Leaf and flower gelli prints for all seasons

Hi lovely artists, this is Clare with my tutorial for the Season of Seasons. Today I am showing you how to create many beautiful  gelli plate prints using leaves and flowers.

The botanicals I used were gathered from the park, my garden and I bought some flowers for myself! Once you get started with these prints, your imagination will have a wonderful time as you decide layouts on your gelli plate and which papers and paint combinations to use.

I like the results from printing with a gelli plate because even if it is not exactly what you envisioned, chances are it will be a happy surprise.  Handmade prints are always a beautiful addition to your journal, they are made by you and will have your personality which will then translate into your art journal.  You can go to town or keep it minimal to get a page you are pleased with.

For this project we are going to clear a table, grab a pile of papers and some paints and make gelli prints with leaves and flowers for as long as it takes to run out of paper, paint or botanicals.  I am not adding ‘running out of ideas’ to that list because I have never run out of ideas once I am working with the gelli plate, the whole process seems to generate them, not deplete them.

Supplies

  • A selection of flowers and leaves to print with
  • A gelli plate of any size
  • Heavy body acrylic paint
  • Fluid gold acrylic paint
  • Brayer
  • A variety of papers to print onto, for example – copy paper, cardstock, dry wax paper, book pages, ledger paper, decorative paper
  • Baby wipes are useful to clean off your brayer and plate if you need to

The book I made with the printed pages is bound using pamphlet stitch, Vanessa has a Get Messy tutorial here. This is a great way to stitch a book, it is simple but effective and you can sew in all the different papers and vary the sizes too if you like.

Let’s get creating!

Gelli plate do’s and don’ts

  • Do experiment
  • Don’t be precious
  • Do try all the papers
  • Don’t worry if what you planned in your head doesn’t work out, I am willing to bet that in the process you figured out how to make it a success
  • Do try all the masks – paper cut outs, doilies, leaves, petals, feathers
  • Don’t mix all the colours and get mud
  • Do mix all the colours and get a rainbow
  • Don’t be a afraid to print on prints, you will get some fabulous results
  • Do curate your prints and use them for collage or full background pages, let that creative imagination flow freely!
  • Don’t throw all ‘disasters’ away, maybe even a corner can be used in a collage

Action Steps

  1. Find a selection of florals and leaves – fake or real – and experiment with your gelli plate.
  2. Select which prints will make great book pages or full backgrounds.
  3. Choose prints to collage with, even the tiniest part of a print can look sensational on the right page.
  4. Have all the fun with this project and keep your eyes open for great leaves and flowers to print with.

CLARE

Clare is originally from the north of England and has lived in the mid-west of America since 2003. Her workplace is the local library where she is a part time librarian, which is good because she loves books. Her favourite part of art journaling is the opportunity to create with no pressure and usually no finished idea in mind and the chance to create a sketchbook and fill it up however she wants!

26 Comments

  1. Hannah Sewell

    That was fabulous Clare! I can’t wait to get printing!

    • Clare Etheridge

      And I can’t wait to see what you make!

  2. Chris Silker

    Oh, this was great – you’ve given me a lot of fun ideas!

    • Clare Etheridge

      I am so glad! I love playing with the gelli plate and I bet you come up with some great ideas!

  3. Michell Follett

    I hope to find some time this weekend to try this. Looks so fun and I love the result. Thanks for sharing the process!

    • Clare Etheridge

      Yes, find ten minutes and you will be amazed at the goodness you can create!

  4. Amber Coulter

    So fun! Thanks Clare!

    • Clare Etheridge

      Create something amazing Amber!

  5. Goele Deckers

    The background music in the video made me think about my favourite movie from my childhood: The Secret Garden. I might watch it tonight and let it inspire me to make something.

    • Clare Etheridge

      The music is called ‘English Country Garden’! I bet you will come up with all kinds of ideas from The Secret Garden.

      • Phill Rushmere

        Awesome job Clare! I love this style of printing, I remember doing something similar for coursework at school.

        Oh and the background music “English Country Garden” isn’t the version I know!! 😀

        • Clare Etheridge

          Ha! No Phill the music is not the regular version! I hope you have a go at printing again!

    • Clare Etheridge

      Yay, you will make some gorgeous prints Vanessa!

  6. Linda Blaszczyk

    Thank you for a fun tutorial! I bought a gelli plate awhile back after watching Misty, i think on maybe instagram but haven’t been brave enough to try it. Now seeing this I can hardly wait to try it out.

  7. Linda Blaszczyk

    Clare, something I forgot to ask: will I get a better print using heavy body paint rather than craft or regular acrylic paint?

  8. Elizabeth D.

    Clare, I could listen to you all day! <3 Looking forward to being home in the city in a few weeks to break out my gelli plate and experiment with your techniques. Thank you for a wonderful tutorial!

  9. Katie Licht

    these are so so good! and your video is wonderful. I can’t wait to have a few spare hours to try out some of these ideas. 🙂

  10. Holly Janssen

    OMG…I am obsessed with this tutorial. I can’t wait to try this! Thank you for sharing!!!

  11. Maura Flood

    Clare – I enjoyed this tutorial so much. Never saw anyone use wax paper for gel plate prints before, and I love the results you got. Is this just the wax paper we can buy a roll of at the grocery store? If so, I could get started now, since I already have some.

  12. Stephanie Brown

    Thank you, that was so much fun

  13. Suzanne Earley

    So great. I really need to play with my gelli plate!!

  14. Ashley Rodgers

    This is a wonderful tutorial, Clare!

  15. Amanda Hobbs

    Gasp! Soooo inspiring Clare! I especially love the moon ones! I’ve been wanting a gelli plate so bad and now it needs to happen ASAP. Amazon here I come.

  16. CLARISSA ABREU

    I loved that technique! Beautiful and inspiring work!
    Unfortunately, I can’t find Gelli plates here in Brazil and to buy one from other countries would be very expensive…
    I hope I can find someone to bring one to me!

  17. Marsha Smusz

    Keep coming back to re-watch this! Best gelli plate tut ever. now, to get home to my supplies and try it out. Thanks, Claire.