Printing WORDS With Gelli Arts®!

Maybe you’d like to include words in a Gelli® print? Watch this video and see how to do it!

Words can add meaningful visual interest to your prints. Especially on art journal pages!

But here’s the tricky part… words and letters written or stamped in paint on a Gelli® plate will print in reverse! 

So, unless you’re proficient at mirror-image writing — OR, you’re willing to stick with X’s and O’s … and a few other letters with vertical bilateral symmetry 😉 — you’ll probably find the following step by step ideas helpful! 

Below are two easy techniques for making your gel-printed words reader-friendly! These are subtractive methods — meaning paint will be removed to create the letters.


Technique #1 — Just follow these easy steps!

Step 1

Write a word (or words) on a piece of tracing paper with a Sharpie or other marker. You want BOLD writing!

TIP:  You can also add some guidelines for your print composition! They’re especially helpful when you print multiple layers.

Step 2

Flip the tracing paper over — so the writing appears backwards. Tape your tracing paper in place to your work surface.

Step 3

Place your Gelli® plate on a clear protective substrate — such as Mylar, acetate, Plexiglass, DURA-LAR, glass, etc. (I’m using DURA-LAR for this demo)

TIP:  Roll a clean brayer over the plate to squeeze out air bubbles. 

Gelli® Plate on piece of DURA-LAR

Step 4

Place the clear substrate on top of the tracing paper and position your Gelli® plate over the writing. Tape in place.

TIP:  If you want your writing skewed to one side of the print, remember to place your Gelli® plate over the writing on the OPPOSITE side from where you want the writing to appear on the print. This compensates for the left/right reversal in the printing process!

Step 5

Apply a thin layer of paint onto the gel plate with a brayer. Avoid opaque paints, as you want to be able to see your lettering under the plate 🙂

Golden Open Acrylics Used in this Demo

Step 6

Trace over the lines using a cotton swab. It can help if the swab is slightly dampened with a drop of water first. 

**The writing in the paint will be backwards (mirror-image).

Step 7

Use various texture tools in the wet paint to add another level of interest to your print.

Step 8

Cover the painted plate with your paper. 

Rub gently to transfer the paint … then remove paper to pull your print.

TIP: This technique will work best with fairly transparent and slow drying paint … to allow time for tracing. Golden Open Acrylics are ideal for this! Or add Golden Open Medium or Acrylic Glaze to your regular acrylic paint to increase its working time while adding transparency.

Step 9 – Fun and Final Step!

Add a second gel- printed layer using transparent pigments — to create wonderful mixed colors on your print!

Technique #2 – Three Easy Steps 

for Including Words in your Gelli® print!

Use cut out letters! Ideally, with some dimension. 

This can include hand-cut letters, die-cuts, craft foam letters, and chipboard letters. Self-adhesive alphabets are available at art and craft stores — and they’re great for this technique!

Step 1

Arrange the letters and adhere them to the substrate of your choice — to create a lettered printing plate. Adhering letters to craft foam gives you a flexible and reusable stamp for gel printing your favorite words! 

Tip: Do not reverse the letters. Your placement should be right-reading.

Step 2

Press the lettered plate into the painted Gelli® plate — and remove. The letters will remove paint and leave a mirror-image impression on the Gelli® plate.

Step 3

Cover the painted Gelli® plate with paper, rub — and pull your print. So easy!

Have fun putting words in your Gelli® prints!


Our Giveaway Prize Kit will get you started putting words in your Gelli® prints!

Our GOLDEN GELLI® Giveaway Includes: 

The three 8 oz. jars of Golden Open Acrylics included in this prize are:  

            • Quinacridone Magenta
            • Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold
            • Manganese Blue Hue

To enter to win, just leave a comment here on the blog — or on our Facebook page! Share this blog post on your Facebook page, blog, Pinterest or Twitter … and we will enter your name twice! Just let us know 🙂

One lucky winner will be chosen by random selection on Tuesday, July 23rd!! We will announce the winner here and on the Gelli Arts® Facebook page!

Special thanks to our friends at Golden Artist Colors for supplying the generous 8 oz. jars of Open Acrylics for this Giveaway! Our winner is getting a GIANT haul of premium paint!!! 🙂 Talk about LUCKY!!!

Good Luck and Happy Printing!

500 thoughts on “Printing WORDS With Gelli Arts®!”

  1. As a Homeschool mom, I would just love to win this giveaway!! What an awesome collection of goodies you are offering!!! I would like you to know that we made our gelli plate and I played on my first night for about 2 1/2 hours straight and then I used it as a class for our children and my 14 year old son pulled prints from 9 p.m. until well past 12:15 when I suggested we wrap it up for the night. My 11 year old daughter was just an enthralled, not stopping until 11:45. We have not yet purchased a "real" gelli plate and would love to win this group of goodies!! I am Pinning this blog on my Pinterest Board "Art Techniques" and commenting on your FB page AND posting this giveaway on my wall as well, all in hopes of uping the chances of winning!!! :)) Thanks for this opportunity!!

  2. Thank you for the opportunity to win these wonderful products. I also commented on FB plus shared the post on Pinterest and FB.

  3. Lee aka Violent Kittie

    I want to try this so much! It looks fantastic. I will share this on Pinterest!

  4. This is all so exciting and amazing. I just learned about Gelli Printing two weeks ago and can't wait to create! I am so impressed with everything that I've seen so far. Thanks for this opportunity to win. So very cool of you! -Tara

  5. Sunny -- aka Matriarch

    This is an incredible tutorial. I would so love to win a gelli …. thanks for the opportunity to win.

  6. OMG What fantastic giveaway! Love all that you can create and great tutorial too.

    Linda xxx

  7. So cool! I can't wait to get a Gelli plate. If I win this, then my friends don't have to buy me one for my birthday. 😉

  8. Linda Teddlie Minton

    Wow! As an avid user and proponent of both Gelli and Golden products, I would LOVE to win this fabulous prize! Thanks for the great tutorials and the chance to win.

  9. Kim Rae Nugent

    I have wanted to try the Gelli Gel Printing Plate and would love to win this prize! I'll post on Pinterest and Facebook too! Thank you!

  10. Anna Micciulla

    I have never "gellied" and i so want to! This might be the kick i need to learn! Pick me! Pick me! <[:-)

  11. Splinters and Threads

    This is SO cool!! I'm so pinning this, googling it, tweeting and FB sharing this. I've been wanting to try that for a long time.

  12. Oh it would be so great to win. I want a gelli plate and paints. I just had a remodel and so am having to save my pennies till I can get my own plate!!!

  13. I have not done any type of printing before. Would love to start with this giveaway! Those paint colors are beautiful.

  14. Stampn' Papper Scrapper

    Really very cool I have a Jell pad and I've only used it a few times but every time I see what you can do with it I want to play with mine !! Thanks for the opportunity to see what we can do. I would love to win as well. Thanks.

  15. What a great giveaway — winning this would be fantastic! (Thanks for all the wonderful tutorials, too!) I plan to share this on my Facebook page as well. Thanks again!

  16. Thanks for posting such great videos! Awesome to learn new tips and techniques for the beloved Gelli plate!

  17. Omygosh I have been wanting to try this for some time now! I will keep my fingers and toes and eyes crossed! Well maybe not the eyes…I dont want to start bumping into things!!Thank you for this generous Giveaway!

  18. What an amazing prize! Think of all the prints that you can get out of those paints- and all the wonderful words that can be used! What fun!

  19. Thanks for the wonderful tutorial. I recently bought the larger gelli plate and wish I had seen this video a few days ago when I wanted to print words on my papers. I am off to Facebook to share and pinterest. I am also going to add this video website on my blog.

  20. Heather Williams

    I, too, love my Gelli Plate, & if I happen to win I will give this one to my sister as she has just started on her art journaling journey! Thank you for a great tutorial & fabulous giveaway!! Many Blessings ~H♥~

  21. Oh, what an amazing giveaway! I've been writing backwards all this time, now I know the proper way to do it! Thanks for the chance at winning! Pinned, FB share – love it!

    Carmen L

  22. Love the video! I have a board on Pinterest just with gelli techniques. I would so love to win this awesome giveaway!

  23. Oh my gosh..Loved the see through concept..:)I am so excited to try all these ideas,My son who has Autism and non verble would love this…Thank you for a chance…

  24. I have only ever done foam letters individually and that makes it fiddly picking them off the gel plate. For the life I me I can't think why I didn't think of building up some word blocks – but I will now thanks to your fabulous post!

  25. Creative Mayhem

    Shared, posted about, and commenting here. WOW this is some giveaway. I could see so many great Youtube videos using this technique. Fantastic giveaway and so generous. Good luck everybody!

  26. Congratulations to Yolanda Brown!! She is the lucky, random winner of our GELLI – GOLDEN Giveaway!! Thanks for all the wonderful comments, posts, pins and tweets – we appreciate all of them 🙂

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