Gelli Arts® Vegetable Prints With Birgit Koopsen Lesson Plan


  • Students Will Be Able To (SWBAT) master art and mark making with the use of vegetables


  • Can students use vegetables to make art?
  • How can vegetables be used to make art?


  • Gelli Arts® 8×10 Gel Printing Plate
  • Acrylic paints
  • Brayer
  • Paper
  • Vegetables


You probably have seen or made prints using natural materials like twigs, leaves, and even flowers, but have you ever thought of Gelli Arts® Gel Printing with vegetables? It is so much fun and a great activity to do with children!

Step 1: Start by cutting all the vegetables so they are ready for use. Of course you can cut off only the parts you need for printing and use the rest for dinner! As soon as you start cutting your room will smell as if you’re making soup! Make soup for dinner on the day you do vegetable Gelli Arts® printing. Two birds with one stone!

Step 2: Next, create a bunch of colorful backgrounds using vibrant colors.

Step 3: Make simple patterns using cabbage. Cut the cabbage at both the top and bottom and that will give you two very different tools. One big flower with a lot of detail and one smaller that looks like irregular nesting circles. Wrap the cabbage leaves in packing tape so they don’t fall apart.

Step 4: By repeating the shapes you can create simple but interesting, organic patterns.

Specific Vegetable Tips:

  • If you cut paprika at the top, close to the stem, it will give you a nice big flower pattern.
  • Celery also creates beautiful flowers when using the end part. The stalks create a fun crescent shape – great for smaller patterns. You can also bind two stalks together with tape to create yet another pattern.
  • By combining vegetables like onion and celery, or adding herbs like thyme, you can create a complete “painting” of flower bulbs with flowers.
  • If you are using regular acrylic paint instead of open acrylics, you can add a few drops of slow-dry blending medium so you have a bit more time to create a nice composition.

These prints can be so beautiful! They may even be worth framing. The vegetables will not affect the Gelli Arts® gel printing plates at all – not even a bad smell! Hopefully this inspires you to look at vegetables differently when grocery shopping!


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