Gel Printing with Dies and Embossing Folders

Hi everyone! Anna-Karin here with a fun mixed media tutorial, with some very cool results. I am always looking for new ways to use my dies and embossing folders and thought I would try using them for gel printing.

Sizzix Die Cutting Tutorial | Gel Printing with Anna-Karin

I ended up making a lot of prints and some of them were made into cards. Monoprinting with the help of a gel plate is so much fun and dies and embossing folders are perfect tools for achieving really cool effects.  The prints are great for all kinds of projects. I used them for cards here and last week I made a Dotty Gelli Print ATC Book. They are also great for scrapbooking layouts, art journaling and more. Give it a try, it is lots of fun.

Sizzix Die Cutting Tutorial | Gel Printing with Anna-Karin

I used a 6 x 6 in gelli plate. If you don't have a gelli plate, you can easily make your own from gelatin, there are recipes online. For this tutorial, I used Distress Paints. If you find that the paint beads up on your plate, wash the plate with soap and water, and do a few test prints. After that the paint worked perfectly for me. It is a thin paint, which is why it might bead up a bit at first. Place a few drops on the plate.

Sizzix Die Cutting Tutorial | Gel Printing with Anna-Karin

Cover the plate with the paint using a brayer.

Sizzix Die Cutting Tutorial | Gel Printing with Anna-Karin

Before you start, emboss cardstock in different embossing folders. I used Bazzill cardstock, making sure that the impression I wanted was on the smooth side. The plate will pick up any texture, so if you use the textured side, that will also become a part of your print. Here I used Dot Matrix and Retro Circles. You can press the actual embossing folder into the paint too, it gives a more subtle effect.

Sizzix Die Cutting Tutorial | Gel Printing with Anna-Karin

Place a paper on top and smooth out/carefully press down with your hands.

Sizzix Die Cutting Tutorial | Gel Printing with Anna-Karin

Pull the paper off the plate and you get a really cool print (top left). Without adding new paint, place another piece of paper on top to pull off the ghost print (top right).

Sizzix Die Cutting Tutorial | Gel Printing with Anna-Karin

I was wondering how it would look if I used one of the embossing folders with words and tried the Travel folder from Tim Holtz. Apply Broken China and Salty Ocean paint to the plate as before and lightly press the embossed paper into the paint. I also added texture with Dot Matrix.

Sizzix Die Cutting Tutorial | Gel Printing with Anna-Karin

Place a paper on top and pull of the print and you get a really cool print of the embossing folder. The embossed paper itself (top right) can also be used for a project.

Sizzix Die Cutting Tutorial | Gel Printing with Anna-Karin

You can use your dies to make stamps to press into the paint. Just imagine how many different patters you could make. I wanted a word and die cut letters with the Wanted die from a sheet of craft foam. They were glued to a piece of packaging.

Sizzix Die Cutting Tutorial | Gel Printing with Anna-Karin

Let's move on to something a little bit more complex. Apply Broken China and Salty Ocean to the plate and press papers embossed with the Bubble and Gridlock folders into the paint.

Sizzix Die Cutting Tutorial | Gel Printing with Anna-Karin

Pull off the print (top right) and the ghost print (top left).

Sizzix Die Cutting Tutorial | Gel Printing with Anna-Karin

Apply new paint to the plate, this time use Chipped Sapphire, and a little bit of Black Soot at the top. Roll it out with a brayer, starting with the blue paint. I love the Artful Dwellings die and die cut three houses, adding windows and doors with the Mini Openings set. They were die cut from Tyvek from a recycled envelope. You could also use a transparency or printer paper, but the Tyvek is more durable. Place the houses on the plate and stamp the word at the top. Remove the stamp and press a Dot Matrix paper into the paint.

Sizzix Die Cutting Tutorial | Gel Printing with Anna-Karin

Place the blue paper you just printed on top and you get this very cool print to the left. Love the texture of the houses and the sky. The paper to the right is the ghost print, printed on the ghost print paper from the same original print.

Sizzix Die Cutting Tutorial | Gel Printing with Anna-Karin

Stencils are great to use for gelli printing and with dies, you can make your own. Die cut the Brick Wall and the Cobblestones from smooth cardstock.

Sizzix Die Cutting Tutorial | Gel Printing with Anna-Karin

Cover the plate with Antique Linen and Frayed Burlap. Press the Cobblestone stencil you just made and a Dot Matrix embossed paper into the paint. Pull off a print and a ghost print. Place three Artful Dwellings masks on top, stamp 'home' at the top and press a Bubble embossed paper into the paint. Place the paper you just printed on top.

Sizzix Die Cutting Tutorial | Gel Printing with Anna-Karin

Repeat with the ghost print and you get these two textured prints. Love the look of the stone houses. I made a card with the print to the right, if you head over to my blog, you can see it there (I didn't want to add far too many photos to this tutorial).

Sizzix Die Cutting Tutorial | Gel Printing with Anna-Karin

For a similar effect, apply Victorian Velvet to the plate and press the Brick wall and a Gridlock embossed paper into the paint. Pull off the two prints (top right). Repeat with Broken China and Salty Ocean and place the house masks on top. Stamp with the 'home' stamp and press Dot Matrix into the paint. Use the pink prints you just made and you get the two prints to the right.

Sizzix Die Cutting Tutorial | Gel Printing with Anna-Karin

And for another effect, apply Antique Linen and Frayed Burlap, press with a Gridlock embossed paper and print. Apply Salty Ocean and Chipped Sapphire to the plate. Place a house mask in the middle and press a paper embossed with the Subway folder on top.

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Use the already printed paper for the first print, a white paper for a second ghost print, remove the house mask and pull a third print using a white paper.

Sizzix Die Cutting Tutorial | Gel Printing with Anna-Karin

Apply Pumice Stone to the plate and press papers embossed with the Brick and Gridlock folders into the paint. You get the print to the top right. Apply blue paint to the plate, no need to clean in between. Place a house at the side and press a paper embossed in the Subway folder into the paint.

Sizzix Die Cutting Tutorial | Gel Printing with Anna-Karin

Giving you these two prints.

Sizzix Die Cutting Tutorial | Gel Printing with Anna-Karin

Here's another example, using the Rays embossing folder, Dot Matrix, a Bird Branch die cut and a 'Fly' stamp that I made the same way as the 'home' stamp, only using the Vintage Market die. I used the ghost print to the left for the chemist card.

Sizzix Die Cutting Tutorial | Gel Printing with Anna-Karin

I cut A4 cardstock sheets into two squares for the printing and was left with a strip from each paper. The last paint on the plate was pulled off with these strips, particularly trying to get the edges, which often had left-over paint. Love the way these turned out and I'll be using them for other projects, tags, ATCs etc.

Sizzix Die Cutting Tutorial | Gel Printing with Anna-Karin

The embossing paper used for making impressions into the plate can also be used for other projects - which is why I used white paper for these.

Sizzix Die Cutting Tutorial | Gel Printing with Anna-Karin

I made some of the prints into cards, as an example of what you can do with these. The prints can be dressed up further with stamping, here I used a dot stamp, blueprint spider and a stamp with a table, all stamped with Archival Jet Black. I love the new Distress Glitters and used them on all the cards. The Halloween Shadows, bats and spider were die cut from black cardstock and covered with Black Soot Distress Glitter. The sentiment was covered with Spiced Marmalade glitter and placed over the 'home' stamping on the print.

Sizzix Die Cutting Tutorial | Gel Printing with Anna-Karin

This card was made with the first print in the tutorial. I stamped it with Monarch Orange and Jet Black Archival Ink. The chemist and the books were stamped on watercolour paper and watercoloured with Distress Inks. A townscape die cut was covered in Black Soot glitter and a pen nib in Pumice Stone glitter.

Sizzix Die Cutting Tutorial | Gel Printing with Anna-Karin

The background was stamped with a text and a chicken wire stamp using Saffron Archival Ink. The sentiment and border were die cut from one of the strips of ghost prints. Gelli prints are great for die cutting different shapes from. The bird was die cut from grungeboard, inked with Black Soot and coated with Peacock Feathers and Black Soot Distress Glitter.

Sizzix Die Cutting Tutorial | Gel Printing with Anna-Karin

I made the last card from one of my favourite prints, inking it with Gathered Twigs around the edges. The tire track, birds and sentiment were stamped with Archival Jet Black Ink and the border was die cut with the Torn Notebook On the Edge die. Two gears were die cut from grungeboard, painted silver, sanded, inked with Black Soot and coated with Glossy Accents.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! There are so many different types of prints you can make with the help of your dies and embossing folders. Have fun!

Thank you for looking!

Happy crafting!

Anna-Karin

 

sizzix die cutting supplies

Surfaces: Neenah Smooth Solar White Cardstock; Core'dinations Tim Holtz Cardstock; Tim Holtz Idea-ology Grungeboard | Stamps: Stampers Anonymous Tim Holtz: Laboratorie, The Chemist, Mixed Media, Ultimate Grunge, Mini Blueprints, Travel Ways, Mini Ornates, Going Somewhere, Classics #4 | Ink: Ranger Archival Ink: Jet Black, Monarch Orange, Saffron; Distress Ink: Gathered Twigs, Antique Linen, Black Soot, Salty Ocean | Paint: Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Paint: Broken China, Salty Ocean, Antique Linen, Frayed Burlap, Victorian Velvet, Black Soot, Chipped Sapphire, Pumice Stone, Mustard Seed, Spiced Marmalade | Glitter: Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Glitter: Black Soot, Pumice Stone, Spiced Marmalade, Peacock Feathers |Embellishments: Tim Holtz Idea-ology: Label Stickers, Mini Gears, Elements Tissue Tape, Mini Fasteners, Words Remant Rubs, Chit Chat stickers; twine | Tools: Gelli Arts Gel Printing Plate 6 x 6; Ranger Inkssentials Medium Inky Roller Brayer

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49 thoughts on “Gel Printing with Dies and Embossing Folders”

  • Karen Burniston

    Wow! I bow to your mastery, Anna-Karin!

    Reply
  • Mou

    OMG AK!!! These are mind-blowing!

    Reply
  • Aida Haron

    Anna-Karin this is so awesomely fabulous !!!

    Reply
  • ulrika m

    Amazing, theres not much else to say. Absolutely amazing!

    Reply
  • pattycakecraftsP

    This is one of the best tutorials I have ever seen! I just bought the Gelli plate but have not used it. Now I can't wait to experiment after seeing your creations! Thank you so very much for the inspiration & ideas!

    Reply
  • Jacquelene L

    This is an amazing tutorial. I was thinking about using die cuts and embossing folders with a gelli plate just the other evening. I am planning on purchasing a gelli plate, storing a homemade gelatin plate in my fridge isn't an option. Thank you for this excellent tutorial, I will be saving it and using it after I purchase my gelli-plate. So many awesome possibilities with the techniques in this tutorial. My mind is whirling with all the creative cards and journal pages I will be able to create. Additional creative uses for my sizzix dies and embossing folders, Love It!!!!!!! Thank you for sharing.
    Jacquelene L
    Canada

    Reply
    • Anna-Karin

      Thank you so much Jacquelene! How funny that you were having similar thoughts just the other evening. Dies and embossing folders are really perfect to use together with gel printing and there are so many different things you can do. Thank you so much for all your wonderful comments!

      Reply
  • Diana Enns

    Oh, how fun....I've seen this done before, but it was so fast and furious and now I can browse through this article and maybe learn something - thanks :)

    Reply
  • Janet Nelson

    I am totally confused. I wish you could show a newbie like me a video tutorial on how to do the gelli printing technique. I learn best by watching....afterwards, the printed tut makes more sense to me. Any chance on you doing a video?

    Reply
    • Anna-Karin

      Sorry Janet! I tried to explain everything as well as possible. It really is quite easy once you try it out. There are video tutorials online if you google it, but many of them are very fast, and I thought it was easier to explain in the slower version of a step-by-step tutorial (and I don't have the right equipment at home to do videos right now :)

      Reply
      • Anna-Karin

        I meant for that little face to look sad! Maybe some time in the future I'll start doing some video tutorials.

        Reply
        • Janet Nelson

          I did watch a youtube video after reading your tut on the blog. She made the basics look easy. Your projects looks so complicated (and beautiful), it's intimidating to me, but thanks for your efforts, and your reply.

          Reply
  • Stephanie

    Beautiful! How did you get the strip die to cut foam?

    Reply
    • Anna-Karin

      Thank you Stephanie! I used quite thin craft foam and it cut through it without problems. If you want a thicker stamp, you can cut two layers of thin foam and glue them together.

      Reply
  • Elaine Smith

    Can't wait to get back to my gelli plate. You've given me so many great ideas! Thanks.

    Reply
  • Jan Castle

    Awe-Inspiring!!! Love my Gelli Plate!!! Have to do a demo this month...will certainly give some of your techniques a try!!!
    Paper Hugs,
    Jan

    Reply
  • Lisa H

    WOW! This has rekindled my desire for a Gelli plate! Fabulous work and tutorial, thank you.

    Reply
  • sandydiller

    These cards are fabulous!! I have a gel plate but haven't used it much. I will be getting it out to give it a try soon. You have encouraged me! Thanks and great work.

    Reply
    • Anna-Karin

      Thank you Sandy! I hope you'll try out your embossing folders and dies together with your gel plate. It is so much fun!

      Reply
  • beejaymc

    OMGosh! You are amazing! I think I need to try a gelli plate - you made such beautiful art!

    Reply
  • Pooja

    ITS AWESOME !!

    Reply
  • EileenHull

    Anna- Karin I love how you showed all the ways to use the dies and folders with the Gelli Plate. Don't have one yet but you can bet I will be purchasing one very soon! Thanks for the great tutorial!

    Reply
    • Anna-Karin

      Thank you so much Eileen! And you just gave me a new idea too, something I need to try out. Let's see if it works. :)

      Reply
  • Raquel Mason

    Wow, those are so cool. I've got to get some Distress Paints now.

    Reply
  • Shelly Hickox

    Absolutely brilliant, A-K!!

    Reply
  • Shawn

    I'm loving this idea. Looking for more ways to use my embossing folders and this is it! Thanks for sharing. Great tutorial Anna-Karin. Off to see how to make a Gelli Plate.

    Reply
  • Linda K

    I think your tutorial is awesome! Thanks for all the inspiration!!!!!

    Reply
  • Katy Drogos

    This is a fantastic tutorial-Thank you! I hadn't thought about my embossing folders-very cool! I am bookmarking this page for future reference. :)

    Reply
  • Natasha Williams
    Natasha Williams Sep 07, 2013 at 02:41 am

    Wow Anna-Karin I recently got a Gelli plate but I thought you could only use acrylic paint with it, how wrong I was, will have to purchase some Distress paints as well as I have distress ink pads and love using those. Thank you so much for your informative tutorial :D x

    Reply
  • wandahentges

    Very cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  • linda

    Love the techniques used in this tutorial! Thank you!

    Reply
  • Rosetta Jenkins
    Rosetta Jenkins Nov 10, 2013 at 06:11 am

    Thank you Anna-Karin for the exquisite, in-depth tutorial. Yes, in many ways, it was more valuable to me to read the written word. No buffering, no repeating, just reading and digesting the content. You are a superb teacher. I just read your response to my comment on Catherine's tutorial which I revisited. I quickly came here to discover the mother load! I'm going to hunt down a gelli plate and have fun! Thank you again, and again, and again!

    Reply
    • Anna-Karin

      Thank you so much for your sweet comment Rosetta! I am happy to hear you liked my tutorial. I am sure you are going to love gelli printing! Happy crafting!

      Reply
  • butterfly

    Fantastic inspiration to get my Gelli plate out and play... such a clear tutorial, best I've seen for Gelli tips and ideas - thank you so much!
    Alison xx

    Reply
  • Helen Wallace

    Fantastic, in depth and ordered tutorial Ann-Karin...thanks for your excellent tuition :)

    Reply
  • butterfly

    A totally fantastic tutorial - so glad I caught up with it! Definitely bookmarking this one for future reference.
    Alison x

    Reply
  • butterfly

    Oh, well - there you go - just seen my earlier comment - just goes to show you can do too much blog visiting!!
    Alison x

    Reply
  • Kristy Tyra

    Great projects! I've been messing with my homemade gelatin plate a lot. I think I'm finally figuring out what kind of prints I like and adding the designs from my embossing folders will add a whole lot of cool designs! Thanks for the inspiration!

    Reply
  • Gramma LuLu

    Great tutorial. It helped me a lot. I made a gel plate from some old gel candles which I was ready to throw out. I was ready to order the glycerin and gelatin but thought I'd try the supplies on hand first. Worked great, though my microwave didn't like the hot spots and kept cutting out so I ended up melting on a hot plate. A heat gun evened out all the lumps. Today I am ready to use your tutorial to actually MAKE something. I never thought about using my embossing folders for texture. THANK YOU.

    Reply
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