Golden File Folders with Gelli Arts® Gel Printed Scraps by Martice Smith

Hi there and welcome to the Gelli Arts® blog!

It’s Martice here and today I’m sharing my process of incorporating my STACK of gel prints into a common, stationery item…file folders! These file folders are luxuriously golden on the inside and bright and playful on the outside. Let’s get started!


Select papers that have similar colors, patterns, shapes, etc. You can also mix and match paper types – cardstock, kraft paper, deli paper, copy paper, etc.


Tear your gel printed papers into long strips, at least 4 or more inches wide.

The idea here is to quickly use up your stack of papers that have been accumulating after your printing sessions. No more hoarding them or letting them collect dust.

Before applying matte medium to your paper strips, take a couple of minutes to decide on their orientation. Lay them out the way you like. Choose which orientation you think looks best – vertical or horizontal. 


Working with one strip at a time, use a paintbrush to brush the matte medium on the file folder AND on the back of each paper scrap.

Allow the paper strips to extend over the edges of the folder. Trim them after you’ve covered the surface with your gel printed strips.

REPEAT this step on the back of the file folder.


Next, use the gel plate as a palette. A palette knife is a great tool for scooping out paint from a jar.

Apply a generous amount of acrylic paint onto the plate.

Use a soft rubber brayer to spread out the paint. 


Next, roll paint directly onto the INSIDE of one of your file folders.

Tip: make sure you use a clean brayer. I made the mistake of not cleaning mine before starting and the old, leftover paint transferred onto my folder. If this happens to you and you don’t like how it looks, just add additional layers of gold paint until the marks disappear.

You might have to repeat this step a couple of times to cover up the color of the folder. As you add more layers of the gold paint, you’ll notice it getting brighter and more intense. (To completely cover up the yellowish-tan color of my folders, I had to repeat this step three times.) 


Use permanent markers to scribble a few marks on your folders. This will serve as an extra layer of visual texture.


To finish designing your folders, add a cute stamp near the top edge. Opening these folders makes me feel like I’m digging into a treasure chest!

Have fun incorporating your artsy style onto different surfaces and stationery items. If you don’t like it, you can always cover it up with more paint or gel printed scraps.

Happy printing!


8×10 Gelli Arts® Gel Printing Plate

Gel printed papers/scraps

File folders

Gold acrylic paint

Soft rubber brayer

Palette knife

Stamps and permanent ink pad

Matte medium (glue stick will also work)

Scrap paper


Permanent markers


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