Monoprinting in Layers: Step-by-Step

There’s something curious about monoprints created from multiple layers. They draw you in — inviting a closer look to decipher “how” they were created.

Watching this video will demystify the process! Here we go, layer by layer… so easy!

TIP: To get an approximate registration when printing consecutive layers …

Place your Gelli® plate on a piece of paper that is the same size as your printing paper. Use this as a guide. When you are ready to place the printing paper on the Gelli® plate, line up the edges with the paper under the plate.

You’ll notice I’ve taped the paper under my Gelli® plate to the craft sheet to keep it in place on my work surface 🙂

To help visualize the effect of one color over another, I am using Golden Open Acrylics in highly transparent colors for this demonstration. Using masks on each layer creates the complexity in the image. (for a tutorial on masks, please take a look at my previous blog post, “Who Was That Masked Man“)

This time I’ve cut some very simple “donut” shapes from Tyvek to use as masks. Tyvek is a perfect mask material: thin, strong, easy to cut, and reusable. Shipping envelopes are a good source for Tyvek, so save them! Cutting your own masks is a great way to upcycle those envelopes!

This process yields two multi-layered prints. One print is the layering of each paint color. The other is a layered ghost print of each layer. Very different effects!

Hope you have as much fun making layered prints as I do!

27 thoughts on “Monoprinting in Layers: Step-by-Step”

  1. a little insider tidbit that I hope Joan doesn't mind me sharing… Joan did the video music herself in garageband! multi- talented 🙂

  2. I CAN'T STAND IT ANYMORE! This plate has intrigued me since it came out! I'm going to have to get this. Thank you…. 😉 LOL.
    Great video! REALLY hits home on JUST how to use the plate!

  3. This is very cool – great to see the process and lovely how they look so different

  4. Tineke de Jong

    I got my gelli print plates this morning all the way from the USA. Yeah!!!!! I bought the bigger and the smaller one. I couldnt wait to play with it and there are so many many ways to make beautiful projects/backgrounds with them. Love it. Such a waste to go to bed now…. Thank you so much for sharing all the nice ideas. It's very helpful. Have to go now, feel some inner arty urge now lol Bye, Tineke from Holland

    1. Hi from the USA! My parents came from Holland and most of my family is there. I love your country. Just wanted to reach out and say Hallo!

  5. Great Video the textures ….may I ask what the texture print/plate is that you used at 1.14 minutes .. kind of irregular pebble circles … thanks, much appreciated

    1. Thanks for asking! The pebble patterns are texture plates designed to use with polymer clay. There are also lots of great texture plates meant for metal embossing and fabric rubbings!

    2. Joan, like you I'm also interested in music and visual art – I LOOOOOOVE the soundtrack of your video! Very well done! And the tutorial was fantastic.

  6. Thanks for all the comments! All your enthusiasm surrounding our Gelli plates and this video tutorial is exciting and fun. PLEASE feel free to share your prints and your ideas on our facebook page – ( as well – we love seeing your creations… on paper and fabric! Happy Printing!

  7. XO Love it! I just ordered my Gelli Plate and am so excited to get it and start using it. Years ago I was a scrapbooker/paper-crafter and then got out of it for years. I am on Summer break and have taken all my craft supplies out of storage and transformed my living room and kitchen into a craft rooms, driving my family nuts! But, I'm loving it…again, and am anxious to create with the Gelli Plate. It's the Summer of experimentation with Collage Arts. I can't thank you enough for all the wonderful information and informative video's presented here in your blog and on Youtube where I first discovered GelliArts. Thank you, Thank you!

  8. I am enjoying experimenting with my new Gelli Plate and have found your tips and ideas very useful. Am also enjoying the piano music accompanying your videos – are you able to tell me where its from?

  9. Cathy L. Calamas

    Wow, those are fantastic. thanks for the tutorial.I love my gel plate but was feeling unsure of how to layer.

  10. I have a question. I much enjoy the effect of sprinkling alcohol onto acrylics. Is it possible to do that on the Gelli plate or would it ruin it? I know I could always sprinkle it onto the print itself.

    I am having a lot of fun playing with Gelli!


    1. Thanks for your question, Sharon! And the answer is yes! You can use alcohol on the Gelli plate! In fact, I clean my plate with Purell all the time — and that's alcohol 🙂 Go for it! So glad you're having fun with Gelli!

  11. Thanks for the video. The tips are very helpful. I purchased several for my classroom at school and the masks are a great way for the kids to make fun designs.

  12. Thank you for the how-to videos they are a great help to get started. I had my first play yesterday and had great fun with it.

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