A Gelli Plate Print Tutorial

I have repeatedly professed my love for monoprinting with a gelli plate.  I realized with my post the other day, some of you may not know what this is, or have never used one before.  So I thought over the next few days, I would give you a few tutorials on some of my favorite techniques to use with a gelli plate.  Today, I’m going to show you how to do a basic multi-color monoprint using a stencil.

Disclaimers:  1) There are about a million and one ways to use a gelli plate! This is by no means an exhaustive tutorial.  The combinations and possibilities are endless – I suggest you just play around.  2) I have seen tutorials about making your own gelli plate – so if you find the cost prohibitive, the homemade version might be an option for you.  3) I apologize in advance for the absurd amount of pictures. Smile 

Basic Multi-Color Stencil Monoprint

1. Gather your supplies:

  • paint (I used some new liquid acrylics I picked up from my local art store today.  I’m usually a heavy body paint kinda girl, so this was an experiment too!)
  • paper (you can use any kind – I used regular printer paper)
  • gelli plate (store-bought or homemade)
  • a variety of stencils
  • paint brush
  • brayer (optional)

2. Uncover one side of your gelli plate, and drop puddles of paint in random places.  Use a paint brush to spread the paint and cover the plate.  I find it works best to keep the paint selections within the same color family (i.e. cools (greens, blues) or warms (pink, red, orange)).  Or if you choose two cools and a warm, rinse your brush in between and don’t mix the colors too much… Mixing from opposite sides of the colors wheel creates a nice muddy brown shade.


3. Lay a stencil down on top of the paint-covered plate.

4. Place a sheet of paper on top of your stencil.  Use a brayer or your hand to smooth it down.  For stencils, I think a brayer works a little better to squish the paper down into the design.

5. Peel back the paper.  The first print is usually my least favorite, as it has a little less depth than the others.


But definitely still cool to cut up and use for collage bits!

6.  Grab a new sheet of paper.  Carefully peel the stencil off of the gelli plate.  Lay the stencil down on the paper with the paint-covered side facing down.

7. Using a brayer or your hand, rub across the back of the stencil to ensure a good print.

Here is where magic happens. And, if I’m being honest, lots of girly squeals that I may be embarrassed about if people were to overhear.

Amazeballs, right?

At this point you will have lots of paint with a stencil impression left on your gelli plate.

8.  Yep, you guessed correctly – grab another sheet of paper and lay it down on top of the gelli plate.  Using your hand or a brayer, smooth the paper down to get a good print.

(Insert more girly squeals.)

At this point, you have a several choices.  For this particular example, I just took another sheet of blank paper and repeated step #8.  Each additional time you make a print, you (obviously) get less and less paint to pull up off of the plate.

9. Once you get to a point where paint is not pulling up, rinse off your plate using a wet paper towel or a baby wipe.  That’s it!  Repeat x eleventy billion.

Trust me, this is so incredibly addictive, you will find it hard to use all of the pages you create.  Come back tomorrow for another fun technique!

Linking up over at Carolyn Dube’s April Gelli Print Party!

For more gelli print tutorials, visit these posts:

Hand Drawn Design

Water It Down
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14 thoughts on “A Gelli Plate Print Tutorial

  1. So addictive!!! I could not stop making prints and lost a lot of hours. I had a ridiculous amount of fun! I loved the layering and playing and experimenting. All one big adventure!

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