Mono-printing is a technique where the resulting print is very difficult to replicate (mono = one) and is great for use in collages, as a background in mixed media pieces and scrap pages. One way of producing a mono-print is by using a gelatin plate. In the past, if you wanted to use a gelatin plate, you needed to make your own by mixing gelatine and water and then let it set. This plate, however once made, could be a little unstable eg start to melt in hot humid climates. Gelli Arts have come to the rescue of mixed media artists by developing a product that is easy to use, easy to clean and doesn’t need to be refrigerated.

I’m lovin my gelli plate, so I thought I would share some cool videos about how to use it. This one’s from robenmarie and gives a great overview to mono-printing and the use of the gelli plate from Gelli Arts.


You will need:

  • cardstock
  • acrylic paints - a good way to get rid of any cheap craft paints
  • a variety of stencils
  • brayer
  • gelli plate
  • mister and cloth


  • remove the plastic sheets that cover the top and bottom of the gelli plate
  • place the plate on a non-porous surface
  • place a small amount of paint on the plate and use the brayer to spread the paint evenly across the surface.
  • you can use a number of colours together but don’t keep mixing with the brayer or it will muddy the colours
  • Roben-Marie shows 3 main techniques for printing
    • using a stencil 1 – lay the stencil onto the paint covered plate, and apply some pressure. Then remove the stencil and lay your paper over the top of the plate and burnish with your hands. Lastly, peel back the paper.
    • using a stencil 2 –  this gives a positive and negative print. Lay the stencil onto the paint covered plate, lay your paper over the top and burnish with your hands, then peel back the paper. You can then remove the stencil for a second print
    • make your own design – use shapes of card, the end of a brush or stub to draw a pattern, leaves, branches, comb, loyalty card, doily, string, threat etc to make a design, then lay your paper over the top and burnish with your hands, then peel back the paper. You can then remove any objects like leaves etc for a second print
  • you need to clean the surface between uses – mister and cloth, or baby wipes, or mild soap and water or hand sanitiser


  • different papers will give different effects eg. cardstock, watercolour paper, canvas etc
  • adding a finish to the card will also alter the finish eg adding a coat of gesso to your paper
  • layering prints will give you added dimension


  • roll your brayer off on spare paper between prints – firstly this will clean your brayer and secondly, you are using your excess paint. The paper can later be used in a collage, to make flowers etc.
  • the Crafter’s Workshop stencils are great for the stencil techniques

If you enjoy the video, check out the link to more mixed-media demonstrations. What is your favourite technique for creating a background?


Kaye xoxo

Filed under: Mixed Media

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