Fall Birch Prints Using an Embossing Plate with Gelli Arts® By Catherine Tonning-Popowich

I am so excited to create my first blog as a member of the Gelli Arts® Artist team! Having been asked to join the team is an honor. I love all of their products!

I’ve always loved Birch trees and am obsessed with drawing and painting them! I wanted a project that was quick and not too complicated involving these trees. I think I have every stamp, die, and embossing plate of Birch trees so I decided to try printing with an embossing plate!

Make sure to check out the giveaway at the end of my blog!

It just so happens I had an embossing plate that was 6″x6″ to match the size of one of my gel plates. I usually lay out two or more Gelli Arts® gel printing plates when I work on a project so I can get a couple prints at the same time.

Using Midnight Multi-Surface paint by Plaid®, I loaded my brayer and rolled the paint onto the embossing plate. I used the side that had the trees raised out. The brayer just catches the trees when you roll over them.

I then turn the embossing plate over and press it onto the gel plate. I used a clean brayer and rolled on the back of the embossing plate to push the paint onto the gel plate. Lift it off and the trees are left on the gel plate. Let this dry about 10 minutes.

Don’t mind the difference in color of these plates, one plate has been used a lot more and seems to have taken on a color. This does not affect the prints.

When the first layer is dry, pick a color for the background layer. I used Plaid® Color Shift Orange and Yellow for the orange print. These paints are very translucent and sheer so choose your paper color accordingly. I used brown deli paper (ordered from Amazon) for the orange one and blue cardstock for the others.

As soon as you apply the colors for the background layer put your paper down over the gel plate and pull the print. Depending on how dry the black trees are on the gel plate you may have to leave the paper on for a minute or two and burnish the backside with your hand or an old credit card.

Sometime I get distracted and leave the room for a few hours, lol. Pull up a corner to make sure everything is coming up on the paper before pulling the print completely. If it is not completely pulling up the paint put the corner back down and burnish some more.

Happy Printing!



-6″x6″ Gelli Arts® Gel Printing Plate

-4″ Gelli Arts® Brayer

-Sizzix “Woodland” 6″x6″ Embossing Plate

-Brown Deli Paper

-Blue Cardstock

-Plaid® FolkArt Paints: Multi-Surface Fire Opal and Midnight, Color Shift Yellow Flash, Orange Flash, Red Flash, and Aqua Flash

-Old Credit Card

Gelli Arts® Artist Catherine Tonning-Popowich’s Blog Giveaway!

© 2018 by Gelli Arts®, LLC

Philadelphia, PA All rights reserved.

44 thoughts on “Fall Birch Prints Using an Embossing Plate with Gelli Arts® By Catherine Tonning-Popowich”

  1. I love your tree prints! Using embossing folders gives me so many more printing options.What a great idea! Can't wait to try it. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Beautiful! I like this type of art using the Gelli Plate rather than blobs of color. Thank you for sharing these ideas.

    1. Thanks. Just get in there and play with your favorite colors, textures and subjects and you will learn.

  3. Brilliant! I just happen to have that embbossing folder. Must try this, however I have not had much luck with this technique. I keep getting a mess when the paper tears as I'm trying to pull it up. I've tried different brands of paint and different amounts of paint with little success.

    1. Thanks Gail! The technique can be a bit tricky as to how long to let the paint dry and then apply the second coat. I find that sometimes I have to apply the second coat and wait a minute or two to let it soften the first layer. I use a variety of paints and haven't found one more difficult than the others. If your paint on the second coat dries too fast maybe consider adding a slow dry medium to the paint. Most paint manufacturers make one. Enjoy!

    1. Thanks for commenting Ruth. You just have to remember that the first layer down is going to be the top layer on your print. You are kind of painting in reverse. Have fun with it.

    1. Thanks Jane! I have traveled and lived all over but I am back in Michigan now and I appreciate it's beauty more than I ever did!

  4. I have a couple of embossing plates that I've never quite figured out what to do with (thrift store finds) – thanks for your tut, I'll see where it leads me.

  5. Thanks for the tips, Catherine. Guess I just need to keep experimenting. What I'm really confused about is the length of time to leave the paper on the plate when doing the final pull. I notice you had commented that sometimes you leave it for a few hours. Is it better to leave it longer rather than only a minute or so?

    1. Catherine Tonning

      Gail I leave the first layer on for awhile but when I put the wet paint over it I put the paper down and pull the print within a minute or two. It takss some playing with it to get the timing right.

  6. Just found you through Pinterest & I’m delighted to see you use an embossing folder this way. They are so versatile. I bought a gelli plate a year ago & have just started experimenting with it. I tried this technique, but mustn’t have put enough coloured paint over top of the dried black paint as when I pulled them they came out very very pale, even the birch trees. My first instinct was to be discouraged, but then I reminded myself that there are very few things one can do well without practice, practice, practice. Thanks for the inspiration Catherine.

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