Onomatopoeia Pop Art Prints with Gelli Arts® + Guest Art Educator Kristen Bolster

We’re excited to have art educator Kristin Bolster on the blog today to teach us how to make these pop art prints with Gelli® plates!

Hello! Kristen Bolster here. I created this assignment to combine pop art and language arts for my middle school students. We explored onomatopoeia, sounds words, and shape sounds. Although this is a very fun lesson just to explore the process of monoprinting, the concept of negative and positive space is important to understand how the inside and outside of their shape affects their finished product. 

It is also important for the kids to understand that letters print in mirror image, so words need to be backwards. The kids loved this lesson and most made between 3-7 successful prints over the course of a week of classes.

Here is a picture of my students’ work which shows just a few of the different words, shapes, and color combinations.

Here is a video of our process:

View this post on Instagram

Video demo of my pop art mono printing lesson is a fan favorite for my middle schoolers

A post shared by Kristin Bolster (@blessthemessmakers) on

Step 1:

Think of a sound word and a matching shape. Find letters for your word and lay them onto the 8×10″ cardstock. Use the mirror to make sure the letters are in reverse. Draw the sound shape around the word and cut out in one piece.

Step 2:

Cut the shape out in one continuous motion starting from the side. You don’t want to have trash. Tape the cut outside shape closed. There should be two pieces now – a positive shape and a negative space.

Step 3:

Roll out your first color. Lay down the letters in reverse and the negative space around the letters. Pull your first print.

Step 4:

Pull a ghost print and clean the plate. Use washi or painters tape on the positive shape to cover the print shape on the paper. From this point on there can be lots of variations. You can also tape it down a little bit offset, which will give you white paper to add a third color later. Roll on the next color and print with the positive shape covered – now you have the main shape and the outside shape printed with two colors. You can end here, or add another layer, especially if you blocked the shape with offset and have white paper showing. You can also add punchinella or bubble wrap for texture during this print step, or on the next color. 

Please share any onomatopoeia prints that you or your kids make with me on Instagram!

Additionally, I have started a ‘Monday Monoprint’ series of IGTV videos on my IG account @blessthemessmakers

Happy printing!



-Gelli Arts® 8×10″ Gel Printing Plate 


-Acrylic paint (I used Golden Open in primary colors)

-9×12″ paper for printing

-Cardstock / Tag Board / old file folders cut to 8×10″ for stencils

-Foam letters (I use Craftology brand – you can use the same letters over and over!)

-Anything to create texture with – honeycomb ribbon, punchinella, bubble wrap, plastic scrapers, etc.

You will also need:

-Envelopes for storing letters while working

-Mirrors to help with backwards letters

-Scissors for cutting stencils

-Washi tape for attaching stencils to pape

-Scrap paper for cleaning brayers and pulling ghost prints

-Large mats to protect table

Thank you Kristen for sharing this awesome project with us!


Kristin’s Instagram

Gelli Arts® Instagram
Gelli Arts® Facebook
Sign up to receive emails + special offers from Gelli Arts®

1 thought on “Onomatopoeia Pop Art Prints with Gelli Arts® + Guest Art Educator Kristen Bolster”

  1. Thank you for sharing this idea! I've been looking for other Pop Art lesson plans and bought a class set of these gelli plates, this is perfect!

Leave a Reply