Festive Upcycled Lantern with Gelli Arts® by Marsha Valk

Hi there! It’s Marsha here today, sharing a fun way to upcycle a cylinder lantern or vase with the help of your Gelli Arts® gel printing plate.

Lanterns are a holiday decor staple at my house. They bring me joy when it’s dark, or the weather is outside is gloomy.

In the video tutorial, you can see me apply paint to the gel printing plate through a stencil, remove the stencil and then pull a print. You can also see me apply paint to the plate, add a stencil, and then pull a print.

There is no right or wrong way to use stencils on your gel printing plate! 

However, with the first method, you have much more control over how the shapes or textures will transfer to your paper (or, in this case, Dura-Lar). So use this method to your advantage!

Grafix Matte Dura-Lar is a matte polyester film. You can try using (frosted) acetate or mylar instead. Unfortunately, vellum isn’t a suitable alternative because it tends to buckle and warp when you pull gel prints.

Don’t worry if your print layers look patchy. Patchy is perfect! It adds interest to the end result and ensures the candlelight can shine through the print.

It’s important to let every gel-printed layer dry completely before moving on to a new layer. If you do not wait, the print can smear, or the next pull can accidentally remove paint from your previously printed layer.

Once the paint on my prints was fully dry, I adhered them to a couple of lanterns I bought at a local thrift store. Lanterns or vases with a straight cylinder shape are the best.

However, you may also be able to transform a simple glass or glass container as long as it doesn’t have a protruding rim.

Choose LED lights for your upcycled gel-printed festive lanterns to be on the safe side!

Have fun creating your own lanterns! And don’t forget to share them with us using #gelliarts. We’d love to see what you make!



Gelli Arts® Printing Plate 9″ x12″

Stencils from the Gelli Arts® Holiday Card Printing Kit and the Gelli Arts® Stamping and Printing Kit


Cylinder vases or lanterns 

Grafix® Matte Dura-Lar (trimmed to fit your lantern)

(DIY) Stencils and masks

Acrylic paint

2″ Roller

Scrap paper

Repositionable adhesive (Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L)

Bubble wrap

Strong adhesive

(LED) candles


Michael’s Stores

Blick Art Materials


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5 thoughts on “Festive Upcycled Lantern with Gelli Arts® by Marsha Valk”

  1. When drying between layers, are you waiting minutes, hours, days? Could a heat gun help speed the process or will that damage the acetate?

    1. How fast paint dries depends on how much paint you applied and the circumstances in the space you are working in. So in my workspace, that’s usually something like 5 minutes tops. I do not recommend using a heat gun to speed up the drying process. The reason is that there is always a chance of unintended warping. And, with a heat gun, you’ll not just dry wet paint but also warm up previous layers of paint, which can make those sticky again. So I prefer to wait. I use the waiting time to prep for the next layer. If you absolutely can’t wait, you could use a fan or a hair dryer on the cold setting instead. -Marsha

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