Saturday, August 24, 2013

DIY Gelli Plate

I had not even heard of a Gelli Plate until I took a card class. Although the instructor used a Gelli plate for making monoprints she also gave us some alternatives of things to use. I tried monoprinting using a piece of acrylic and it was fun. However, a lot of things I tried did not come out as I would have like. In fact I have several of the prints that I printed that day that I will eventually print over until I get something that I like.

I loved what the instructor had done with the Gelli Plate but alas when I checked it out they are not cheap. So I did research looking for an alternative. I read about using gelatin to make your own plate. But the drawback was that it has to be kept refrigerated and will deteriorate in just a couple of weeks. Then I found a recipe that is suppose to keep without it being refrigerated. Great I thought but it requires glycerin which I don't have. Then I remembered that I used Vodka because it doesn't really smell as a preservative in gelatin air fresheners which I made. I remembered that the air fresheners lasted a long time without having to be refrigerated. So today I made up my own plate substituting the Vodka for the glycerin. I don't know how long it will last but hopefully longer than two weeks. Also if it does break down as long as it does not get moldy I can reheat and remold after adding a little more Vodka since the reheating will evaporate some of it.

 Here is my finished Gelli Plate. Directions say to use a flat bottom container but since I am going to use this right in the tray I didn't worry about that. I picked this up at a thrift store and had not noticed the chip on the edge. When I saw it I thought this would be perfect to use for my Gelli Plate as the chip will not make a difference.

I started out by seeing how much water I would need to get the thickness I wanted. Three cups of water gave me the perfect thickness. I dumped out the water and placed in a large mixing cup seven packages of Knox Gelatin. Then I added one cup of water and mixed. I boiled one and a half cup of water and added that stirring until the gelatin was dissolved. I let the mixture cool down but not set. Then added a half cup of Vodka. Because I'm not patient I went and placed it in my refrigerator until it was firm. It took about three hours. The larger and thicker the longer it will take to firm up.

Here are my first prints using my DIY Gelli Plate. I'm glad that I played today before having my granddaughter come over and play making prints.
This is my first  one. I heard that the paint should not be thick and thought I could use my Speed Ball acrylic ink. I used a pan scraper to mix the colors on the Gelli plate. Opps! The paint was too thin and when I placed the paper on the counter it bled through to the counter. Luckily I discovered it in time and placed the paper on a paper towel. I was able to clean the counter with bleach so there is no stain. Not that the counter is the best to begin with as someone used it to cut on but I am renting.


I left the acrylic ink on the plate while I was cleaning up my mess so it dried some. Then added some Simply Art gold metallic acrylic paint to the plate.  After mixing the colors a little with a pan scraper I stamped a foam stamp into the paint. I love how this turned out.

I never cleaned the Gelli Plate while I was playing. I added Sapphire Simply Art metallic acrylic with a foam cosmetic wedge so it would look like waves. Then I took my stencil and placed over the wet paint and carefully lifted it up. Because the stencil is small I placed it twice so you can see the outline of the stencil. That is no big deal since I'm a card maker I'll be cutting this up anyway.  If you use a stencil don't let the paint dry on the stencil. I immediately placed it in a pan of soapy water. If you decide to use the stencil again you can always rinse it off and dry it with a towel. Of course if you use a stencil you make yourself with packaging plastic then you might not care whether you can use it again or not. Oh yes I'll be making stencils to use this technique with as well as use other stencils I already have.

And the last one I did this evening. I brushed with a bristle brush Pearl Simply Art metallic paint and also added more Sapphire. Then I placed pieces of lace I bought at a thrift store. Some of the lace someone had tried to dye and were not successful at it. You know me I'm frugal and usually don't throw things away.

There you have my DIY Gelli Plate play. It was really easy to clean my Gelli Plate with a couple of squirts of hand sanitizer and a paper towel. The hand sanitzer should also keep it from breaking down due to contaminants. I covered my tray the Gelli  Plate is in with plastic wrap. I read where someone said not to do that but others said they had no adverse effect using the wrap. Perhaps it has to do something with the composition of the commercial Gelli Plate. Later on I'll let know if the Vodka kept the plate from getting yucky outside of a refrigerator or if it cracks.

I can't wait to try some of my other paints and other things but my dogs were getting yellow eyes and I knew if I didn't stop and clean up that I would be up until the wee hours playing.

Wishing you Happy Frugal Crafting till we meet again!

Birthday Card

Hi! Have you missed me lately. Well didn't mean to stay away too long but I have been busy unpacking, organizing and decorating my new apartment.. I still don't have my playroom done in fact I have to crawl over boxes sometimes in order to get what I want and a lot of supplies are not unpacked yet. I have done some playing but this is the first card I've made since July. :-(

The other reason I have not been crafting is that the outdoors has been beckoning me. There is a park near by with all kinds of paved and unpaved trails to explore. There is a network of pedestrian trails that the dogs and I have been exploring. I know all too soon it will be Winter and then I will want to stay inside and craft.

Seems like a lot of people I know have birthdays in September. Of course we know what their parents were doing during the holidays. ;-) So I really need to get busy and make some birthday cards. To motivate me the Silhouette Store happened to have a free cupcake file. On Wednesday it will be available for their regular price. Here is the card I made with it.

The card base is from a Christmas kit file from the the Silhouette Store. I went ahead and filled the card base in with a pattern I already had on my computer. I love that I don't have to have loads of designer paper to create cards. Also I love since I can fill in just the shape I don't have to waste ink printing out a whole sheet.

The cupcake and candle were part of the free file. I un-grouped the file and filled in the cake part with yellow sand a free pattern that came with the software. Because things look different on my computer than printed I was not sure how it was going to print. It came out perfect. For the frosting I used the color option to color.. I un-grouped all the sprinkles and also filled those in with color. Then regrouped and told the software to not cut them out. On the Silhouette Blog a card was shown using vellum for the overlay. I liked that but alas I have no idea where my vellum is at the moment. However, in the scrap box I found a piece which was perfect size. :-) For the candle I decided to leave it white but went ahead and colored in the flame with a gel pen.

The sentiment shape was also part of the card kit. My dear friend Alice sent me a package full of all kinds of goodies. One of the things was some metal embossing folders. After playing with them I discovered I do have to use shims to get a crisper emboss. This was a folder that is part of a Birthday set.

Because they are metal I did not know how inking the folder was going to turn out. The first one I did I did not like as it was too blotchy and dark. I  thought I had wiped  all the ink off of both sides. However there was still some left. I like how soft it turned out with some flecks on the letters. I wanted the letters to show up better so I first chalked over them with yellow chalk. I didn't really like that and then spied my color pencils. I like this a lot better. I went ahead and took a silver gel pen to edge the shape.

Other than looking at the photo I see where I should have put the sentiment down just a little bit lower I like how this card turned out. I'm sure the recipient will like the card.  I'm sure also that Cameron my Cameo was happy to be working once again.

O.K. I'm off to see if I can make a faux Gelli plate for printing my own paper. I have made gelatin plates in the past but they take up space in the refrigerator and don't last longer than a couple of weeks When I used to make gelatin air fresheners I would put a swish of Vodka in them as a preservative. I did find a recipe using glycerin with the gelatin but I don't have any. If this works I will share the recipe. The Vodka could probably be replaced with rubbing alcohol. However, right now I don't have a bottle of that but do have Vodka.

Wishing you Happy Frugal Crafting till we meet again. Enjoy what is left of Summer!