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Rewire to Inspire Gelli® Print Canvas

by: Candy Colwell
June 6, 2019

Rewire to Inspire Gelli® Print Canvas

Gelli® Printing! Have you tried it? Are you intimidated by it? It really is a fun way of self-expression and a very free-flowing art form.

The people at Gelli Arts® and DecoArt were so generous to send our DecoArt Mixed Media Design Team some products to play with for summer themed projects.

As most of you probably know, I love dimensional things. So while I was playing with the new Gelli Arts® smaller shaped plates, I envisioned some of them becoming leaves and flowers that could be flowing from the canvas. Combined with the bright colors from DecoArt's Americana Premium Acrylic paints in the tube, those summer flowers and leaves became a reality. More about how those came about in a minute.

“REWIRE TO INSPIRE” … a sentiment I came up with that is not necessarily a summer theme. It should be an everyday theme! Don't dwell on the negative. Be positive! Rewire your brain to inspire others and to really “SEE” inspiration all around you!

Items needed :

  • Americana Premium Acrylics - Cobalt Turquoise Hue
  • Americana Premium Acrylics - Cobalt Blue
  • Americana Premium Acrylics - Titanium White
  • Americana Premium Acrylics - Vermillion Hue
  • Americana Premium Acrylics - Primary Magenta
  • Americana Premium Acrylics - Yellow Green Light
  • Americana Premium Acrylics - Primary Yellow
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Titanium White
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Titan Buff
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Burnt Umber
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Raw Umber
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Diarylide Yellow
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Clear Matte Medium
  • Craft Twinkles 2oz - Crystal
  • Americana Decor Stencils - Wildflowers
  • Americana Stencils 6x8 - Daisy Chain
  • Gelli ArtsŪ 8x10 Gelli Plate
  • Gelli ArtsŪ NEW Mini Printing Plate
  • Miscellaneous embellishments
  • Brayer
  • Baby wipes
  • Paintbrushes
  • Sponges
  • Tools for making designs on a GelliŪ plate
  • Packing tape
  • Copy paper
  • Scissors
  • Magazine
  • Acrylic block to hold GelliŪ Mini Printing Plates
  • Regular and hot glue
  • Cardstock
  • Corrugated paper
  • Script stamp9
  • Adhesive pop dots

Instructions :

1. Begin with DecoArt Americana Premium Cobalt Turquoise Hue and Cobalt Blue Hue. Place a few dots of each paint randomly on the surface of the Gelli® Plate. Smooth the paint out with a brayer, blending it and completely covering the surface of the Gelli® Plate. Press a plastic doily stencil in the upper left and lower right corners of the Gelli® Plate to lift the paint off of the surface and leave the image of the doily for printing. Use a piece of a rubberized drawer matt and stamp it randomly on the surface of the Gelli Plate (lifting the paint off of the Gelli® Plate). Next, take the end of a large paintbrush and stick it into some DecoArt Americana Premium Titanium White Acrylic Paint. Then make lines of dots or circles on the Gelli® Plate. Allow that to air dry. 

2. Locate the lower right portion of the 18x18 DecoArt Wildflowers Stencil and position it over the Gelli® Plate to pick up all of the design of the stencil that you can. 

3. Using a piece of a sponge, first dab DecoArt Americana Premium Titanium White Acrylic Paint over all of the stenciled wildflower images. This will give you truer colors with the white base under them. Do not use a lot of paint on the sponge to prevent seeping out from under the stencil.

4. Next using the same technique of dabbing the sponge with not a lot of paint on it, dab over all of the stems using DecoArt Americana Premium Yellow Green Light Acrylic Paint. Then, using the same technique, dab DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Diarylide Yellow over all of the flowering areas of the wildflowers. Let air dry.

Here is what your Gelli® Plate will look like at this point. Be sure to let the paint dry.

5. Brayer DecoArt Americana Premium Vermillion Acrylic Paint over a large script stamp and randomly press the stamp onto the Gelli® Plate 4 or 5 times, turning the stamp to create interest. Let air dry.  

6. When the paint is completely dry, lay packing tape in strips over the Gelli® Plate. This will not hurt the Gelli® Plate but it will lift the painted design off of the Gelli® Plate and onto the packing tape. Lay the strips right next to each other, not overlapping. Press over all of the strips to remove any air bubbles and to be sure that the paint will adhere totally to the packing tape.

7. Carefully peel each of the strips of packing tape off of the Gelli® Plate and lay them upside down in order so that you can transfer them onto a piece of printed copy paper. 

8. At this time, if you want to add some glitter on the sticky side of the packing tape design, gently brush a little glitter onto the design. This will give an iridescent quality to the design once it is adhered to the copy paper print the will be underneath of the packing tape.

9. Not that your Gelli® Plate is clean again, make a background print for the packing tape design. Add a few dots of DecoArt Americana Premium Vermillion and Primary Yellow Acrylic Paints to the Gelli® Plate and just like in Step 1, use a brayer to blend the colors together and cover the surface of the plate. Press the doily stencil randomly on the plate surface followed by the rubberized drawer matt and then add the white paint dots. Instead of letting the paint dry, immediately cover the Gelli® Plate with a piece of copy paper and using your hand, rub over the entire surface of the Gelli® Plate, removing any air bubbles and transferring the painted image to the paper. Then gently pull the paper away from the Gelli® Plate, revealing the painted image background.

10. Now for the flowers and leaves! In this photo, you can see the three NEW Gelli® Mini Printing Plates with the arrows. I did not use the 6 sided plate but the elongated diamond plate made the leaves and the other plate created the flower petals. 

11. I used a combination of DecoArt's Americana Premium Primary Magenta Acrylic Paint and their Media Fluid Acrylics Titanium White together to create a lovely bright pink shade. This I brayered onto the shaped plate and then pressed the stencil doily onto the shape in a way that gave it sort of a “fan” appearance. I did this six times to create six petals. I cut them out and glued them together at the base.

12. The elongated Gelli® Mini Plate was used to create the leaves for my canvas. I printed on the leaves. On the upper side, I printed circles and the rubberized drawer matt. On the underneath side, I used Deli Paper and mate a design using the small rake on DecoArt's Americana Premium Yellow Green Light Acrylic Paint.

13. Once dry, I cut out the diamonds and glued them together using DecoArt Media Matte Medium. Then I cut the diamonds in half so I could better shape the leaves to fit the canvas.

14. I glued the orange background onto the canvas using DecoArt's Media Matte Medium on both the canvas and on the back of the paper for a really secure hold. Then, starting on the left side of the canvas, I laid each packing strip down onto the canvas. The Gelli® print began to reveal itself as I laid each of the strips in place. 

** I have to confess, if you look at the last strip on the left, it is on upside down. Thankfully it does not show in the final piece, but that is why you have to be careful when laying out the strips in order. 

15. Now to start laying out the design on the canvas. I cut out the magazine girl I had chosen to use and as you can see, she fits perfectly on the 8 x 10 canvas.  But, she has a makeup wand right up by her eye, so that will have to be covered with my Gelli® print flowers and/or leaves.  

16. I laid the Gelli® print flowers in place and you can see how they beautifully cover up the makeup wand. The flowers are so bright, colorful and summery; it totally changes the look of the girl. Also, notice how beautifully the doily stencil creates veining in the petals simply by pressing it onto the wet paint and then pulling up the stencil. I love the look and the variation of the pink tones! 

17. Before I glued the flowers and leaves in place, I wanted to soften the glossy appearance of the packing tape just a little bit. So, I added a very slight brushing of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Titanium White around the edges and randomly in the center of the canvas.

18. To give even more definition to the edges of the canvas and pull out the flesh tones in the magazine girl, I added more light brushing of a combination of DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics Titan Buff around the edges of the canvas followed by edging of Burnt Umber followed by Raw Umber applied with my fingertip. 

19. I hot glued two vintage buttons together and then hot glued them to create the center of the flowers. Then I arranged the flowers in place on the canvas and glued them in place.

20. I added a little metal jewelry piece that I had in my stash and glued a little rhinestone in the center of it. I think it adds so much to her. I also added a rhinestone piece in her hair after I reworked the upper portion of her hair into a bun and added little sweeps of hair to the sides of her face using a paint brush.

21. For the finishing touches, I added DecoArt Crystal Twinkle Writers to the edges of the bright pink flowers and in lines along the upper left and lower right corners of the canvas. The light catches the crystal Twinkles and rhinestones so beautifully; like the summer sun gazing down on a beautiful princess enjoying a lovely summer day in a magical garden. 

22. Finally, I added the sentiment … “Rewire to Inspire.” This was done on cardstock and mounted on a whitewashed piece of corrugated cardstock. It is given dimension with little screws and pop dots.

Gelli® Printing! So much fun and every piece is so different! I hope that this tutorial has rewired your brain to give Gelli® printing a try.  Or if you already are hooked, maybe try a new technique, different colors than you are used to working with or try doing something dimensional with your Gelli® prints. Whatever you do, just have fun and enjoy the journey!

Be sure to visit Creativity Is Contagious for more projects and to learn more about Candy Colwell.


Wow this is just so beautiful Candy with gorgeous colours and beautiful decorative elements. You've really exploited the potential of the gelli plate to bring us this fabulous canvas xxx

Brenda Brown

June 7, 2019

Candy you are so talented and express the colors so vivid


June 8, 2019

WOW, this technique is WOW. I cannot wait to try it myself. Lovely art Candy!

Susan Schultheis

June 10, 2019

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