Cardmaking, EBE by Julie Ebersole, Essentials By Ellen, Stamping

Create Unique Backgrounds for your Cards with Stencils and Gel Printing

Have you tried Gel Printing with Stencils? It’s such a fun way to create backgrounds full of texture, pattern and color. No print is ever the same which gives you unique custom prints for your cardmaking.

Hi Friends, Emily Mydlowski here with you today sharing three Thank You Abstract cards using the Gelli Arts 5×7 Gel Printing Plate, Distress Oxide Inks and the Trinity Stamps Slimline Tree of Light Layering Stencil.

Gel Print Tips & Tricks

  • Be ready for surprises. Sometimes a “Peel & Reveal” is amazing and other times they can be kinda meh. Save the meh to practice your layering or you can cut them into fun die cut pieces and shapes.
  • Apply your color directly to the Gel Printing Plate and then smooth out the color using a brayer. I used a Medium-Sized Speedball brayer…in the supply list I included brayers of similar size that will work out great.
  • Don’t layer on too much color. Just a couple dabs (paint) or smooshes (ink) will do. Too much paint/ink can cause uneven, sloppy prints. Make sure your colors blend well together too.
  • Cut yourself a stack of pull paper so you can make several backgrounds in one sitting. I cut sheets of Neenah 80Ib Solar White cardstock in half for my pull stack.
  • Be prepared for messy! Have wipes on hand and extra scraps of paper (parchment works good too) to remove access paint/ink from your brayer.
  • Experiment, have fun and embrace the mess—I mean process.

A Gel Printing Process:

  1. Collect all your materials: Gel Printing Plate, Distress Oxide Inks (I used Picked Raspberry, Saltwater Taffy, Dried Marigold & Salvaged Patina [not shown in process photos], Brayer, Pull Paper and Stencils.
  2. Apply Distress Oxide Inks directly to the Gel Plate. I started with Picked Raspberry at the top, then Saltwater Taffy & Dried Marigold at the bottom. Use a brayer to mix & smooth out the colors on the Gel Printing Plate.
  3. Apply a piece of pull paper (in my case 80 lb Neenah Solar White) to the Gel Plate. Use your hand to smooth over the paper to get a nice even press. Pull the paper from the Gel Plate to “Peel & Reveal” the first print.
  4. Depending on how much color you where able to pull, you may want to add a little more color to the Gel Plate (or not) before adding a stencil. Then add the Stencil to the Gel Plate and take the print you just made and place it on top of the stencil. This will pull the color from the stencil opening which left me with several circular-bubble like patterns.
  1. Remove the stencil from the Gel Plate and apply the print one more time across the Gel Plate and smooth over with your hand. Then pull away from the plate to reveal more bubbles and color patterns.
  1. Since I had a lot of ink left over on the stencil, I transferred the ink to a fresh piece of pull paper which gave me a really pretty impression. Then I took the brayer which still had leftover ink and applied it to the Gel Plate to remove all the ink and placed the previous peel over the color.
  2. At the end of my Gell Printing process, I also experimented with adding layers of Salvaged Patina Distress Oxide Ink with the Layering stencil (not show in the process images).

Creating the Cards:

To create the three cards, I picked two pulls with lots pattern and cut them down to size as a full A2 background panel, vertical panel and large horizontal panel. By cutting them down to smaller A2 sizes, I could start using the the white space for a more clean & simple look.

For extra texture and pattern, I added gold, white & clear embossed images from the EBE Wonky Background, EBE Organic Elements and EBE Painted Stripes Stamp Sets.

For the vertical panel card, I layered the panel on top of Rose Gold and Gold Polka Dot Washi Tape.

To each of the cards, I added gold embossed Thank You Sentiments using the EBE That Thing You Did Stamp Set.

To finish the cards, I placed them on an EBE Oyster and White Card Base.

While I’m not usually a messy crafter, I had SO much fun getting inky with the Gel Printing Plate and using the prints to create unique Clean and Simple Abstract Thank You Cards. Once I realized that each pull would be unique, the process became very soothing to layer the color, add patterns with stencils to “Peel to Reveal” beautiful backgrounds for my cards.

I hope you enjoyed my post today and it inspires you to try out the Gel Printing. Thanks for stopping by and big paper hugs.


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  • Reply maureen k morton April 25, 2022 at 8:07 am

    This looks amazing – I love the results. Such great color blends and depth. Any chance of getting a video? The process looks a little confusing, messing, and difficult to follow. Thanks!

  • Reply tsurutadesigns1 April 26, 2022 at 3:14 am

    These are beautiful Emily!

  • Reply Magnuson Custom Stamps April 26, 2022 at 11:41 am

    I’m obsessed with the color combo you used here! Looks like nice spring colors 🙂

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