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Shabby Vintage Vibes with Gelli Arts®

By: Bumblebees and Butterflies
July 5, 2019

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Shabby Vintage Vibes with Gelli Arts reg
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Today I am sharing the process steps and outcomes of trying out some mixed media style Gelli® printing. I am not a complete newbie to the Gelli® plate and have played on numerous occasions to get some background prints to use in my journals - on this occasion though I thought about the steps I normally take to create mixed media layers for my artwork and how I could use the Gelli® plate to create the distressed and peeled paint looks I so love.

I love sitting in the garden on light warm summer evenings so I thought I would keep the palette very neutral just like the colours fade as it gets darker and I added the moth which reminds me of how they flutter round the lights.

Items needed:

  • Americana Premium Acrylics - Phthalo Turquoise
  • Americana Premium Acrylics - Titan Buff
  • Americana Premium Acrylics - Burnt Umber
  • Americana Premium Acrylics - Titanium White
  • 5x7 Gelli ArtsĀ® Plate
  • Brayer
  • Stencils
  • Parchment paper
  • Stamps
  • Ink
  • Embellishments
  • Cheesecloth
  • Natural foliage
  • American style seam binding
  • Pin


Step 1: Roughly brayer some Americana Premium Acrylics in Phthalo Turquoise and Titan Buff over the surface and leave to dry, as it does randomly dab off some of the paint with dry kitchen paper.

Instruction #1 - Step 1 copy
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Step 2: Use a harlequin stencil and Burnt Umber to add a random design.

Instruction #2 - Step 2 copy
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Step 3: Brayer a thin coat of Titanium White over the layers and pull a print. Here you can see the print…

Instruction #3 - Step 3a
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…and what was left on the Gelli® plate on the left. So far so good.

Instruction #4 - Step 3b
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Step 4: Use another stencil and colour. I sponged on a mix of Burnt Umber and Titan Buff. 

Instruction #5 - Step 4a
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I began with two Gelli® plates one to follow the process steps on and a second to use as a palette and to roller out the colours. I got to this point and decided to follow the steps on this one too so I used Titan Buff to stencil onto it. I also decided I would wait till the end to pull any prints from it.

Instruction #6 - Step 4b
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Step 5: Using some very old text stamps with black ink I did some random stamping on both plates.

Plate 1

Instruction #7 - Step 5a
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Plate 2

Instruction #8 - Step 5b
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Step 6: Now to see what happens when I brayer over a thin coat of cream and white paint and pull the prints from both of the plates - will it work? It’s now becoming a bit of a competition to see how they both respond! What do you think? I am really quite pleased with them.

Plate 1

Instruction #9 - Step 6a
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Plate 2

Instruction #10 - Step 6b57
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Step 7: Both plates had painty bits left on them so I repeated the thin layer over with just Titan Buff and still got two more prints that are serviceable.

Instruction #11 - Step 7a
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You can even see an area on the plate 2 print where some paint I had left on from another project came off too.

Instruction #12 - Step 7b
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What did I learn or what would I do differently next time?

In Step 1 when I dabbed off some of the thicker paint layer it would be better to dab more off so there are larger random distressed spaces. This is so that more of the following layers will show through.

In Step 4 the stamping needed to be seen through the gaps, therefore it worked much better on plate 1 than plate 2 where there were no distressed spaces.

The results in Step 5 showed me that by not rubbing off some paint in some of the layers on plate 2 there was much less depth and interest in the prints. This seems to be a key feature of achieving the peeled paint and distressed look.

In Step 6 if I had stamped or maybe used a stencil I would probably have achieved more depth and interest again.

I really love the feel of the prints on the parchment paper and when it came to stamping and cutting images it was a boon for small parts like antennae as it doesn't tear easily.

So I certainly learned a lot and have a much better understanding as to how I could recreate similar prints. My next step is to experiment with drippage and splattering in the layers but for now I can still use them as after techniques to add to some of the lovely prints I achieved.

. . . 

Creating the project:

Instruction #13 - Staged 289
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Step 8: For the project, I chose the print that looked very much like a timeworn shabby wallpaper to me, mounted it onto brown paper and...

Instruction #14 - Step 8 copy
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Step 9: ...then I selected all the elements I thought would build a beautiful shabby vintage design.

Instruction #15 - Step 9 copy
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Step 10: I took one of the plainer Gelli® prints I had pulled and I stamped the Gypsie Queen moth as the key focal element using the stamping platform and a blend of coffee, watering can and cobalt inks. I cut one to use and one that I will keep in my bits box.

Instruction #16 - Step 1046
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Step 11: I found a stamped clock face to add as well.

Instruction #17 - Step 1136
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Step 12:  Some mixed media transfers provide great background interest for the frame.

Instruction #18 - Step 1272
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Once compete I added it to a journal.

Instruction #19 - Staged 323
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A huge thank you to Gelli Arts® for sponsoring and collaborating with us to bring these Gelli® print projects.

Thanks for stopping by.
Hugs Brenda xxx


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