Printing with Flexible Texture Plates with Birgit Koopsen Lesson Plan


  • Students Will Be Able To (SWBAT) design their own foam pattern
  • SWBAT display the ability to use mark making skills to create their own patterns


  • How can students use foam to create patterns?
  • Can you use foam to create patterns for printmaking?


  • Gelli Arts® 8×10 Gel Printing Plate
  • Acrylic paints
  • Brayer
  • Self-adhesive craft foam
  • Acetate sheets
  • Embossing tool or skewer
  • Scissors
  • Pen or pencil


You can easily create flexible texture plates for printing on Gelli Arts® gel printing plates.

  • Start with drawing shapes on the back of the foam sheets and cut them out.
  • Use the embossing tool or skewer to add texture to the craft foam shapes.
  • Apply a piece of craft foam to an acetate sheet that is just a bit bigger than the craft foam. About a ½” bigger on all sides.
  • Create a nice composition with the foam shapes.
  • To create the triangles, first add texture to a whole sheet of craft foam, the cut strips and then cut triangles from the strips. No need to draw the triangles on the back unless you want them all to be the exact same size.
  • You can make the plates any size or shape you want as long as you always make sure to have the acetate sheet a little bigger than the foam!

Flexible texture plates have several benefits compared to texture plates created on cardboard or wood or just using the foam.

  • Benefit Number One: Applying the foam to an acetate sheet will keep the plates flat, the edges will not curl and the plates will be easier to handle and store.
  • Benefit Number Two: Because the acetate is a little bit bigger than the foam it is easier to remove the texture plate from the Gelli Arts® printing plate without touching the paint and ruining your print. After making a print, you can use the left-over paint on the texture plates as a stamp.
  • Benefit Number Three: The acetate sheets are flexible which gives you the possibility to only use a part of the plate. You would not be able to do this when using cardboard or wood as a base for your texture plates.

And now you’re ready to play!

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