Double-sided Washi Paper with Gelli Arts® by Karen Elaine

Hi Everyone! I’m Karen Elaine. I’m an artist, author and teacher living and creating in the heart of Arizona near beautiful Sedona. I have been in the art materials industry for decades and the senior creative consultant for Yasutomo. I’m excited to show you how I create beautiful double-sided papers with washi (aka rice) paper, stencils, acrylics, and the Gelli plate. You may wonder why I like to make double sided papers. First of all, they are great for origami and paper folding projects where it looks better with color on the other side instead of plain white. Folded envelopes are especially beautiful!
I love using washi papers in collage, origami, bookbinding, and all kinds of mixed media projects paper because they are strong and resilient with long fibers. They are perfect for monoprinting because of their absorbency and strength. Washi papers absorb the colors a bit differently than standard copy paper or sized paper and they are really fun to work with as long as you know a few things that I will share with you here today. 😊 Note: Washi paper has a smooth and rough side. Be sure to print on the smooth side! The rough side will not accept the color and detail of the print as well as the smooth side.


1. Roll a light coat of color such as white, silver or pale gold onto the Gelli plate surface. 2. Lay a stencil over the wet paint and quickly lay a sheet of washi paper (smooth side down) on the plate. 3. Rub gently into the grooves of the stencil so the paper picks up the paint. 4. Lift off the washi paper and set aside to dry. 5.Make several prints as well as “ghost” prints with lighter colors, then add more saturated colors. Once the papers are completely dry you can coat the back with a contrasting color. This is where the washi paper shines! Because it is absorbent, the color will soak through the other side except the areas that are printed. The results are stunning!
  1. Thin down a contrasting acrylic paint with water. I used a combination of Paynes Gray and Phthalo Turquoise. My original print is light, so I want to use a darker color.
  2. Lay the washi paper printed side/smooth side down on a glass or non absorbent surface.
  3. Brush the thinned paint gently over the back of the sheet. Be careful not to rub as it may damage the paper. I always use a flat sheep hair hake brush. It holds lot’s of liquid and is very soft.
  4. Gently pick up the paper and leave somewhere to dry flat. The paper will be strong again once it’s completely dry.
I hope this inspires you to try printing with washi paper and your Gelli plate! Watch the video to learn how to make tato envelopes using double-sided washi paper!
Materials I used:

Michael’s Stores Blick Art Materials FOLLOW US: Karen Elaine Instagram Karen Elaine YouTube Channel Gelli Arts® Facebook Sign up to receive emails + special offers from Gelli Art

3 thoughts on “Double-sided Washi Paper with Gelli Arts® by Karen Elaine”

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: