Gelli Plate Tutorial with Leaves

Here's the Gelli Plate Tutorial you asked for!
My Gelli plate has been well used and well loved.
1. Place Gelli Plate on a flat, covered working surface, and place small dots of paint onto the plate.  My demo photos are with me using acrylics and paper but it works exactly the same with fabric paint and fabric.  I like using Jacquard Textile paint when I make fabric prints.
2. Use a brayer to spread the paint evenly across the plate.
3.  I used the leaves as a resist for the first print.
4. Place the paper/fabric on top of the printing plate and smooth it out nicely to get an even print.
5.  Carefully lift up the paper/fabric.
Found a photo from when I printed the fabric - see same process.

This is a first print.
5.  I know that MONOprinting means ONE print but seriously, when you remove the leaves from the plate there are these beautifully textured leaves left on the plate just dying to be printed.  I couldn't ignore them!  So this is where you place another piece of paper/fabric over the plate and smooth it all out to get all the paint.
And here is your second print which is called a Ghost print!

But don't stop there!
Make More!
Lots more!
Paper on the left is two ghost prints and the one on the right is two first prints.
Actually I think it is two first prints and one ghost print.
I like combining the prints to get beautiful layers of depth.
TIP:  DON'T clean the plate in between prints!  Those little bits of color will come off in subsequent prints and give you nice little surprises of color along the way!
 For more fun take the leaf you pulled off the plate and use it as a stamp.  Just lay the leaf on the paper/fabric and press or brayer it down.  Such beautiful texture!
If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments section!  And if you have made Gelli prints of any kind let me know that too.  I'd love to see them.


Unknown said…
I cannot wait to hike through the local Arboretum to collect a wide variety of leaves so I can play with paint too. The best idea you have is to not clean the plate so you have sparks of unexpected color. Keep on playing and inspiring us. Thank You!!!!
Camille said…
Traditionally, that second print is called a "Ghost" print. I print a ghost print always in the exact order as the original. Often I like the Ghost better that the original. I love your leaf idea. I must go outside and get some before they all fall and dry up.
Unknown said…
I love how you finished the leaves with sewing. Would you consider adding that last image to the Flickr gelatin printmaking group? We are just getting going and you would be a great addition. Happy printing!
Judith said…
I am going to be the guest artist on "And then we set it on Fire" ( blog this coming June and I wanted to focus on the gelli plate. As I was doing my research I came across your blog and this post. I was impressed! I wondered if you would like to take one week in June to share some of your experience and printed fabrics using the gelli plate? Please send me an email at if you are interested.
Lovely prints, and delicious colour! I'm grateful you posted this.

Popular Posts