Gelli Printed + Stenciled Mail Art Envelopes
By Martice Smith II
Hi everyone! Martice Smith here, sharing a quick project on how you can give new life to those dry, drabby piles of gelli prints you’ve been holding onto for months.
If you have a stash of prints like I do, but don’t know what to do with ‘em, you’re in for a treat! I’ll be showing you how I create these super colorful and bold mail art envelopes that I love to surprise my friends with. Gather a pile of your favorite, abandoned prints, a handful of stencils and let’s get started!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Urban Insiders Star Stencil by Seth Apter
Supplies + Tools:
- Gelli plate + brayer, optional
- We R Memory Keepers 1-2-3 Punch Board
- We R Memory Keepers Trim and Score Board
- Double-sided Tape
- Acrylic paints
- Black gesso
- Palette knife
- Gold paint marker
- Paper towels + container of water
- Corner rounder punch, optional
STEP 1 // Gather monoprints
I gathered a bunch of my old prints I created during one of my printmaking demonstrations.
There are several prints of various sizes: some are the size of standard copy paper, some are 12”x12”, and others are oddball sizes, like 2 ½”x7”. All sizes were perfect for this project!
I never knew exactly what I wanted to make out of them - I just knew I couldn’t bring myself to throwing them away! (I’m sure you understand me on this, am I right? LOL!)
TIP: If you don’t like the colors or patterns on your prints, try painting on a solid color then add some doodling or stenciling on top.
STEP 2 // Trim the prints
Using the Trim and Score board, I trimmed a couple of prints to start my envelopes.
STEP 3 // Make the envelopes
Next, I used the 1-2-3 Punch Board to score lines and round the corners of my envelopes. I just love how this little device can do so much!
STEP 4 // Stencil the envelopes with black gesso
If you know me, you’ll know that I’m a BiG fan of bold, vibrant colors, textures, and patterns! You may be familiar with white gesso, already, but have you ever experimented with black gesso? Oh.my.goodness! Scrape some of that good ol’ black gesso through your stencils...you’ll love it - especially if dramatic, unexpected patterns are your thing.
Important! Wipe off your stencils after using gesso. It can be a pain to scrape off if let on too long. Also, it puts those smaller shapes of the stencil at risk of becoming removed or bent out of shape.
Optional: Is black gesso too strong of a contrast for ya? Use white gesso instead! You can even change the color by tinting the gesso with a drop of fluid acrylic paint. Mix it in thoroughly!
STEP 5 // Doodle the envelopes
After the gesso is dry to the touch, start embellishing the envelopes with doodles. The great thing about using gesso instead of modeling paste is that you can layer more paint and/or write on top of it much easier!
Anything goes...Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Doodle your heart out! Get intricate details by using a fine liner applicator bottle filled with acrylic paint color of your choice
- Trace over some of the stenciling with a gold paint marker (if it’s a water-based marker, you might want to seal with a spray varnish to prevent smudges while you’re applying wet media.)
- Scribble a secret message in a graffiti handwriting style (like I did!) and see if your friends can find some of your words.
STEP 6 // Fold and secure envelopes
I have to admit: this step was such a breeze! Use a bone folder to get crisp edges, secure with a dab of double-sided tape and they’re ready to gift to your lucky art homies.
Thank you for visiting us today! I hope you enjoy making your very own, gelli printed and stenciled mail art.
Share your projects with us!
Tag @stencilgirl_products or use the hashtag #stencilgirl
To learn more about Martice and her mixed media art tutorials, please visit her website or follow the inspiration trail on her Instagram @MarticeSmithArt.