Gelli Arts® Printing with DIY Combs

Combs make such interesting patterns in Gel prints! Watch this video to see how easy it is to make your own combs from everyday materials!

Using combs ranks among my favorite methods for creating patterns and mark-making in 

monoprinting. In fact, I’ve included several examples in my new book, Gelli® Plate Printing, demonstrating how to make your own combs.

The comb is an effective tool for creating dynamic lined patterns. There are many durable 

materials that you can easily cut teeth into to create a comb tool. The fun is in making a bunch of custom combs that can produce an assortment of different lines and widths.

Among my favorite combs are those made from eraser caps! Placing the eraser cap on a 

pencil first makes it easier to handle while cutting. Work on a cutting surface, and use a craft knife to cut tiny V-shaped notches in the tip of the eraser. This creates a versatile mini-comb! Try using it for making cross-hatch marks… and all kinds of gestural swipes! Gotta love those tiny lines! Great for making gestural lines and marks!

TIP: It’s best to avoid letting acrylic paint dry on this tool, but if it does, use your craft knife to carve out any dried paint that may become clogged between the comb’s teeth.

Erasers are perfect for turning into combs! Simply cut notches out of the edge of an eraser 

with a craft knife—and you’re good to go! If you carve your own stamps, you may have some left-over carving material. That’s perfect for making combs too!

Old credit cards, hotel keys and other laminated plastic cards are great for making into combs and scrapers! Sharp scissors are a good choice for making your cuts. But avoid making pointy teeth, as they could scratch the surface of the Gelli® plate.

Another fun method for making combs is to use decorative edge scissors on a piece of cardboard (like cereal boxes) or craft foam. Simply cut straight across with wavy or zigzag scissors for an instant comb!

There are so many materials you can use to make your own collection of combs! And they’re fast and easy to make! Try a few and have fun making fabulous combed prints! To create monotypes with your DIY combs, simply swipe the combs through the wet paint on a Gelli® plate, cover with paper, rub to transfer the paint and pull your print. Have fun exploring different ways to create lined patterns! (For more combing ideas, see blog: “Wipe Out Monoprinting“)


FYI– Materials used to create the prints in the video:

This Contest is officially CLOSED 

    And we have a SPECIAL GIVEAWAY!!! Including an autographed copy of my new book, Gelli Plate Printing!


    Leave us a comment below and let us know your thoughts on the blog  – we love hearing your feedback. 

    To enter the giveaway, click on the red “ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE” button below! (This will ensure that we can contact the winner and that entries are limited to one per person. One winner will be selected from all the entries via a random number generator to receive this fabulous giveaway!) 

    Entries will be accepted until Monday, Sept. 22nd at 12 noon. Our lucky winner will be contacted by email and announced here on the blog and on our Facebook page no later than Sept. 22nd at 5 pm!


    This Contest is officially CLOSED

    And a special thanks to our friends at DecoArt® for generously donating the paint for this 


    Good Luck and Happy Printing!

    217 thoughts on “Gelli Arts® Printing with DIY Combs”

    1. Your ideas are so creative and inspirational. Will have fun trying everything out if I'm fortunate enough to win all these goodies:-)

    2. I would love to win something like this. Have never tried a gelli plate, although I love seeing all the ideas and inspirational ideas on FB. and I love messing about with paint. Have now bookmarked the blog for even more ideas. One day I will own a gelli plate!

    3. I've used combs a few times but your video makes me want to make some new ones and get the gelli plate out. I especially like the little pencil cap ones. would love the opportunity to win some new paints.

    4. Have just discovered your wonderful page and am keen to have a read and have a go. Its a nice change for someone to use everyday items instead of expecting you to buy expensive tools. Many thanks and thank you for sharing your great techniques x

    5. Thanks for sharing! I looks like so much fun. Now I just need a gelli plate. Wold be great to win. I haven't been able to get one yet.

    6. Oh no! Now even erasers are not safe around me since I have seen this! Yippee! I can't wait to get busy working on this!

    7. This would be so much fun. It's almost my birthday and the gelli plate is on my top 3 list for pressents 😉 I so hope some one picks it from teh list so I can test all the tips and tricks on this blog post ( and all teh other post )

    8. This blog continually provides me with new ideas, great inspiration and much encouragement. Thanks for offering this creative bundle!

    9. Thank you for these ideas! Sometimes buying the tools just gets too expensive, despite the newspaper coupons! You've given me some great starting points, and I can feel new ideas bubbling under the surface!!

    10. Great tips on gelli printing I watched the videos and love how you made combs for it. I just bought the big gelli plate and can"t wait to get started.I loved your blog and inspirations!

    11. Am a BIG fan of finding interesting objects around the house to use to create texture on the gelli. I also watched the webinar the other day with Mary Beth Shaw and LOVED IT!!

    12. RiddleDesigns-Sandy

      Continuing flow of your Gelli printing always makes me feel calm and happy. I appreciate what you share. Your beautiful videos inspire me.

    13. Haven't tried a round one but I sure do love my rectangle…so many cool things o do with these…tutorials are always appreciated….

    14. I absolutely love this blog and especially the video tutorials, always so inspirational, fingers crossed for this wonderful giveaway 🙂

    15. I watch all of your new videos plus use ready made combs and this is the first I've noticed how they weave over each other! Duh! Love the colors in this one!

    16. hi Joan & everyone
      I have the Gelli happy dance going on over here,, tyvm for making them . This is my new favorite artsy blast.of color and endless creativity Thank you for all the great videos & tips.

    17. I'm new to gelli printing and am having so much fun! Your blog and videos are showing me how endless the ideas and combinations are. The give a-ways are great..maybe this will be my lucky day!

    18. Very informative blog and inspiring too. I love everything Gelli! 🙂 Thank you for your generous giveaway.
      Tori Burgess

    19. This is such a awesome blog! The tutorials about how to use the gelliplate, it make's want to have one for my own to play with. I do so hope that i'm the winner of this give a way. It would make my day. 🙂 Good luck every one!

    20. I love the blog- every time I visit, I learn something new! Thanks for all the great tips and tricks, and awesome ideas! I would love to win the give a way- it is an amazing prize 🙂

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