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Gelli printing is a fun way to create unique backgrounds for your handmade cards.
It's a wonderful opportunity to de-stress especially if you tend to be a bit of perfectionist (like me!) as you have to let yourself go and enjoy the process.
And if your mojo has flown away it's a no pressure way to be creative without worrying about the results.
So, what do you need to get started?
The gelli plate is a reusable printing surface made from non porous mineral oil. You can make your own, but as time is my enemy I purchased mine.
What size gelli plate should you buy?
It all depends on what you want to use it for!
There are lots of different sizes available up to 16" x 20". Small shapes such as squares, triangles and circles are good for card fronts. While the Faith Impressions set is perfect for Bible journalling.
As I make cards I bought a small 3" x 5" plate and a 6" x 6" plate.
My 6" x 6" card making stencils are a perfect fit for the 6" x 6" plate. I also purchased a 7" x 7" Mega Mount from Clarity Stamps to make it easier to move the plate around.
For smaller plates you can use a large acrylic block from your stamping stash.
I will buy a larger plate to make full sheets of patterned paper that I can cut up for batch card making. But that's for the future!
Brayers are rollers with handles. These too are available in a variety of sizes.
You should use a soft rubber brayer as this spreads the paint or ink over the gelli plate smoothly.
I use a Speedball brayer with a 4" roller and this works well for me.
In the first instance start with what you have.
I started with my Distress Oxide inks using printer paper. Dye based inks may stain your gelli plate.
The recommended medium is acrylic paint. There are lots of different brands to chose from available at a range of prices.
I use the range from my local craft store.
More expensive makes include Deco Art, Americana and Golden Open acrylics.
You can use any almost any type of paper with your gelli plate. As you use a lot of paper start with printer paper especially when you are practicing.
When you feel confident using your plate try different papers and card.
If you want to use your prints for collage use Deli paper, a fine translucent dry wax paper sold in boxes of 500 sheets.
There are specialist texture tools you can buy for your gelli printing.
But there's no need to go out and spend lots of money as you can add texture with household items. Such as bottle tops, bubble wrap, corrugated cardboard, string, fabric and leaves.
Be careful not to use anything sharp as this may puncture the plate.
Stencils are also an ideal way to add pattern and texture to your designs. Your card making stencils are ideal - wash them straight away before the paint drys.
Use Embossing folders to create positive and negative patterns. Again wash quickly after use.
Once you have all your supplies it's time to create your first print.
These are the basic instructions to creating a print. Step it up a notch by adding a stencil or other textures on top of the paint to create pattens.
As you get more confident try adding layers of paint. Allow each layer to dry before adding another layer.
Take time to watch You Tube instruction videos by the two manufactures of gelli plates....
And check out some excellent artists to discover additional techniques. I would recommend.....