Faux Marbling on the Gelli Arts® Printing® Plate

Happy Monday! 

It’s Birgit here again with a fun new technique, faux marbling on the Gelli® plate! 

This is such a fun technique, once I started I just couldn’t stop because every print I pulled was a surprise, some kind of magic, and I loved them all.

So prepare yourself, when you sit down to try this!

The technique itself is very simple and so are the supplies you need. 

A Gelli® plate and a brayer, of course. And then some acrylic paints, a piece of hemp rope and white card stock or watercolor paper.


Take a little piece of hemp rope and pull it apart until you get a bunch of fine threads. 

Start with making some simple background prints in two colors, just to add some color to the paper.


For the second layer, roll out a thin layer of two or three colors on plate. Then place the thin threads on top of the paint and one of your Gelli® printed backgrounds on top.

Rub firmly, lift up the paper and remove the loose threads. That’s it!


Now, when you leave the left over threads on the plate and apply paint on top for your next print then some of the color of your previous print will also transfer to this print, which makes it even more interesting. You can of course add new threads too. 

Sometimes, when your layer of paint is thin enough and there are not to many threads left on the plate they get totally embedded in the print and you can just leave them on the paper. This is adding awesome texture to your print!

Vary with the amount and thickness of the threads to get different results.


Another thing you can try instead adding threads to the plate, is to not clean your brayer and use the threads that stuck to your brayer from a previous print to create very fine texture.  

Also try making prints on white paper to get little white highlights.

The less threads are left on the plate the more subtle the result will be.

You can just carry on printing without adding thread until your plate is clean. Or when the color of the threads is getting really dirty you can just use a baby wipe to clean the plate. 

Here are some more results: 

And last but not least I like to share with you a print made by Jimmy Hadley, who is a printmaking student and made this lovely print at the Gelli® Arts booth at NAMTA. 

As you can see you can also combine this technique with stencils and other printmaking tools!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and can’t wait to see your results! Feel free to tag me on Instagram (@birgitkoopsen) so I can see what you made!

Happy printing! 


PS: Please—share your prints with us on our Facebook page, or on Instagram using the hashtag #gelliprint #gelliarts and #gelliplate. Tag us with @gelliarts on Instagram and Twitter too! We love to see what you’re creating!!

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

43 thoughts on “Faux Marbling on the Gelli Arts® Printing® Plate”

  1. Birgit, what a clever process! These prints are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing this inventive tutorial.

  2. Love the technique. Where can I get the hemp rope? I shopped online and only found really thick rope that did not look like it would separate into threads. Thanks if you can help.

  3. This technique produces stunning results. I can't wait to try this. Thanks so much for the inspiration! 🙂

  4. This is a wonderful technique. I tried something similar with eyelash yarn, but this gives a lot more fine detail. Thank you!

  5. Just wonderful!

    ? – How many ply (separate strands/strings) is the rope when you unravel it? 2-ply, 3-ply, etc? Thanks!

  6. I am pretty new at gelli printing but oh my gosh you give me so much inspiration. I have watched almost all your videos and each time they amaze me! Thank you so much for sharing your talent💕

  7. Beautiful prints! Thank you for sharing your art technique. Quick question will twine work too or do we have to use hemp rope? Thank you!

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