DIY Gelli® Printed Fabric Patches!

Before we jump into Joan’s amazing project (and it IS amazing!) – we want to share TWO exciting pieces of information!

  1. Gelli Arts® is on Instagramcome join the fun! 
  2. And, we now have over 2 MILLION views! 

FYI – Joan did this project a few years ago and it was such a big hit – we decided to create a DIY Patch Printing Kit for you!  You can follow along her blog using the items in your new kit.  Feel free to use additional items to create textures or additional colors of acrylic paints – just remember to add the Fabric Medium!  Have fun!

Now… onward to Joan’s super hip project: 

Gelli® Plate Printed Personalized Fabric Patches!

Seems like everywhere you look, someone is wearing a pair of
shredded jeans with blown out knees or personalized jeans with laced edges, patched holes or artful stitching. Lots of interesting and creative mending
going on as well with fabulous handmade patches! Getting

You can call the trend Boho Chic, Urban Chic, Vintage or Hipster… it falls into all categories! Here are some great examples from Pinterest which is loaded with ideas and inspiration for personalizing your vintage jeans and clothing. 

Follow Gelli Arts®’s board Hip Style Trends — Personalized Clothing with Patches on Pinterest.

Here’s my version inspired by this fun trend!

Using a small Gelli® plate with fabric paint — to
stamp on fabric — is about the fastest, easiest way to
create a variety of unique printed fabrics! For patches, all you need are small
fabric fragments. It’s the perfect opportunity for printing up some fabric
scraps and pieces cut from old garments.

And don’t overlook commercially-printed fabrics! I found some fun
designs at
that I couldn’t wait to monoprint all over! The preprinted backgrounds add
another layer of interest to monoprinted images.

When printing on fabric, I almost always iron it onto freezer paper to stabilize it. It helps to iron the fabric before printing on it — to
get rid of any wrinkles. I figure if I’m going to iron the fabric, I might as
well iron it onto freezer paper while I’m at it! But it’s absolutely okay to
skip this step if you want to.

Stamp as many images as it takes to cover a piece of fabric — with
each imprint different from the next. Change up the colors. Use stencils,
masks, combs…and all of your favorite texture tools. FUN!

I came across Fabric CreationsBlock Printing Stamps by Plaid Industries — and had to try a few! As
expected, they’re great for gel printing! Just press the stamp into wet paint
on your Gelli® plate (like you would with any stamp) to remove paint — and print a negative image. You
can also stamp them directly onto fabric, which is what they’re designed for.

Using the ‘wrong’ side of commercially-printed fabric — where
the pattern is muted — gives your print a more subtle,
washed-out looking background.

You’ll quickly find outit’s as addicting to print on fabric
as it is on paper! Try ityou’ll see!

For stamping, a clear acrylic block or acrylic sheet is a perfect
mount. Just press your Gelli® plate onto the acrylic piece and it’ll stick until
you take it off. And since it’s clear, you can see exactly where you’re
stamping! All of these images printed on fabric were stamped with a 3″x5″ Gelli® plate mounted on a 4″x6″
clear acrylic stamp block.

If you’re making patches for clothing, it’s important to use
paint that holds up to laundering. My go-to fabric paint is DecoArt® SoSoft. It’s available in a nice range of colors, and you can mix them to
create your own custom colors. And another good thing — SoSoft doesn’t need
to be heat-set! The instructions say to wait 48-72 hours before washing, and
that’s it!

And, as its name indicates — the hand of the
fabric stays soft. Some paints can have a plastic-y feel. Definitely not what I
want on my old, worn jeans.

For printing, apply some paint to the gel plate and roll it into
a smooth layer with a brayer. Create your design in the wet paint, then stamp
it onto your fabric. So easy!

If you want to embellish your printed fabric — there
are lots of fabric markers made for that purpose. The Pentel® Gel Roller for Fabric is a 1.0 mm pen that’s great for doodling and drawing lines — my

After printing the fabric and letting it sit/cure for a few days,
I tore and cut it into pieces — ready to fashion into patches.

This is where you follow your muse and create patches that suit
your taste. I wanted to preserve the worn look and feel of my old jeans.
Layering hand-sewn patches — with frayed and unfinished cut edges — seemed
like a good way to do that. And it presented a perfect opportunity to try my
hand at a little embroidery!

Almost all of the stitching on these patches and jeans was done
with DMC® Six Strand Embroidery Floss, but there’s also some DMC® Pearl Cotton Size 5.

If you’re not familiar with Japanese boro (translates as rags, or
scraps of cloth), much inspiration can be found in these amazing garments and
textiles that have been patched and repaired many times. The extensive mending
and patching, sometimes over generations, imbues each unique piece with an
extraordinary inherent beauty that speaks of its history. There’s a visual
feast of stunning examples on the internet, so I hope you’ll take a look! (do a
Google search for ‘Japanese boro’ and look under ‘images’)

Sewing the patches onto my jeans proved to be a meditative
process with happy results. Not to mention a bit nostalgic — a
throwback to my college days in the early ’70s when we all wore threadbare and
patched jeans!

Maybe I got a little carried away patching these jeans? And
still, it’s easy to visualize this as a work in progress! I intend to keep
adding more layers of printed fabric patches and more stitching to this pair of
jeans. Some projects feel so good to work on you don’t want to stop — and
this is one of them. Being able to add bit by bit with no specific end-result
in mind makes this a great on-going project to work on when the mood is right.

If you have a worn garment that could use some repair — or
are just looking to personalize or embellish a pair of jeans for the fun of it — try gel printing on fabric and making a few patches!

It’s time to CELEBRATE over 1 Million views on this blog!! 

We are giving away one 3″x5″ Gelli® Printing plate and one 4″ Round Gelli® printing plate to one lucky person so that they can make their own personalized Gelli® printed patches! Enter below!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

we now have
Gelli® partners all over the world, so it’s easier than
ever to find a Gelli®
 retailer near you!

Have Fun and Happy Printing!

Materials Used In Today’s Blog:

3×5″ Gelli® Plate
Reynold’s Freezer


Fabric Creations™

Block Printing Stamps

4×6″ Acrylic


DecoArt® SoSoft

Fabric Paint

4″ Speedball®

Rubber Brayer

Pentel® Gel

Roller for Fabric

DMC® Six Strand

Embroidery Floss

DMC® Pearl

Cotton Size 5

279 thoughts on “DIY Gelli® Printed Fabric Patches!”

  1. The fabric is on lying my desk for a while now, waiting to be gelli printed. All I needed was this great tutorial (and the chance to win these just-perfect-for-fabric-printing-gelli-plates!). Thanks so much!

  2. I printed on fabric with a Gelli plate to make blocks for a rag quilt. It turned out amazing!! But this technique amps things up for sure! Can't wait to try it.

  3. Great idea about ironing freezer paper onto the fabric first–looks like this week will be a Gelli printing week for me!

  4. Gorgeous fabric prints!!….I Gelli print on different papers, but may now have to try fabric also!! 🙂

  5. I am already so addicted to Gelli Plates on paper … now I must try it on fabric! Thanks for the great inspiration.

  6. susan berkowitz, slp

    This looks like so much fun. Can't wait to try it. I love your blog and videos. Also following you on Pinterest and Instagram. Love the giveaways!

  7. You've posted a great deal. You did a great job by sharing the information of different types of patches. I liked your blog. Thanks for sharing the great information. Good Luck!

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