints Folk Art

creating prints with Acrylic Paints Folk Art

Then changed colors and created a range of prints with different patterns and color mixes. I created quite a few so I would have a range of prints to choose from when I completed the canvases.

creating prints with Acrylic Paints Folk Art

creating prints with Acrylic Paints Folk Art

Finishing off the Mixed Media Canvas

I lined up the three panels and added some stamping with grey Archival Ink

Plaid paints add color to mixed media collages

Plaid paints add color to mixed media collages

Plaid paints add color to mixed media collages

Then I decided to focus on one canvas at at time, starting with the orange and pink one.

I had created a few sketches in my art journal and transferred these images onto the printed papers to collage the image onto the canvas. For the brightly coloured canvas I used a bright flower, as well as clouds and a feather.

Plaid paints add color to mixed media collages

The flower was highlighted with water coloured pencils in black and white

Plaid paints add color to mixed media collages

A quote was added with the black Sakura Pigmento Micro 02 marker and Montana Extra Fine Acrylic marker filled with black Golden High Flow Acrylic Carbon Black

Plaid paints add color to mixed media collages

The stencil was used to add more Quatrefoil pattern into the pieces.

Plaid paints add color to mixed media collages

Here I used the pink paints with a stencil brush.

Plaid paints add color to mixed media collages

Plaid paints add color to mixed media collages

Then I highlighted a few of the shapes with charcoal pencil, smudged it a little and added highlights with white pen and marker, as well as adding more shading around the flower

Plaid paints add color to mixed media collages

I repeated these steps with the other two canvases. Here is a close up of the highlighted quatrefoil.

Plaid paints add color to mixed media collages

When all three were complete, I signed them and gave them a coat of spray gloss varnish to seal the charcoal and give them a nice, glossy finish.

Final mixed media canvas panels

Here are the finished canvas panels

Be Kind: Vivid Orange, Parisian Pink, Moon Yellow and Ivory White

Folk Art paints to add color to mixed media collages

The quote reads “ You are the sole companion you will have at every waking moment of your life”

Folk Art paints to add color to mixed media collages

Be Mindful: Lime Green, Deep Ocean Blue and Ivory White

Folk Art paints to add color to mixed media collages

With the quote “You are more powerful than your thoughts.”

Folk Art paints to add color to mixed media collages

Be Gentle: Deep Ocean Blue, Perfect Purple and Toasted Vanilla

Folk Art paints to add color to mixed media collages

Quote: “Choose to respond, rather than react”

Folk Art paints to add color to mixed media collages

All of the quotes are by Stephanie Dowrick and her book Choosing Happiness

Gelli Printed Papers Giveaway

Michelle has a HEAP of Gelli printed ephemera left over from this project and wants to give YOU a chance to put them to good use and create your own mixed media collage. We are giving away THREE EPHEMERA kits, one in each of the three color combinations.

Michelle G. Brown creates fun papers

The winners have been announced ~ See the Announcement “And the Winners are…”

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Michelle G. Brown is passionate about mixed media art and enjoys sharing her knowledge and techniques with you to allow you to express your own creativity. Michelle understands that many of us have an inner need to create. By learning a few basic techniques the amazing world of mixed media art is accessible to everyone!

Michelle lives with her husband and two boys in Melbourne, Australia.

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Disclosure: These paints and Mod Podge were provided by Plaid for the purpose of review. All opinions are that of the MixedMediaArt team. The links on this page may include affiliate links and any purchases help to support the ongoing work by MixedMediaArt.
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