Saturday 14 December 2013

Decoart - Kids Blocks Gelli Plate Tutorial

So hows everyone doing? Thanks for stopping by, I'm sharing a little Decoart tutorial on some altered kids blocks today.If you have time head on over to the Decoart DT blog where you can find loads of great tutorials from our amazing team.
I wanted to try something a little different this time and with Xmas just a few weeks away they could make a great little present if you know anyone with a little one.

Here is what you will need.

Some Decoart Traditions acrylic paints. I have used Hansa Yellow, Quinacridone Violet and Aquamarine. I have also used black and white Americana. The Decoart paints are perfect for the Gelli Plate
Traditions Satin glaze
Faux Finish Medium
Black Archival ink and some cut and dry foam
A die for cutting letters, I used the Tim Holtz die
Black Card
A Gelli Plate
Stencils, I have used several from The Crafters Workshop
And of course, some blocks, Mine are about 3x3 inches.

I am recycling some distressed blocks that I have had around for a while, I started by giving them a coat o Gesso and let it dry, It was sanded back a little just to smooth them out and then given two coats of white Americana paint to act as a nice clean base.

Now the fun begins, The Gelli plate is something I love but have not really had a good play with but I really wanted to use it on something 3d.
these pictures show the steps each time, the only things changed are the colour and stencil.When working with a Gelli plate it is fairly important to work quick as the paint will dry out, if it dries out to much a couple of squirts with some water and a baby wipe will clean it up.You can add extenders to your paint if you want to but if you work swiftly you will have plenty of time.
I started with the Hansa Yellow, If you have not used a gelli plate, just add a few drops and spread out with a brayer to get a nice smooth and even surface, I laid my stencils on top of the paint (if you are using a text or a directional stencil you will need to make sure you place it the wrong way down otherwise the print will come out back to front)
Once the stencil was laid down I pressed my block firmly straight down,careful not to have it slip, I did this for all six sides with each pattern.
To clean off the Gelli plate I found the best thing to do is have several sheets of paper, thin printer paper works best for me, and just lay it over the remains of the paint and run the brayer or your hand over the top, this will pick up most of the paint and if you keep using the same bit of paper you can get a lovely build up of colour/images that can be used in other projects (back grounds for tags etc. it's also easier to clean your brayer by running it across a scrap of paper.

I used the Quinacridone Violet next, both this and the Hansa Yellow are transparent so you can get some quite nice colour effects, I finished off using a script stencil and the Aquamarine.If you look carefully you can see the script stencil has been laid back to front.

Here are the blocks after all the Gelli Printing

I edged the blocks by swiping Archival ink with some cut and dry foam and added some black stencilling to the face.

Using the Tim Holtz die and some black card stock I die cut my letters and attached them using the Faux Finish medium,, when dry the whole cube was given a couple of coats of the Satin Glaze, this really helps bring out the colours and gives a more finished look to the blocks, it also helps protect the layers of paint.


  1. Wonderful creations Mark! These are so fantastic. I made some blocks just yesterday and posted on my blog, if you have a chance stop by and check them out. :)

    1. Thanks Claudine, I caught them on the dash board last night, great minds huh ;) xx

  2. Really love your work with the Gelli plate Mark, the boxes are great - just in time for little Christmas presents. :) Anne x

  3. Fabulous work Mark. I just saw Marjie Kempers and now yours awesome I have to get into blocks!
    susan s

  4. I bought some of blocks like this just some days ago ;-) They're sitting around here, waiting to be altered. Now the gelli plate is beyond debate ... tsktsk. Don't want to seem like a copycat :-D Your blocks look absolutely great, love esp. the colors and how the letters and numbers stand out against the patterns. Very well done. Hugs, Suzanne xx

  5. Great tute Mark, the blocks look wonderful with all that painty goodness on them!
    Alison xx

  6. They are fabulous, Mark and thanks for the run-down of how you did them. Must, must, must get the gelli plate out and have a play - thanks for the nudge!
    Alison x