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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Monoprinting with Gelli Arts Gelli Plates

Monoprinting has been around in many forms for a long time. One alternative was to make your own printing plate using gelatine but this was a messy and time consuming activity, so the clever girls over at GelliArts have created a non-perishable alternative to gelatine plates – the Gelli Plate.

Michelle shares her gelli plate printing process

The Gelli plates are made from a polymer that provides the same feel as a gelatine plate but is non toxic and will last for many prints. They are available in three sizes: 6″x6″ , 8″x10″ and 12″ x 14″. Today we will be using the 8″x10″ one, which works well with A4 sheets of paper.

Setting up

Gather together all of your materials and tools and make sure you have plenty of space.

I have a large sheet of glass (with rounded, smooth edges) that I have sat over the protective cloth on our dining room table (hence the pretty maroon and fruit prints table cloth!) I also like to lay out a few cereal box plastic sheets on the floor so I can sit all of my prints out flat to dry.

You will also need:

1. A Gelli plate

Michelle shares her gelli plate printing process

 

2. Acrylic paints

Michelle shares her gelli plate printing process with these materials

3. A brayer and other mark making tools (this is a surfboard wax comb)

Michelle shares her gelli plate printing process with these materials

4. Netting, lace, bubble wrap and cloth for making marks

Michelle shares her gelli plate printing process with these materials

5. Sequence scrap

Michelle shares her gelli plate printing process with these materials

6. Stencils

Michelle shares her gelli plate printing process with these materials

 

Monoprinting Gelli Plates Style

Here you can watch Michelle run through the process she used for creating this series of blue mono prints

 

Layer 1 – light blues with orange bag netting

Michelle shares her gelli plate printing process with these materials

Layer 2 – medium blues with sequence scrap

Michelle shares her gelli plate printing process with these materials

Layer 3 – darker blues with Crafter Workshop Blazonry 12″x12″ stencil

Michelle shares her gelli plate printing process with these materials

 

Add a Little Contrast

I decided to add a little contrast to my blue mono prints by adding a little yellow and orange, with the Crafter Workshop Flower Frenzy 12″x12″ stencil

Added a little paint

Michelle shares her gelli plate printing process with these finishing touches

Rolled it out, not covering the whole Gelli plate

Michelle shares her gelli plate printing process with these finishing touches

Sat the flower stencil on top

Michelle shares her gelli plate printing process with these finishing touches

Added the darker mono print, adding highlights in yellow and orange

Michelle shares her gelli plate printing process with these finishing touches

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I am having SO much fun with my Gelli plate. I also LOVE looking on the internet to see what others have created – please share your Gelli plates print successes: link to your blog in the comments below!

To read more about some of the things you can actually DO with all of these Gelli prints, Michelle has put together these five projects – What to do with Your Gelli Plates Prints

Happy creating!

art journal gelli plates prints

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