Gelli Monoprinting with Molding Paste Texture Plates

Create your own unique texture plates for printing with a Gelli® plate with molding paste! Watch this video and see how easy it is!

Here’s what you need to make molding paste texture plates:

        • Canvas panel
        • Molding Paste
        • Palette knife, old credit card or scraper for spreading molding paste
        • Stencil  
        • Textured items to impress into molding paste

Here’s how:

  1. Place a stencil on your canvas panel (or other stiff substrate).
  2. Spread molding paste over the stencil with a palette knife, spatula or scraper — then scrape off excess. 
  3. Press textures on top of the stencil — into the molding paste. You have a little time before it sets up. If you want to make changes — just smooth out the surface and press your textures into the molding paste again.
  4. Carefully lift and remove the stencil. 

IMPORTANT:  Allow your texture plate to dry completely before using. 

Plan ahead, as it can take a while for the molding paste to dry. While you’re at it — make a series of them!

When you’re done making the texture plates — it’s a good idea to clean your stencils and tools. You don’t want molding paste to dry on them 🙂

Printing with your texture plate:

  1. Apply acrylic paint to your Gelli® plate — and roll into a thin layer with a brayer.
  2. Press the texture plate into your painted plate — and remove.
  3. Place your printing paper onto the gel plate, rub to transfer the paint — and pull your print.


Next steps:

After you’ve pulled a print, quickly apply a new layer of paint to your Gelli® plate and press the texture plate into it. There should be some paint left on the texture plate from the previous print. Some of that paint will transfer when pressed into the Gelli® plate, creating a print with more complex coloring.

Experiment and PLAY! 

Here are a few ideas …

  • When you’ve made several prints, you’ll get a build-up of wet paint on the texture plate. Without adding more paint, press the paint-covered texture plate directly onto the Gelli® plate and remove — and pull a print. 
  • Try rolling a loaded brayer over the relief surface of the texture plate. Then press the texture plate onto the Gelli® plate — remove — and pull the relief image print. 
  • Stamp the texture plate directly onto a previous print!  
  • Combine texture plates with other texture tools and mark-making. Once you’ve pressed the texture plate into your painted Gelli® plate, continue to make more marks in the paint before pulling your print!
  • Try pressing sections of the texture plate into different areas of the painted gel plate.
  • Layer prints, changing the position of the paper as you print each layer. Create areas that partially overlap previous layers. 

You’ll get great effects using masks between layers, too!

Here are some prints made with overlapped layers and a simple mask!

These textured prints were created with a second layer of paint applied to just part of the plate.

This print is simply printed as two layers, partially overlapping.

And sometimes it’s impossible to remember exactly how a print was made 🙂


TIPS for creating texture plates:

  • Instead of using a stencil, apply a layer of molding paste directly to the substrate and make assorted marks and textures over the entire surface — or part of it.
  • Food wraps (plastic, foil and waxed paper) and bubble wrap create great textures and patterns when pressed into wet molding paste.
  • Draw into the wet molding paste with a soft-tipped tool or stylus.

  • Use combs to create patterns in the wet paste.

  • Press into an area of wet molding paste with a putty knife or palette knife —and pull it up. The suction creates beautiful organic shapes! The lines created this way make stunning, unique prints!

NOTE:  If the dry molding paste has any sharp areas, gently sand the points.

As the texture plate becomes covered in layers of paint, it can take on a wonderful patina. You may want to use it as a piece of art in itself — or as the beginning of a new painting or collage! Or how about book covers!

Creating your own texture plates with molding paste is fun and addictive! 

Explore the possibilities!

Good Luck and Happy Printing!

392 thoughts on “Gelli Monoprinting with Molding Paste Texture Plates”

  1. I can see how using the texture plate can save you so many steps! Love the idea, thanks for sharing this great technique! Thanks for the chance to win the giveaway!

    Carmen L

  2. Hi, Joan, wow, your blog is brilliant. I've got your info from Rhonda. I, a children picture book illustrator and portraitist, have wanted to know how to create textures. Oh, your blog is wonderful. Also, in my life drawing class, a leader does printing and kindly she taught us recently. I'd share your site with friends. Thank u so much for sharing the info.
    Best wishes, Sadami

  3. liberal sprinkles

    omgosh what a fantastic idea! I'm definitely going to make my own texture plates using this technique. Thanks for the chance to win a gelli plate which I can't where I live!

  4. Wow, making your own texture plates is a great idea! Each print will be unique and more individual.
    Thanks for having a giveaway and for my chance to win!

  5. I am definitely going to try this technique! I just bought a pack of canvas boards I can use.

  6. This is so exciting. I just ordered a small Gelli plate, and I have a feeling I'm going to be going through paper and paint like crazy!

  7. You might get a laugh out of this. I had a friend come over today to use my gelli plate, her first try. She made pull after pull, some great fun prints. Then she finished and was putting the plate into my wash tub and that is when we discovered I had neglected to remove the clear plastic protective sheet! She had made all her prints on top of that protective sheet! They looked fine, it still worked, but I will be sure not to make that mistake again.

    My favorite mark making tools are the meat trays I drew designs into.

  8. Amy Schimler-Safford

    I have been experimenting with my gelli plate with such great results – love it so much, have told many artist friends about it. I can't wait to try some new techniques. thanks for the opportunity to win supplies.

  9. GELLI Plate is my go to technique for most of my projects. You will never be disappointed with
    this product Never.

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  11. ……..and your never-ending inspiration just keeps coming and coming!! The excitement that your fabulous techniques bring out in me is SO much fun!! Thanks so much for sharing your talent with all of us; and thanks ever so much for bringing the Gelli Plate to the world of crafts and art!! Now all I have to do is figure out how not to have to sleep……hmmmm, that would give me an extra 8 hours of play and discovery!! Thanks again…..I so appreciate your talents and hard work!!

  12. I would LOVE to win this package. I haven't gotten a gelli yet; I keep waiting for some stupid thing or other, and it looks so fun. I enjoy stamping, stenciling, painting, etc. on fabrics and papers, so I know I'd love this great tool. Your video is great. Thanks for sharing such fun.

  13. Thank you for the chance to win such an awesome prize. I love my Gelli plate and look forward to trying this new fabric technique. Thank you very much!
    Susan Libertiny

  14. I am always excited to see you in my email box because I know that there will be fun new ways to use my Gelli plate. Thanks for leaving no stone (plate) unturned in the Gelli world.

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  16. I just bought my second Gelli plate, the small square. I love, love, love printing with it as I do the larger one! I have been showing all my friends so I am sure you will be selling more in Ohio! Thanks for all the technics you have shared….I hope I win….

  17. Thanks so much for these tutorials! Got together with a friend to play with our new plates and each thought the other knew what they were doing and we were watching each other out of the corner of our eye hoping to learn from the other person. HA! Needless to say, I didn't get anything outstanding from that session, except learning a lesson. lol! Now I'm carefully watching so our next 'playdate' can be more successful! : )

  18. Love that tutorial! Thanks for reminding us all that the gelli plate is capable of! Every day, I fee I have "only just begun" to create art with my gelli plate!

  19. Love that tutorial! Thanks for reminding us all that the gelli plate is capable of! Every day, I fee I have "only just begun" to create art with my gelli plate!

  20. The idea and technique is fantastic!!! as Press plates are certainly are divine as it helps to print our desired designs or texture on the cards.

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