DIY Gelli Tools (Fast & Frugal!)

Howdy friends! I am back home slowly getting back in the groove so bear with me:) I had a chance to play with my gelli plates before leaving for Denver and I was inspired to make some cheap tools to create with, I liked them so much I decided to share them with you so you can save some cash too!


Watch the video to see how!

I got the double ended silicone spatulas at Dollar tree, the single ended “art spatulas” are $7-$20 retail, holy smokes! You can make them for a tiny fraction of the price!

You can also get the funky combs in a  1o pack for a dollar and the fun foam at the dollar store too!

Cut fun foam or cracker boxes with fancy edge scrapbook scissors to make texture combs too! *Thanks UK MaryAnne for that, check out her blog here, it is so good!

Use embossing folders and junk cardstock (Junk mail postcards work great!)to make impression plates for printmaking.

Foam “bath blocks” are great to making designs on the gelli plate and you can even heat up the blocks [with a heat gun] and press them on things to make custom stamps!

All the foam stamps you already have are great for this too!

Save waste paper from die cuts and punches for cool stencils.

Regular Gelli Arts plate vs. Student Gelli Arts plate

The regular Gelli Arts soft printing plate is much thicker and comes in more sizes.

The student gelli arts plate is 5″x5″ and about half as thick as the regular version but using it is pretty much the same and you can use a coupon on them at ACmoore and I think you can order the student plates in bulk online. At ACmoore the retail for the student plate was $20 and I paid $8.50 after my coupon and teacher discount. Totally worth it.

You can always make your own too with unflavored gelatin to see if you like it before investing. I have recipes for a disposable and permanent plate below, the homemade ones are more fragile BUT you can chop it up and re-melt it if you need or want to.

More info:
Homemade gelatin printing plate recipes:
Permanent (see recipe in description)
More printmaking tutorials
Have fun and happy crafting!



14 Responses

  1. If I don’t have stencils I wonder if structured wallpaper scraps or structured cardboard packaging (like for perfume etc.) would work too, or won’t the pattern come out distinct enough?
    I also wonder if crinkled up paper or cling film would work the same way you can create structures in watercolors. I like the idea of being able to try out gelatin plates without having to buy a lot of tools along with it. Would I be able to use objects like the eraser on a pencil or blocks to stamp dots or letters onto the gelatin plate or will that ruin it eventually?


  2. Lindsey, I use the plastic “credit cards” that come in the mail to make fancy edge scrapers. Besides hand cutting them, I use an edge punch to make a fancy edge. Best of all, the price is right. $0!


  3. Hi, Lindsay! It’s Masha here. Can u pls tell me where can I get a cheap resin? I got into a silicone molding and find out that I can not afford the resin from the store. Much appreciation and love for u! Masha


  4. WOW….your embossing folder made a GORGEOUS background print Lindsay! Thanks for the tip!!!!!
    Paper Hugs,


  5. Excellent ideas, Lindsay – I love the idea of making combs from the spatulas – definitely something to look out for. I haven’t started gelli printing yet but it’s on my “to do” list and I’m planning to make my own permanent plate. As for cleaning up, I keep a selection of pieces of kitchen paper which I use for different colours, and once they are sufficiently covered, they can be used in different projects, laying them down with gel medium. Because the kitchen paper is 2-ply you get double for your money too because you can separate the pieces if they are not too stuck together!



  6. I’ve not used or checked out Gelli Plates yet, but wonder if they are made from the same ingredients as gelatin, in which case they won’t be vegetarian friendly?…


  7. Great ideas! I love the Dollar Tree spatulas for Gelli printing textures. And I have a crapload of embossing folders. Thanks for sharing!


  8. Hi Lindsay , great demo … fancy goldfish
    Where is a picture such as the goldfish ?
    Can I get the picture or photo
    I can’t remember the “site” you told us about to access photos
    Thank you .
    You teaching videos are straight to the point
    No music or boring intros , or silly over the top graphics ( like a Star Wars movie )ğŸ˜ŽğŸ˜ŽğŸ˜ŽğŸŒ´ğŸŒ´ğŸŒ´ğŸŒ´


  9. Hey Lindsay…I was watching one of your old tutorials and you were talking about getting new glasses. There is an awesome website called Zenni optical.really fun glasses and super cheap. You just need a prescription. Check it out…


  10. Just made my gelli plate; can’t wait to try. Fabulous video. Thanks for sharing


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