Last week I shared a speedy quick little video of a print that I made on the Gel Press
. (If you missed it, it's below!) I wasn't sure whether anyone would think it was cool or interesting. But apparently people did! (Yay!) And I promised I would share the card I made with the print - plus, you get a bonus because I made TWO cards with that print! Ready to check them out and talk about printmaking with the Gel Press for a few minutes?
To many crafters, the Gel Press is a little intimidating at first - I'll admit, I was one of those people! I knew I could use acrylic paint on it, but I wasn't sure about all that MESS. The Gel Press IS really fun to use with acrylic paint, but there are so many other options too! (And most of them are not too terribly messy either!) For today's print, I used FSJ's Re-Inkers.
Why don't you take a second to watch this QUICK video, and then I'll walk you through the steps below.
To begin, I dotted three rows of Re-Inkers across the Gel Press: Turbo Teal, Pool Play, and then Limeade Splash. I knew those colors would blend nicely together - which brings us to the first Gel Press Tip.
Tip 1: Don't add colors near each other that won't blend together nicely or you'll have a muddy mess. Whether you're using paint, Re-Inkers, or Liquid Colors this same rule applies. If you put green and red next to each other, there's a good chance you'll end up with an ugly brown, if you blend too much.
After applying those dots of color, I used a brayer and blended them out until they filled most of the Gel Press. Generally, it won't take as much color as you think - and you can always add more if needed, so how about we say that's our next tip?TIP 2: Less is more! Start with less color than more. You can always add more, but it's tough to take it away!
After the color was blended and filled the press, I splattered Sparkle Silk
. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know this is my GO-TO Gel Press technique. I absolutely love the way the Sparkle Silk allows spots of the white cardstock to show through, as well as adds a little shimmer. It's subtle, but adds the perfect amount of interest. Is that a tip? Sure!TIP 3: ALWAYS ADD SPARKLE SILK! (Seriously, you don't HAVE to....but you should.)
After the Sparkle Silk, I pulled a print on Whip Cream cardstock. What does that mean? "Pull a print,"?
It simply means - lay your cardstock down on top of all that inky goodness, smooth over it gently with your hands to pick up all that good color, and then literally pull the cardstock back up, starting from one corner. Guess what? You've just pulled your first print. YAY! But we aren't done there.
After that, I placed the Polka Dot Wall stencil onto the Gel Press. (No, I didn't clean the Gel Press before doing this.) Then I dotted the same three colors of Re-Inker in the same order, onto the opened spaces of the stencil. I brayered right on top, to cover those dots with color and then carefully removed the stencil. Next, I pulled another print right on top of my first. Ta-dah! And NOW we're done. Then I proceeded to make today's two cards.
For the first card, I heat embossed the poinsettia and let that bold image and that fun colorful background just be happy together. I added a sentiment on vellum, some Sparkle Tape, and a few rhinestones. For the second card, I die cut some snowflakes, and added Sparkle Tape and enamel dots. (Plus a splatter of Black Silk.) I love that the Gel Press prints really are the stars of the show on these cards, just enhanced by some simple stamping and die cutting. And you could use a print like this ALL YEAR LONG for any type of card. I'm excited to make some more, trying different color combinations!
Before you go, I have one more TIP for you, about the Gel Press.
TIP 4: Don't clean it too much. I know that sounds crazy, but if you can pull most of the color off by pulling prints on some scrap paper - do that. If you're completely changing colors, and you want it totally clean, wipe it with a baby wipe. But before you start another project, you may need to season it. And that brings me to one (really) last tip.
TIP 5: SEASON YOUR GEL PRESS. Let's say I'm going to start a new print in pink. I've wiped the previous colors off, and I'm about to start. I'll grab a pink color and add dots onto the Gel Press, and brayer it out, covering the whole Gel Press. Then I'll pull a print or two on scrap paper. If there's still ink on the brayer, I'll usually roll it out again and pull a second print. This will get a nice surface on your press, that's ready for your project. If you've ever brayered out color and it kind of beads up and doesn't stay smooth (if you've done this, you know what I mean!) then you need to season your Gel Press. Now, sometimes you WANT that beaded-up look. But if not, give it a practice run, pull a print on scrap paper and then your color will stay much smoother for the finished product.
Alright friends! Ready to grab your Gel Press and give it a shot?! YOU GOT THIS. You can totally do it. Practice makes perfect! I believe in you!
Looking for more Gel Press inspiration???? I've got some other great posts with tips, tricks, and techniques using the Gel Press:
Supplies for Today's Cards:Gel PressPolka Dot Wall StencilChristmas Sprig Stamp SetFrosty Snowflake DieAll Year Long Stamp SetSilver Sparkle TapeTurbo Teal, Pool Play, Limeade Splash Re-Inkers