Looking for inspiration with my Gelli Printing I’ve decided to work my way through the videos I’ve  collected on my Gelli Plate Monoprinting Board on Pinterest.

The first tutorial I’ve pinned can be found here. It’s Linda Germain using a mask (although she calls it a stencil) on a gelatin plate (a sort of DIY version of the commercial Gelli Plate) to create a monoprint. I’ve written some basic instructions at the bottom of the post but would recommend watching the video first. Also, just so you know, I found this quite difficult to get right. That doesn’t mean you will of course but I don’t think it’s as easy as it looks!

My first attempt at trying this method was with a music stave mask which didn’t work as well as the one in the tutorial. It isn’t solid enough to get a decent amount of paint on it which is probably needed for a good clear result. But overall I ended up with a nice base to work further on. I may add another level to it.

Music Stave Gelli Print

My second attempt was made with a friend in mind who’s keen on crows and has a birthday coming up.

I cut out a crow from card with my Silhouette Cameo machine.

Considering it’s a very short tutorial I found it surprisingly difficult to keep the instructions in mind and got the mask the wrong way down on my first attempt as shown on the left.

Crow Mask Gelli Prints

The print on the right was done correctly but I probably had too much paint on the mask which smudged the outline a bit. As Linda Germain mentions in the video it takes a while to work out the right amount of paint!

The middle print was done without adding any extra paint. I just cleaned the mask off on a book page on which I’d been cleaning my brayer.

Here’s my third and fourth attempts with basic instructions:

1. Add fluid acrylic paint to a mask

To make the mask I adapted a file from the fantastic free resources found on Birdscards.com and cut it out with my Silhouette Cameo. However, any mask you have in your stash should work. Or you could cut something by hand from card or a cereal box.

I like to add the paint to the mask by placing it on top of a old book page. That way I’m not wasting any paint and I end up with some interesting backgrounds to work with later.

Branch mask before adding paint
paint added to mask with brayer

On my first attempt I added the paint with a brayer but it was difficult to keep the mask still and I ended up with paint underneath it. Not at all what you want to happen!

paint added to mask with brush




On my second attempt I used a brush. Better!




2. Use a brayer to add fluid acrylic paint to your Gelli Plate

Prepared Gelli Plate




I also pressed an alphabet stencil into the top left corner to add some interest. I forgot the image would be reversed though so the letters ended up the wrong way round though. Duh!






3. Place the mask PAINTED SIDE DOWN on the plate and burnish

4. Remove the mask whilst holding the edge of the paper in place on the plate

5. Smooth the paper back down on the plate

6. Remove . . . et viola!

Branch mask Gelli Plate

Hmmmm! Not quite what I had in mind. So where’s the green then?

It seems the pink paint ended up being transferred to the mask rather than the green paint being transferred to the Gelli Plate.

Branch Mask 2

This is my fourth attempt. A slight improvement but still not quite what I was after. Maybe paint doesn’t work as well as ink; maybe the paint dried too quickly; maybe I didn’t get the quantities right; maybe it just takes more practice.

If you’ve been able to make this technique work with a Gelli Plate and acrylic paint I’d love to hear from you and if you haven’t tried it yet, give it a go and let us know how you get on.

I had fun trying and I’ve got some more backgrounds to work with, even if they weren’t what I was expecting.


At time of writing – 29 of 101 Gelli Prints completed.

Linking to A Colorful Gelli Print Party June and Tutorial Tuesday