Gelli Arts® Printing on Textured Paper

Smooth surfaces are wonderful for making highly detailed monoprints. But what if… you print on a textured substrate? Take a look at this video and see how fabulous the results can be!

This isn’t about printing on commercial textured paper, like a cold-press or rough watercolor surface. What we’re doing here is preparing an intentionally textured substrate designed to be an integral part of the print.

Because the Gelli ® plate has ‘give’, you can press a lumpy-bumpy textured paper into the plate and still get good paint coverage on your print. 

The ‘halo’ surrounding the raised areas on the paper enhances the dimensional look of the print. But if you prefer a more solid print, simply use more paint on the Gelli® plate! Or keep adding more layers.

There are countless ways to create an interesting texture on a sheet of paper. But here we’re focusing on building texture on your paper with dimensional paint and puff paint — thick acrylic paints that come in squeeze bottles with a small nozzle — (available at art and craft stores, with fabric paints). They’re so much fun to draw and scribble with! Experiment and play!

FYI: Puff paints require heat to achieve their full dimensional effect. A steam iron is often 

recommended for ‘puffing’ the paint. Follow directions for the specific brand you use.

The paper used in the examples is Staples® Card Stock, 8 1/2″ x 11″, White, 110 lb. The prints in this video are created on the 12″x14″ Gelli Arts® Gel Printing Plate — a wonderful size plate for creating bleed prints on these custom-textured card stock papers!

Preparing textured papers with dimensional and puff paints requires significant drying time. It’s best to prepare your sheets of textured paper at least several hours ahead. Overnight is optimal if you want to plan ahead. Make sure not to stack papers with wet or tacky paint or they’ll stick together.

The printing process on textured paper is the same as pulling any gel print. You can use your favorite masks, stencils, and texture tools, as usual. What makes this technique different is the textured paper!

Use dimensional paint to create 3-D, raised lines by squeezing the paint onto your paper. 

Simply squeeze lines, dots, squiggles, etc. on your paper. You can apply it randomly, or with a design in mind. Then, let it dry completely.

This is a layered print created over a design made with dimensional paint.
Here’s a detail from the print above showing the paint’s dimensional quality.

Also in the dimensional paint category, you’ll find puff paints. Squeeze them onto your paper, same as the regular dimensional paints. Allow to dry, then follow the instructions for heating the brand you’re using, and watch your design expand and puff up! This has a higher relief than regular dimensional paint, and puffs into a unique spongy texture.

This is dry puff paint — ready to be heated to expand.
Puff paint — heated and expanded. It turns lighter in color and a bit spongy.

This print has several layers of paint printed over a puffed paint design. The areas next to the dimensional lines didn’t make contact with the painted plate, creating an interesting ‘halo’ effect. Have fun drawing, painting and doodling into these white areas! The printed dimensional and puff paints also take paint and markers nicely, so you can embellish those too!

Here’s what the print looks like after going back into it with paint markers and pens.
And a detail picture for a closer look.

As you print the same piece over and over and layer paints, the prints created with textured papers continue to get more interesting as the colors build up.

This detail picture shows how puff paint accepts layers of paint.

Printing on textured paper is similar to using any texture plate on the Gelli® plate. That means the textured paper leaves an image in the paint left on the Gelli® plate — and can produce exciting ghost prints! 

Use dimensional and puff paints as a springboard for ideas on how to make your own textured papers for Gelli® printing! Make a bunch at a time and let them dry overnight! As you experiment and come up with your own cool papers and prints, please share them with us on Facebook!

This Contest is officially CLOSED

months Gelli Arts® blog giveaway winner (random number generator
297) is Robyn – also known as RedDogGirl You can see much of Robyn’s art on her Flickr site – Congratulations Robyn!!

Now for our GIVEAWAY


One lucky winner will be selected at random to win the fabulous kit pictured below. We will 

ALSO donate one 12″x14″ Gelli Arts Gel Printing Plate to the art teacher or school of their 


Our FUN giveaway kit includes:

  • 1 – 12″x14″ Gelli Arts® Gel Printing Plate
  • 1 – Speedball 4″ Soft Rubber Pop-in Brayer
  • 1 – 4 oz. bottle of Tulip Matte (Black – dimensional fabric paint)
  • 1 – 4 oz. bottle of Tulip Puffy (Black – dimensional fabric paint)
  • 1 – 4 oz. bottle of Tulip Metallics – (Gold – dimensional fabric paint)

AND … we will ship a 12″x14″ Gelli Arts® Gel Printing Plate to the art teacher or school selected by the winner!

To enter to win simply leave a comment here on the blog! Comments will be accepted until Tuesday, May 27th, 2014 at 12 p.m. EST. Our lucky winner will be announced here on the blog and on our Facebook page no later than Tuesday, May 27th, 2014.

This Contest is officially CLOSED

Good Luck and Happy Printing! *And Happy Memorial Day Weekend!*

500 thoughts on “Gelli Arts® Printing on Textured Paper”

  1. That is so cool! So many possibilities. I went to youtube and really enjoyed the faux Chine Cole video too.

  2. Not too long ago, I bought some Tulip dimensional paint and some puff paints on sale, having no idea whatsoever of what I could do with them. My gut just told me to get them. Now I know why! I can't wait to try this, and would LOVE to have the BIG Gelli plate to try this technique on fabric!

  3. please I can't find it in France…I would be so happy to use one to create my one print with gelli…XOXO

  4. I just recently learned about Gelli Plates and now I am over-the-top anxious to WIN one…or purchase…and get started. Looks so fun!

  5. I took a class to learn how to monoprint with Gelli plate from Jane LaFazio – total fun! Would love to win – and inspire someone else to create using Gelli Plate!

  6. I love the idea of using textured paper with the gelli plate. I've been looking at dimentional paints in the store, and wondering what I could use them on…now I know! To the store I go….

  7. What a cool idea…will this work with the texture from an embossing folder? I think that I need to try that! Thanks for the chance to win this package and for the fabulous suggestions for additional ways to use your products.

  8. ART-ticulate Teaching

    My focus for my students next year is to have gelli plates available for them to make incredible prints with, and experiment with different techniques! Thanks for the opportunity to win a set to start with!

  9. Way too much fun this Gelli Plate printing. I am awfully close to having a printing addiction… I will have to try this technique as it looks great. would love to win the giveway ( I'll see a therapist later LOL ) Thanks for the chance to win

  10. I love my gelli plates and have been making larger prints by placing two plates mashed up close to each other. This is the first time I've managed to enter a contest on time!!

  11. I am so excited that there is a geli plate this big. Thank you for this great tutorial site and a chance to win. :0) Kristy

  12. You always have such great tips! My niece is a teacher and would love a Gelli Arts plate so she's my plan if we're chosen!

  13. I would love to win, please pick me! I have the perfect teacher in mind to donate to 🙂

  14. I want a gelli plate bad! Tried to buy but closest is 2 states away! I'd like to win or I'll order a gelli plate from dick blick

  15. oh to win this! I made a homemade gelli plate and it molded on me. I would have so much fun with this.

  16. I just watched this video last night and couldn't sleep for the ideas whizzing around my head! I can't wait to try all of the techniques on a large-sized Gelli!

  17. I just received my first Gelli plate this week and have already dived in. I love, love, love this method. Every video I watch shows me another way to get coolresults.

  18. I absolutely LOVE that a school wins through this drawing, too! I would love to add this kit to my "art arsenal," especially to try the ideas shown in your video — and it would be a double win to be able to share the experience with my local school!

  19. Thank you for all the inspiration that you have shared. I am anxious to start playing. The prize is amazing too.

  20. Love the video and all of the samples. Can't wait to play. Thanks for the chance to win the great prize.

  21. Thank you for the great lesson! I am an art teacher and would love this kit for my students!

  22. I just added puff paints and dimensional paints to my supply so I can try this technique. What gorgeous prints were made for the tutorial. Thanks for the chance to win the large gelli plate.

  23. mindy simmons

    oh my yes, more than any happy dance I'd get out of a win, I'd be MORE excited for my grand daughter to have one go to her school.

  24. I am waiting on my trial home made one to harden up so I can play before I look into buying one, I absolutely love this technique! Its endless

  25. Kaylee Cammack

    Wow! Thanks for the fun video! Can't wait to give this a try. I've got to get me some punchenella! Thanks for the chance to win the large Gelli plate!

  26. My 'Gelli' is a star and allows me to create amazing prints and I would love the opportunity to give my daughters school one for their art room because Gelli Art Printing Plates are so hard to purchase here in the land rundown and are very expensive.

  27. I teach art and bought some plates with my own money because I thought it was such a fun process for the students to learn. I enjoy all the ideas and you have kept my inspirations for motivating the kids!

  28. Fantastic tips and examples. The Gelli Plate has been on my wish list forever but bills keep getting in the way and pushing it to the end of the row. Would love to win and what a super giveaway.

  29. robinpichelmayerarts

    awesome!!! and to share with a school or art teacher…..that's even better!

  30. This has been my latest Gelli obsession…I had to run out and grab some dimensional paints and have had a blast making gelli prints ever since!! I also fell madly in love withe the 12×14 size plate because it seems to be the most versatile size so far. Thanks so much!!

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