Friday, April 24, 2015

Make a Gelli Printed Mini Art Journal

Looking for the GIVEAWAY?? Keep scrolling down after Gwen's post :)

Hi everyone, it's Gwen here today to share a fun little mini art journal that you can make with your stencils and the new Gelli Arts® Printing Plates- it works especially well with the new 4" and 6" round plates!

I've seen several examples of Gelli® printed journals floating around on the web, but I wanted to make one that incorporated a couple of different ideas I had, and I'm pretty excited about how it turned out!

To start, I made the inside pages; this is a sixteen page journal, and all of the pages are made from a single sheet of 18"x24" paper. You could do the same technique with different sizes of paper and it would just change the size of your final journal (this is also why I did the inside first - so I knew what size to make the covers!) I painted both sides of the paper - here you can see what they looked like:

I decided to do all warm colors on one side and all cool on the other so that when I put the whole thing together, they would alternate. You could change it up however you like!

Next, I pulled out all of my round Gelli® plates (I added my 8" to the 4" and 6" plates for this one) and started printing the backgrounds. I stuck with mainly warm on warm and cool on cool as I went through it.
On this side, here are the stencils I used:
Doodle It Dahlia by Maria McGuire
Merry Go Round by Terri Stegmiller
Fade Circle 6 by Michelle Ward
Namaste by Jessica Sporn

For the cool side, here are the stencils I used:
Quatrefoil 6 by Michelle Ward
River Rocks 6 by Mary Beth Shaw
Spider Flower by Terri Stegmiller
Elephant Parade by Nathalie Kalbach
A Rose by Any Other Name by Andrea Matus DeMeng

You can use as few or as many stencil designs as you'd like - I just kept grabbing them! I think it would be fun to use the same stencil with the three different sized Gelli® plates - you would get a different look with each size. These pages looked like a bit of a hot mess, but I knew that once they were cut down and incorporated into a book, it would look completely different.

Once my backgrounds were done and dried, I tore them into pages (I fold the paper and use a bone folder to crease, and then use the bone folder to tear the pages, but you could tear against a ruler, use an x-acto knife, scissors, or whatever works for you!) I first folded the page in half horizontally and tore so that I had two 18x12" pieces. Then I folded each of those in half so that I had four 9x12" pieces. Those are the 4 leaves of the book - I folded each of those in half to get ready to nest and then bind.

Next, I decided to make a cover. If you wanted to, you could skip this and just bind the pages. You could also make multiples of this little mini book and then bind them together as signatures in a larger book (I'm sure I'll do that at some point!)

For the cover, I just took one of the chipboard mailers I get from StencilGirl with my stencils in them and cut off the front piece and folded it in half. Voila! A quick and easy cover. (Just a quick tip... I save all of the chipboard mailers I get - they make great book covers! You can double them up to make them extra sturdy.) I stuck with my warm / cool approach and did what I decided would be the outside of the cover in warm colors. I gesso'd and painted the background and then Gelli® printed on top using more stencils.
For front cover I used:
Spider Flower by Terri Stegmiller
Crop Circles by Mary Beth Shaw
Urban Insiders Circle by Seth Apter

Since it was the outside, I added some dimensional paints to jazz it up a bit.

I did the inside in cool colors since the front and back pages of the text block were warm and I wanted to continue the contrast.
There was an accidental hot pink printing of Spider Flower by Terri Stegmiller, but I kind of liked it! Then I added:
Doodle It Layered Circles and Squares by Maria McGuire
Doodle It Tornado Flowers by Maria McGuire
Quatrefoil Set by Michelle Ward

On this part, I did a little experimenting. Years ago, there was a trend in stamping called palette stamping. I'd been wondering if I could use a twist that with a gelli plate. And you know what? It kind of worked! I brayered paint all over my gelli plate, then I took a rubber stamp and stamped into the plate to remove paint (with palette stamping you could also ink your stamp and use it to add a color on top of your "palette.") I stamped off the paint in another journal, then printed with the plate through a stencil - hopefully you can see below how it worked - I liked the texture it added!
I'm definitely going to keep playing with this idea and see where it goes.

With that, my book was done! I poked 4 holes through the pages and spine (about 2" apart) and then just bound it up with some waxed linen thread and it was ready to go! Here you can see all of the inside pages:

Now I can go through and stamp, collage, draw, write on the pages... whatever I want! I had lots of fun making this mini art journal, and I hope you enjoyed it as well!

Until next time!


  1. Fabulous, love these colourful pages and a agreat idea too!

  2. Oh Gwen, it is fantastic. Love the colors and every page. Thank you wor sharing.

  3. fantastic pages and project. Love the stencils and the new sizes of Gelli plates.

  4. Gorgeous! I've never worked with a masterboard that size, but I love the idea of making it into a journal.

  5. You are a ROCK STAR artist, Gwen!
    I think we should all meet up in Chicago and art journal together!! :)

    1. Thanks Mary... and we totally should! And grab Maria too!

  6. Gwen, that's a piece of art all on it's own! I'd never be able to do anything else in it.
    I really enjoyed this and learned A LOT! Thanks!

  7. What a great journal Gwen. And no doubt you had a lot of fun with that Gelli plate!

  8. Absolutely beautiful! Thanks for the directions and inspiration. jmackugler (at) gmail (dot com)

  9. Thank you so much everyone for your comments! It's much appreciated :)

  10. I want to try your Pallette stamping technique...bea

    Bsavellano at gmail dot com

  11. for the giveaway, which may be over, I will try anyway.choateannie (at) gmail (dot com).

  12. Thank you for sharing your Beautiful art journal tutorial!! It looks like you had fun creating it ! I am inspired now to try it today!

  13. Fantastic! I love how the painted pages are just kind of, nice. Then you stencil on them and they are WOW!

  14. Wow! I just bought a Gelli Plate, so will probably use this project! Please also consider me for your giveaway.

  15. Gorgeous are gifted! I just ordered a 4" gelli to add to my 8X10 plate and would love to win your giveaway!

  16. Love the journal. ready to make mine but I have to have ALL the round gelli plates NOW

  17. Love your work and the way you work with color. Keep up the perfexr work!

  18. remarkably generous tutorial. I just finished a class today on gelli plates. I can't wait to try this. thanks for all the great ideas!!!!!

  19. Absolutely LOVE it !! Great colours too

  20. Great idea covering pages with solid shapes for background...have lots of paint I need to use up. What a great way to do that and fun besides..mraz

  21. Another Picasso, great work and talent, hope you are still giving a-way because
    October is my birthday month, thanks.

    1. e-mail for MeSudah Ummah Fred Kornegay ………


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