Gelli Plate Collage

Note: I’ll be teaching Gelli Plates 101: Make A Book of Monoplates at Arizona Art Supply (Phoenix) on November 2. Details and registration.

Gelli plates are gelatin-like plastic that you coat with paint and use as a printing plate. You apply the paint with a brayer, but the printing press is your hand. Once the paper is down, you smooth it over with your hand and lift off the impression.

Here is a collage I made using Gelli prints


First, I tried to make the poppies an underlayer, but they came out too uniformly red, so then I printed a sheet of mixed reds and used it to create the poppies separately and collage them over the stems.

BranchesOn this one, I wanted to mix unusual colors, giving it a worn feel. Not sure I love the colors, but I got the effect I was looking for. I cut the masks myself, using old overhead projector plastic. It makes them reusable.


I love the teabag print. This is a journal page I will write on with a Sharpie.

And yes, I have two teaching locations where I’ll be teaching how to use these for journal pages. Minneapolis and yes, Madeline Island. Stay tune for details!

–Quinn McDonald has fallend paint over fingers for Gelli Arts plates.

15 thoughts on “Gelli Plate Collage

    • Yep, but it can curl after a few uses. Which is fine, sometimes the paint makes it flatter. I use the foam sheets to create my own stamps, as it allows me to get both positive and negatives.

  1. I love the tea bag as well. You are doing some interesting pieces with the plate. For my stencils I use bristol paper. It is thick enough to re-use over and over and the more you use them the more interesting the textures are from the paint build up. Plus the built up paint makes them stronger as well.

    • I’ve noticed that if you let the paint on the masks, they get sturdier. I overworked one sheet to death and when I lifted the sheet, a piece of paper stuck to the mask. On the next one, it stuck to the print (yeah, I just had to see what would happen. I’m weird that way). Pulling it off gave me a really interesting result–but not one I’d strive for regularly. Your work is jaw-droppingly exact and lovely.

  2. Lovely, delicate poppies…and the background color is reminds me of a cement garden wall. This one is frame-able!

  3. You don’t find the overhead sheets too thin compared to commercial stencils? Because I had the same idea and got a bunch for free, but then began to doubt when I cut into one of them.

    • I use overheads differently than commercial stencils. I started cutting masks from paper, but they could be used only once or twice. So I started cutting them from overheads, which worked really well and allowed for multiple uses. I’ve used the leave branch (which is actually four pieces, arranged in curves) at least 18 times with no deterioration. So far, I’m having a lot of fun.

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