Making Your Own Gel Plate, Do’s and Don’t.

Hello
Again I’d like to talk about the gel plates I made, I’ve made a few mistakes and found out a few more things that I thought might be helpful for other people.

I have changed the recipe drastically since I first made the plates, thanks to a friend who shared her recipe with me:
for 1 cup (250ml) of water use 3 packages (21 gram) gelatin.
That’s it, very simple, one thing though, it has to be stored in the fridge, otherwise it will go bad, and yes it does.
For the fun of it, I kept it out the fridge to see how long it would last, it only lasted 1 1/2 week.
About storing in the fridge, most fridges have a small space under the vegetable drawers which is perfect for storing a gel plate.
You do need to place the gel plate on a smooth surface like plexiglass, or, I get clear cutting boards from the dollar tree, where one side is smooth and the other side is a bit rough, these cutting boards are ideal for this!


So that kept me thinking about all the gel plates I made.
First, too much gelatin and second, way to much glycerin.
I remelted all the gel plates I had made and added it’s own weight in water and sometimes even more. And that did it, they work great!

When I now make gel plates, I only add a small portion of glycerin just so I can store the plate outside the fridge.
My recipe is as follows:
1 cup (250ml) water
1/4 cup (60ml) glycerin
4 packages (28gr) gelatin.
I have made this recipe a few weeks ago, and my plates are still good.

Edit February 1:
I have a bit of mold showing now, so I’m going to add a bit more glycerin.
New recipe:
1 cup (250ml) water
1/3 cup (75ml) to 1/2 cup (125ml) of glycerin
4 packages (28gr) gelatin.
One of the plates I made with the first recipe is still good, but it is on my table and used on a regular bases. I think that might be a factor that it is still good.

Another thing that people will tell you is that when making a gel plate you need a container with a smooth bottom, as the bottom of the gel plate is used to make the prints.
This is true, but then the options are limited of what container you can use, I used a new baking pan that is 9″ by 13″ (23cm by 33cm) that gives me an 8″ by 12″ (20cm by 30cm) printing surface.
I wanted a few more options, like smaller rectangles and circles.

So, I tried using any container, I used a mason jar lid and I have these nice boxes from stamping up that used to hold stamps, and poured a gel plate, because the bottom is not smooth, my idea was to use the top.

When I now make the gel, I pour the glycerin and the water in my pan.
Sprinkle the gelatin on top and wait a bit so the gelatin can be absorbed by the liquid.
I use the stove top for this, I heat it up slowly and stir gently till the liquid becomes clear, you do need to watch those bubbles and pop any that come along.
As for the very small bubbles, move them to the edge and try to take them out of the pan. It is okay if some remain, we’ll get to that later.
The thing with the top part of the gel plate is, when pouring the gel, those small bubbles might stay on the surface.

A side note on letting the gel harden, I cover the container after about 1 hour, not sooner as I might get condensation.
If the container is not covered, the gel plate might dry out a bit, I have more on this later in this post.

My solution was to wait till the gel hardens, this will take about 3 – 4 hours, take it out of the mold and then I put the gel back in the pan and slowly melt the gel again.
Then pouring it back in it’s container. Usually most of the small bubbles were gone. If some are still there, I will move them to the perimeter.

That’s the other thing with using the top part of the gel plate, when liquid is poured into something, it usually hugs the wall of the container, making it a bit concave at the edge.
When the gel plate is hardened I will take a scissor to it and cut that edge off, this way the bubbles are taking care off and the plate is now smooth.

The top might not be totally smooth, but you won’t see that in the final print.
When you want to release the gel from it’s container, you gently push in the edge all around and then you can carefully peel it from the edge.
The first picture below shows the texture at the top of the plate, Misty was curious what this was and stuck her nose right to it!

The other thing I came to realize was that my gel plates were stored in a box, water content in the gel plates evaporated, so the plates became sticky.
Now I store the plates under cling wrap or cellophane.
I also cover the plate with cellophane when I leave the studio.
But, if I think the plates don’t work as well anymore as they should, I don’t hesitate to melt them and make a new one, I will add water to it again, because I think that is a big factor in the success of gel printing, enough moisture in the gel plate.

I hope this helps to encourage you to make your own gel plates, it’s a fun technique to do.
Some of the things I do with my gel prints is, I use them as backgrounds for cards, for collaging on art pages, and recently I saw how to make a book out of a stack of papers, I will be doing that also and maybe show my result in a future post.

Talk later,
Geesje





Printing on my home made gel plate

I printed on my home made gel plate to see how it behaves vs the commercial gel plates.
There is definitely a difference between the two. My plate seems to be drier.
I still had fun creating a few gel prints that I will be using in projects, mostly for making cards and on collages.

I had made some background first, then it was time to play with stencils, place stencil on top of new paint and place paper on top, rub firmly and check if the paint transferred to the paper, remove the paper, now add another paper to the plate to get the negative of the first print. Both prints are very usable.

I got a bit addicted to gel printing, and made a ton of papers.
I’ll have more info in a next blog
For now
Geesje

Making Gelli Plates

So, here I am again, I’m a bit behind in keeping up with the uploading of my videos, so today I managed to do two blog posts.
Well, I wouldn’t call them blog posts as I merely explain what I do in the video, but hey, this way it is recorded on the net!

I love playing with my gelli plates from Gelli Arts. They can be a bit pricey, so I was happy to see them on sale and bought a few.
But a few years ago I had bought the supplies to make my own but never got around to making it as I had bought the commercial ones.
So the other day I decided to give it a go and make a few.

Here is the original recipe I used which I have to say, I changed later on as I was not happy with the result.
I made a total of 1 1/2 cup of gelatin for the gelli plates:
3/4 cup of glycerin
3/4 cup of boiled water
4 packages of gelatin

New recipe per cup, so you can make as many cups as you want:
1/2 cup of glycerin
1/2 cup of boiled water
5 packages of gelatin
Yes, 5 packages of gelatin for 1 cup of combined liquid, I even tried 6 packages, but so far I can’t see the difference between the 5 and 6 packages of gelatin, so I don’t think that matters al that much.

How it’s done:
Pour the glycerin in a container and sprinkle the gelatin on top, stirring gently as you go.
You will see me say gently a lot, as we don’t want air bubbles, so gently is the way to go.
In the mean time we can bring the water to a boil.
Add the water to the glycerin/gelatin mixture carefully to avoid creating bubbles, and stir gently.

Add everything to a pan, again, pour gently, I used a spoon to catch the stream of liquid before it hits the bottom of the pan, thus avoiding bubbles, and bring to a heat.
Stir and heat until the mixture is somewhat clear, this can take up to 20 – 30 minutes.
When it is ready I poured it into a variety of glasses and cups.

Place the containers on a flat and level surface and let this cool and set completely. This can take up to 3 – 4 hours.
It’s the bottom of the containers that are going to be used as the printing surface.
So it is not a big deal if the top gets a bit damaged when the gelli plate is being extracted from its containers.

The gelli plates need to be stored on a flat and non porous surface.
They don’t need to be stored in the fridge, I have them out for a few weeks already and they are just fine.
Here you see my collection of round gelli plates on a piece of plexiglass, on the bottom is a bigger gelli plate that sits on a cutting mat that I bought at a dollar store.

You might want to wait a few days with using the gelli plate until it has air dried a bit more.
I do find the home made gelli plate stickier than the commercial one, I’m not sure if that goes away in the long run.

I’ve made 2 videos about the making and later the melting and remaking of the gelli plates.

If you have any questions you can leave them in the comments below the video on YouTube.
Thank you for watching.
Till next time.
Geesje.

Printing on Tissue paper

Hello everyone, today I’ll talk you through the process of printing any design on white tissue paper.
You only need a few supplies:
Tissue paper, of course :):) I got mine from gifts that I had saved, but you can get this very cheaply at the dollar store.
Freezer paper, you will find this at your local grocery store.


Iron, a regular household iron will work perfectly fine.
Printer, I have an inkjet printer, but you can also use a laser printer.
Any design you like to print, if it is from your own photographs, or downloaded from a copyright free website, I got my images from Pixabay.com.

First you need to cut the freezer paper to size. This roll of freezer paper is 18″ wide by 50′ long. The most economically way to cut this with a minimum of waste is to cut 11″ off the roll and then cut 2 pieces of 8 1/2″ wide from this piece of paper, you will be left with a 1″ wide strip.

Freezer paper has a dull and a shiny side, the shiny side is the side that we are going to use.
New freezer paper is quite sticky, if we would apply the shiny side of the freezer paper to our tissue paper, we would not get the tissue paper off the freezer paper, the tissue paper would tear and that is not what we want to see.
So before we are going to iron this to the tissue paper, find an old sheet or other piece of 100% cotton fabric and iron the shiny side of the freezer paper to it, peel it back off and maybe do this again so most of the stickiness has been removed.
Don’t worry, there is enough stickiness left that the tissue paper will adhere to.

Also give the tissue paper a nice press so the tissue paper is as smooth as you can get it.
Again, don’t worry if some of the wrinkles are still there, it will not be very noticeable.

Place the freezer paper with the shiny side up and place your tissue paper on top, make sure you cover the whole freezer paper, one of the reason why we are not yet trimming our tissue paper the size of our freezer paper.
Iron the tissue paper to the freezer paper, try not to get the iron touch the shiny side, it will stick to your iron and create a mess to the underside of your iron.
Iron lightly, use a low to medium heat setting, make sure to iron the whole paper.
Let this cool before you handle it.
I mark the freezer paper side, once the tissue paper is trimmed to size it is sometimes hard to see which is the freezer paper or which is the tissue paper, this way I know I’m printing on the tissue paper side.

Sometimes the edge of the tissue paper has not been adhered properly and this may cause problems when printing.
Make sure the edges are secured, otherwise the tissue paper might get caught in the printer, or as in my case, smear a bit of ink in places I don’t want to.

Now it is time to get some images, as I mentioned above, there are plenty of websites where you can get copyright free images that you can use, or use your own photographs.

After I have my image, I will copy that in a word document, A word document prints out exactly the size of a sheet of paper, this way I know the images will print properly.
The first picture shows the image the size of the whole sheet in landscape mode. In the second picture you can see I pasted the image twice in the portrait mode. I like the fact I can copy the images as often as I want, creating my very own layouts.
Another reason I like this technique is that I can use this printed tissue paper instead of paper napkins to be collages on whatever I want to use them for.

After you have printed on the tissue paper, and the ink has dried, you can proceed to remove the tissue from the freezer paper. Go very slowly, if you think it is stuck, move to another area and slowly work your way to the other side until all the tissue paper has been removed.
One last step before you can use the tissue paper, we need to heat set the ink, use your iron on the hottest and no steam setting. Very slowly iron the entire paper.
You can skip this step if you have a laser printer.

As always I made a video of the process, I hope you are going to watch it.

If you have any questions you can leave them in the comments below the video on YouTube.
Thank you for watching
Till next time
Geesje

Envelope Recipe Book

For a while now, I had wanted to make a recipe book out of envelopes, and I don’t even like to cook!
But I had seen something like this and thought to give it a go. In the end I made 4, one for me and three to give away.
The orange is for me and is the prototype, I did have to make some adjustments. The video shows the making of the blue one.

It is a too long of a process to explain everything here, so I invite you to watch the videos.

Thank you for watching
Till next time
Geesje

Dying paper with Acrylic Paint

Did you know you can dye paper, and for that matter fabric with acrylic paint?
I do it all the time.

I forgot to take pictures, so I took a few screen shots.

First I add a bit of acrylic paint to a bit of water so the paint and water get mixed real well, like making a paste. Add a bit more water so it is more fluid.

Sometimes I will add a bit of shimmer by mixing in a bit of metallic paint. The metallic paint I have here is from The Home Depot, a good deal for the amount of paint you get.

I then pour this in a baking pan, I don’t bake anyway, 😀. Add water till you get the shade you want, if it is too light, add more paint and if it is too dark you just add a bit more water. Stir this till it is all mixed together.

I add regular copy paper to the dye bath, leaving it in just long enough for it to pick up the paint.
On a side note, adding acrylic paint to paper makes the paper stiffer/thicker, acrylic paint is in the end just a plastic.

A video is available to watch the process.

Thank you for watching
Till next time
Geesje

Making a Card with Embossed Background

Todays project is making this card that I mailed out to family and friends around Christmas time of 2020. Click on the pictures to get a better look.

First I dye cardstock with acrylic paint, I pre-mix the paint in a small container, the three blues you see here, plus a bit of champagne coloured metallic paint, then I add a bit of water to dissolve the paint before I pour this in my baking pan which holds already 2 cups of water, stirring often so the paint get thoroughly mixed.
I keep a paint brush nearby to agitate the paint during dyeing, the metallic paint wants to settle at the bottom and needs to keep moving. My drying board can hold 2 pieces of paper, so I submerge two sheets of cardstock at a time.
At the start of the dyeing process I might still find the odd paint blob on the paper, but that can easily be removed. I found that one sheet at a time, submerge in the bath and removing it promptly gives a nice result.
After the paper has dried I iron it with steam to flatten the paper and to get a bit of moisture back in the paper, I then place this under a heavy book to flatten more. There will always be a few wrinkles left, but I find that insignificant and life with it. I do like the unpredictability of the patterns in the dyed papers.
The cardstock is then cut in half to make 2 cards, 5.5″ by 4.25″ when folded in half.

Next step is making the background, embossing a book page. I have tried a few different book pages, anywhere from old to new, and found the older book pages cracking the embossed pattern as those pages are brittle to begin with.
I use a CuttleBug embossing machine to crank the embossing folder through. You can find lots of information on this machine online.
I will then gently rub an inkpad over the embossed pattern, I use multiple coloured inkpads to get the look I want. I also use a scrap piece of paper to protect my work surface, so I won’t get ink all over it.

This method uses more ink than usual so I have a spray bottle handy with a solution of a bit of glycerine and the rest water to spray the inkpad when dry, this will reactivate the ink, you will need to let it sit for a while for the inkpad to soak up the glycerine solution.

I then cut the background to size in this case: 5″ by 3.75″ so it fit nicely on the card with just a bit of border showing.

I will then add a strip of something to the left side of the background, either fabric, paper or burlap which will be temporarily glued in place so I can sew around the edge. You can just glue it in place, I just like to use stitching in my project.

Adding an embellishment from my stash of clusters I made a while ago, I use Aleen’s tacky glue to adhere it to the background, I find this glue to be very good in gluing paper and fabric.

I have printed some sentiments onto heavy cardstock which I cut apart using a scalloped scissor.
I have painted backgrounds for this using metallic acrylics on cardstock, this way I have a few different colour options to play with when adding the sentiments.

You can watch the video below to see me make this cards as wel as more information.

Thank you for watching
Till next time
Geesje

Organizing Lace and Ribbons and such.

It was time to organize the two bins of lace and ribbons I had as I could never oversee what I have when I wanted something for a project.

I looked online for ideas but in the end settled on a solution that suited my space.

I use tissue boxes a lot as storage for cards and envelopes as well as pockets for future journals and more.
So this is my choice for storing my laces.
First I prepare the box, remove the plastic, cut in the top to each corner so the top can be folded in and glued for more stability.
I then selected some light cardboard to wind the lace on.
The next step is optional, if you don’t mind the look of cardboard. I pretty them up by gluing wrapping paper to both sides, I use a 60/40 glue/water ratio using Aleene’s tacky glue. Removing excess paper from all sides after it had dried.

Using an exacto knife I then remove 1/2″ by 3″ slots to accommodate the lace.

Next I wind every lace and ribbon onto the cards and secure them with quilting pins that are not likely to rust.
I ended up with 4 boxes full of lace, ribbons and fabric strips and I can see what I have when I need some for a project. I’m very happy with this!!

A video of how I organized this can be seen below.

Thank you for watching
Till next time
Geesje

Journaling card

I’m in the process of making another journal and I’d like to include a few journaling cards, those are basically cards with a nice picture on the front and where you can write on the back. What we need:

1 – thin chipboard from a cracker box, junk mail or heavy card stock as the base.
2 – old book pages that are discoloured, you can always pour coffee on it to make it look old.
3 – tracing paper, as frosty as you can get, the one in the photo is from our local dollar store and works great as it is not too see through, but enough to do the trick.

4 – images, I get them from various magazines.
5 – small embellishments like a stamp, die cut, leaf or a postage stamp ect…

I cut the chipboard to the size of the image and glue this to my book page.
Then I apply the tracing paper and give it a good burnish with my brayer.

Trim the book page and tracing paper and glue the image to the other side.

Select one of the embellishment and glue this in a bottom corner.

Last I would add lines to the back side of the journaling card.

A video of the making of this journaling card can be seen below:

Thank you for watching
Till next time
Geesje

Dried Leaf encased in journal page

I have dried some flowers and leaves this last fall and decided to add it to a journal page.


I store the dried leaves and flowers between a folded piece of wax paper, insert in a ziplocked bag and place this between pages of a book to store them out of the air and flat.

I use some sort of light but sturdy plastic I had saved from a package of stickers. After measuring the leaf I cut two layers a bit larger than the leaf.
I then measure it so I can cut a hole in my page.

I select the two pages I want to use for this, glue close to the spine/fold of one of the pages to put them together so they won’t shift when I cut the hole for the leaf.

Once the hole is cut I carefully slide the plastic containing the leaf between the two pages until it is positioned where I want it.

I bring this to the sewing machine and sew very close to the edge of the paper to secure the leaf. I glue the rest of the page closed.

If you are interested, please watch the YouTube video how I go about making this.

Thank you for watching
Till next time
Geesje

Three Pocket Unit

A three pocket unit I made from one long strip of paper using book pages.
First I cut 3 book pages to 3″ wide and cut the empty space off the bottom.

Next I’ll glue the bottom of the first strip to the top of the second strip overlapping so the text block meets. Repeat with the third strip.
Fold about 1/2″ from the bottom of the page over to the back, this will be the top of the unit. I like to have the script upside down. If you prefer to have the script right side up, cut the empty space off the top and fold over 1/2″.

I’ll fold accordion like, starting at 4 1/2″, see photo on the right.

Fold the strip up and crease. Now fold the strip down but leave about 1 1/2″ from the top to form the first pocket and crease.


Fold the strip back up about 1/4 inch below the bottom fold and crease. Again fold the strip about 1 1/2″ down from the first pocket to create the second pocket and crease.

Bring the strip down and up to make the last pocket, make that fold 1/4″ below the bottom of the second pocket which is 5″ from the top and crease, bring the strip up about 1 1/2″ and fold back down.

Trim the strip at the bottom of the unit, although I didn’t do that in the video.
Next add some trim to the top of each pocket and glue in place.

Last I sew around the perimeter of the unit, I will have placed a quarter folded piece of paper in each pocket to make access to the pocket easier.

If you are interested, please watch the YouTube video of the making of this pocket unit.

Thank you for watching
Till next time
Geesje

Small junk journal made to fit my purse

When people ask what my interest is, I often reply by saying: well, among other things, quilting, sewing and making junk journals.
Then there is a bit of silence before they ask the question: what is that, a junk journal?
I always had a hard time explaining what it is, so I made this little journal to fit in my purse, so I can show them what a junk journal actually is.
Next you will see most of the pages that I included in this mostly for show journal.

Pockets along the bottom with a tag made from scrap strips that are woven together to make a new tag or bookmark. I usually include a calendar page.

A Tim Hortons bag is used as a pocket, in it I had collaged a doily with a paper napkin to be made into a pocket as well. On the side you can see the penholder which is paperclipped to the page.

I also like to sew a piece of torn fabric along the edge of some of the pages. And an old bias binding wrapper made into a small booklet.

This coffee dyed paper turned out really neat with the gridded pattern, it was laid to dry on on of those mats we stand on when there is a hard surface like the basement. I also include a piece of a map which goes in the centre.

On the right you see one of the many different pockets one can make from book pages.

The blue paper is the first digital collage I did, I hope to do more. I added a coin envelope in the back pocket.

If you are interested, please watch the YouTube video of the flip through of this journal.

Thank you for watching
Till next time
Geesje

Scalloped Circle Wound with Thread, an Embellishment

I saw this cute little embellishment on someones craft table and had to make some myself.  They are simple to make, but you need a scalloped hole punch.  I find I use this punch the most in my crafts.
You also need some yarn or embroidery floss or the like.  Some cardstock, glue, scotch tape and scissors.

You need two punched circles, one pretty one, it’s best to not use a multi coloured paper, stick to one colour or monochromatic coloured paper, as in, variations of one colour.
The second one is used to back the pretty one to make it sturdy.  Glue the two together.

Tape the end of the embroidery floss to the back of the circle with scotch tape.  Start wrapping the yarn around the circle, always the same amount of scallops apart.
When you have come back to the beginning, tape the end also to the back of the circle and you’re done!!

You can watch the video here:

Thank you for watching
Till next time
Geesje

Start to Finish Junk Journal, Travelers Notebook. Part 5 and 6, Covers.

I’m way behind with my posts, so I hope to catch up today.
The next two videos cover the making of the cover of the notebook insert I’m making to go in the Travelers Notebook.
I’m selecting cardstock material for the cover, that can be anything sturdy, like designer paper, wall paper, giftbag or the like.

blog 5 - 6 cover (2)I’m choosing a Gelli print on sturdy paper and a coffee dyed piece of cardstock for the cover.
You want two pieces, one pretty one for the outside, and the coffee dyed one will hold the pages.
I’m going to use cheesecloth stamp to mute the red colour of my paper, and I did a bit of embossing with powder and heat tool.

I sewed the pages to the cardstock which is the inside cover, I then sewed the two covers together, please watch the videos for all the details.

Part 5:

Part 6:

Thank you for watching
Till next time
Geesje

 

Start to Finish Junk Journal, Travelers Notebook. Part 3 and 4, Making and Sewing the Pockets.

Part 3 and 4 are all about the pockets.  Selecting paper for the pockets, what works and what doesn’t.
Initially I had thought that cardstock like material would be a good paper to make pockets out of, nice and sturdy, right?  Sure it is, but it is much thicker than regular paper, even when that paper is doubled up for strength, it is still a better choice than the cardstock.

So I went with papers from my collection.  I used a folded in half book page for the pockets on both sides of the first page in the journal.

A while ago I thought it was neat to dye papers and crumple them up when wet, unfolding and then letting them dry.  Yes they give a nice texture, but completely useless as journal material as you can hardly write on it.  So I cut some 2″ strips for the pockets.  I folded a 1/2″ over along the top edge to give it a sturdy feel.
As I am going to sew the pockets to the pages,  I also sewed a decorative zig-zag along that edge to keep the edge folded and for decoration as well.

I also love making these double pockets, handy for smaller things.  I used gelli prints for this, (maybe I’ll tackle that in a future video?) because they are nice, and with the added paint to the paper makes them a bit thicker as well.

Of course I had to add a Tim Hortons paper bag to the journal.  I added a piece of paper to both sides of the opening as it was a bit flimsy, and the bottom of the bag was cut so I have another pocket on the other side of the bag as well.

The calendar page got a small pocket in the corner as I didn’t want to use up a lot of the image.  This pocket is just a square piece of book page that I folded on the diagonal.
You can watch the video how I go about it here or on You Tube.
Please consider subscribing, give a thumbs up and leave a comment, thank you!

Part 3:

Part 4:

Thank you for watching
Till next time
Geesje