Easy layering with the Mini Placement Tool by Birgit Koopsen

Hi there! It’s Birgit here today and I am going to show you how easy it is to build up layers with the  mini placement tool.

I’m keeping it simple so it will be easy to follow even if you’re rather new to gel printing and/or haven’t done a lot of layering yet.

The mini placement tool is perfect to use with the smaller Gelli Arts® gel printing plates. If you want to print exactly in the middle of your paper then you have to precut the paper in the right size. To determine the size of the paper you take the size of your plate and add 1” (which is the width of the mini placement tool) to each side.

This will give the following sizes:

3”x5” plate – 5”x7” paper

5”x5” plate – 7”x7” paper

5”x7” plate – 7”x9” paper

6”x6” plate – 8”x8” paper

Besides the mini placement tool I’m using a handmade silhouette mask. 

You can cut the silhouettes from paper. When there are a couple of layers of paint build up on the paper it will get pretty sturdy and then you can use them several times, but there is a risk that a new paper mask will tear halfway through your project.

Therefore, I prefer a more permanent material to cut my silhouettes from.

You can also cut them from acetate sheets or Dura-Lar Matte. The reason I prefer the Dura-Lar is that even the unused silhouettes are much easier to find between the mess on my desk than the clear ones. The material is less slick than a plastic sheet with a smaller chance of gliding/moving on a bit thicker layer of paint. Dura-Lar is very easy to cut and it doesn’t tear, but that goes for the acetate sheets too!

Both the acetate and the Dur-Lar silhouettes can be used over and over again and even be cleaned.

To keep my silhouettes in place I use a repositionable adhesive. Any adhesive left behind on the print can easily be rubbed away. Make sure though that the paint is dry before using the adhesive, otherwise paint might be removed from the print when lifting up the silhouette.

A lot of times the silhouette sticks to the plate when pulling the print. Always remember to place it back on the print before adding another layer, otherwise you will cover up the masked area.

And believe me, it has happened to me… several times! 🙂

And finally, when working with silhouettes you get the nicest results when using contrasting/complementary colors for the silhouette and the surrounding.

Tip: search online for a color wheel! The colors that are opposite of each other on the color wheel are complementary colors. Use them next to each other and they will totally do the trick!

Watch my video here to see a more detailed process:

Now, what is your first silhouette going to be? Let us know and share your prints on social media using hashtag #gelliarts and be sure to tag both @gelliarts and me @birgit_koopsen

Happy printing!



Gelli Arts® gel printing plate 5”x7”

Gelli Arts® mini placement tool

Speedball soft rubber brayer

Dura-Lar matte or acetate sheets

Permanent marker or pen

Magazine images or silhouette images from the internet

Scissors + craft mat & craft knife

Repositional tape like Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L

Heavy copier paper (180gr/65lbs)

Printing tools to create texture like bubble wrap, pill blisters, cardboard etc.

Gelli Arts® mini printing tools

Acrylic paint in a variety of colors like Liquitex or Winsor & Newton


Michael’s Stores

Blick Art Materials


Birgit’s Instagram

Birgit’s Facebook

Gelli Arts® Instagram

Gelli Arts® Facebook

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