BETTER THAN GELLI

My kitchen table has been the craft madness “arting” hub for the past two months, and I’ll be maintaining this momentum, seizing every waking moment until my gardening season resumes in a few weeks.

Now, read this……

Move over, gelli plate printing, you’ve got competition!

Yes folks, you’ve read that correctly.  I’ve got a gelli plate printing alternative that won’t disappoint, and I’m sharing that with you right now.

Here’s what you need –

  • smooth garden kneeling pad(No, you can’t use kid’s craft foam or a squishy yoga mat!)
  • liquid glycerin(mix 50/50 with water)
  • old credit/gift card
  • acrylic paint, card stock, watercolor paper, stencils, stylus
  • brayer, squeegee, small rubber spatula, silicone makeup applicator or similar “tools”

Using a ruler, utility knife and healing mat, cut your kneeler pad to a desired size.  I created three different sizes to suit my needs.  Next, prime the printing surface of your block pad with the glycerin/water mixture; I used a scrap piece of the pad to make a little squeegee-type tool.  Be sure to skim the entire surface, which should feel ever so slightly slick, but not slimy.  If the surface is too slippery, lightly blot it with a paper towel.

Load your brayer or silicone sponge with acrylic paint and apply it over the slicked surface, taking care not too make the paint layer too thick.  You should barely be able to see the tiny pores on the surface of the block.

This is where the fun begins.  The choice is yours to use stencils, free-hand draw with a stylus, or both.  Press your stencil firmly onto the block, then carefully lift it off.  When you’re ready, hover the painted block surface above the paper you’re going to print, visually frame it into position, and press it onto the paper.  Press firmly for about 10 seconds, then carefully peel the paper from the block.

Voila!  You’ve just made a gelli plate alternative print!

Let your design dry, and if you’d like, proceed with creating another layer on top of the first one.  Wet on wet techniques work too.  Use an old credit card to skim the leftover paint from the foam block before loading a different color onto it.   You’ll be able to do about three prints before needing to reload your block with some some glycerin mix.  How will you know?  The foam block will feel tacky, and you will run the risk of it sticking to and damaging the paper when peeled away from the block.

Well, I hope you’ve been inspired you to give this printing technique a try.  Oh, and unlike gelli printing plates, your foam block is super easy to clean with water and a scrubby sponge, and there’s no fancy storage requirements.

Happy printing!

 

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