Make Your Own DIY Gelatine Plate For Gel Printing

Ok so who wants to get their Gelli on? 
Well DIY Gelatine plate actually!

You guys must have seen all the lovely monoprinting blog posts with the Gelli Arts Printing Plates around and about over the last few months I’m sure? If you haven’t spotted them and don’t know what I’m talking about then Gelli Plates are a synthetic gel surface that you can use for monoprinting with, which is a printmaking technique that gives a unique print – hence mono or one.

I have a whole video playlist of if you want to see more.

The Gelli plates are based on an old school technique using DIY Gelatine (or Gelatin) plates used for years. The benefit of Gelli Plates (as I understand it ‘coz I don’t have one) over those made from Gelatine is that it is quick, non-perishable and reusable. But Gelli Plates do come in at a bit of a price (6″ x 6″ ~£19.99; 8″ x 10″ ~£29.99 well at least in the UK). Obviously if you use monoprinting a lot in your art you might be very happy to have a Gelli Arts Printing Plate.


I’ve been wanting to try monoprinting for a while now and the recipe has been open in a tab on my browser for ages so when I saw all those lovely monoprints on blogs I was inspired to get my finger out finally and try a bit of monoprinting!


But I thought I would go the cheaper route for the time being, ~69p for 70g Gelatine! So if any of you are wanting to dabble in monoprinting or see if Gelli Arts Printing plates are for you but don’t want to risk the cost then stick with me for a cheaper option, well at least until you find you can not live without a Gelli Plate that is!


Ok, so what will you need to make a DIY Gelatine Plate?



70g powdered Gelatine (Supermarket, Grocery store)

800ml Water (400ml cold water/ 400ml boiled water)



Tray (29cm long, 19cm wide, 2cm high)

Measuring tools (optional)

These are the measurements of water and Gelatine you need for a tray the size mentioned above but you can use any size you want just alter the recipe (see below) and if I was you I would use a disposable foil tray (I’m going to try that next time myself).


But bear in mind that the Gelatine will take on the shape of the container and if you want to use both sides of the gel then you might need a smooth container.


I got my recipe from this quick YouTube video from Linda Germain and from Amanda Gordon.


Their general rule of thumb is 2 tablespoons of Gelatine for every cup of water or 24g Gelatine for every 240ml water if you prefer metric (but it is a very approx conversion!).



First start dissolving your Gelatine in the cold water and I added my Gelatine in parts to the water to help it dissolve. Then mix the hot water in well. Use a spare piece of paper to skim most of the foam off and pour into the tray to around 1.5cm thick.


(Don’t throw any waste Gelatine solution down the drain, let it harden and throw it in the bin as it could clog the pipes.)



Skim off all the bubbles with a spare piece of paper and let it cool to set. It didn’t take long, around a couple of hours and I was using it. I think you can put it in the fridge if you need to.


Once it is firm to the touch you can get your printing on!

You will find a brayer or two very useful and then things for making marks, or masks, or fun textures. So things to try are paper, paper cut into shapes, packaging, string, paint combs, texture brushes, corrugated card, well the list is endless really!



Acrylic paints are perfect for monoprinting. But you can try oil paints and inks just be aware that they may effect the surface – dyes stain the Gelatine but doesn’t interfere with the print making.


Cover the surface with paint and use the texture makers to add interest, then layer the paper onto the surface and smooth down before peeling off.



I made quite a few prints, as you can imagine. The great thing is that you can just keep going, although I might have been a bit rough on my surface as I did end the day with a couple of nicks, but I wasn’t too concerned, I’ll still give it a few more uses.


Apparently the DIY Gelatine plate will remain usable for around 3-5 days and I’ve covered it with cling film (Saran wrap) and placed it in the fridge (wonder how long before that gets noticed?).

Ok so no finished makes but lots of prints to show…



The first sample, top left is acrylic paint on fabric, the rest are on paper, there are some metallic paints in there too.


Yep it is FUN! and yep I would do it again with my DIY Gelatine plate, it is much easier than it looks.
Still on the fence about buying a Gelli Arts Plate, but if you have one I would love to know what you think of it!

Before I go if you are looking for an even cheaper, even simpler and even vegetarian (well as far as I know!) method? Then check out this YouTube clip from JenniBellie, gonna need to try that too!

Have fun re-acquainting yourself with monoprinting techniques!



[EDIT: ps. there are some more monoprints with my DIY gelatine plate here.]


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Kim Dellow

Kim Dellow is an artist–designer–film-maker living the creative life in London, UK. She's a freelance creative for the craft industry and others, and she loves to share her art-ventures on her blog.

This Post Has 58 Comments

  1. Shirley Davis

    Excellent! Modern manufacturing is clever but being reminded about the grassroots of art is really interesting.

    I am not a very messy crafter – keep meaning to get down to it but then some card orders come in! Very inconsiderate of clients not to let me play!

    Lovely prints, Tracey.

  2. Von

    I've had this on the back burner for a while now, even bought the gelatine but wasn't sure of the proportions looks like I will have to stop pontificating and get down and play 🙂
    Thanks for sharing
    Von ♥

  3. She King

    Hi Kim…your prints look fantastic…I'm just off to look at the 'veggie' version as I don't normally have no-veggie stuff!! Thanks for the alternative to the expensive gelli plates… Love S xxx

  4. Linda

    oooh ….. this looks like fun. Great prints, love the colours. I've been looking at the Gelli plate for a while (amongst other things). I haven't made my mind up whether I NEED one or not yet.
    This could be an inexpensive alternative ….. hmmmm …. would also have cash to spend on something else at Ally Pally this weekend 🙂 Sounds good to me. Thanks for sharing Kim. xx

  5. Winnie

    Thanks so much for your kind visit. I was just asking about this technique, as I kept seeing pieces done but had no idea what it was. Looks fun! Love your backgrounds! So glad you shared the how to and gave me a clue! Enjoy the day!

  6. Yvonne Garner

    Great tutorial! Have the Gelli Plate but would have loved o have seen your video first! Thanks for dropping by my blog today.

  7. Anne Temple

    This looks very cool. I definitely want to give it a try! Thanks for visiting my blog today and leaving such a nice comment.

  8. Gráinne

    Those prints look awesome. Great blues and patterns, love them. I have two plates, the small one and the middle seized one (don't know the exact measurements at the moment). Yes, they're quite expensive and still not available here in Germany. I wished for the bigger one as a birthday gift 🙂 I certainly don't want to miss them. It's such great fun – as you discovered for yourself 🙂 – and I can make lots of quick and unique backgrounds. I'm no art journaler and use them for cards and TAGs mostly. Even my children (10, 9, 5 – therefore I like 'quick' solutions *lol* I don't have much time left for myself) love to use the plates. I didn't regret to have purchased them for a moment.
    Thank you so much for your kind comment on my blog. Suzanne

  9. Char

    Thank you for your lovely comment on my Moo.
    You have a fabulous tutorial on the mono printing. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Candy C

    Kim..this is very cool! Thanks so much for sharing this cool technique with us. Reminds me sort of the gelli plate thing. I have one but have not used it yet! 🙂 I also wanted to thank you for the very sweet comment you left on my blog! It's much appreciated. <3 Candy

  11. Louise

    They're all fabulous! Great tutorial too x
    I'm lucky enough to be going to a workshop in May and the Gelli Plate is included on the price 😉 can't wait!

  12. Silvia(Barnie)

    Your backgrounds look wonderful, it's really a great technique. I don't own the original gelli plate but a cheaper alternative (kind of a hot glue gun mat), it works the same.

  13. Dawn

    Awe Kim, thank-you so much for your very kind visit. Lol, how on earth did you find my little blog? Love your post today, this is a technique I've been wanting to try for ages but I couldn't justify spending out on a Gelli plate, this way I would be able to easily afford to give mono-printing a go. Your prints turned out beautifully, what a splendid addition to your stash.
    Huge hugs x

  14. artfulscrapbooking

    Your mono prints came out wonderful! Such great textures and colors!! Thanks for stopping by my blog! :):) Evie

  15. PetraB

    This came out brilliantly, it is a technique I wanted to try for AGES! Thank you for the encouragement.

  16. Thanks for the idea of trying mono printing with a 'real' gelatine plate. I'll pin this tutorial for future reference. Thanks for stopping in at my blog, hope you had a great day. Shirley

  17. Rita

    Fabulous post Kim. Boy, what great textures you have produced using this method. I really must give this try. Thank you so much for such a great tutorial too. Hugs Rita xxxxx

  18. SanDee1899

    wow Kim "this" is Brilliant – outstanding – gosh I love it Thank you so much for sharing – and I need to follow this blog to not miss a thing!
    XOXO SanDee

  19. Halle

    Very pretty prints you came up with! I have yet to try this even though everyone makes it look so very easy.

  20. Sandra

    Wow Kim! This is one amazing tutorial! How clever to make you're own gelli plate with gelatine! Love your prints! Hugs, Sandra

  21. May

    WOW, This is amazing… What a fabulous idea!! The prints are Beautiful… I'm your newest follower… Hugs May x x x

  22. Sue

    What a brilliant idea and tutorial Kim, I love what other people make with their plates but no way am I buying one. I have way too many 'must haves' already lol, but I will definitely have a play your way xx

  23. fairyrocks

    Thanks so much for popping by with kind comments. This gelatin print tutorial is so much fun to see. thanks for all the extra tips about the bubbles and all that. You have certainly got the wheels of my mind turning with possibilities now. Keep smiling and creating

  24. misteejay

    What super prints Kim.

    I've been hearing a bout 'Gelli' for a while now but hadn't even seen the plates – I think this 'home-made' version is certainly the way to give this technique a try without splashing out on the plates. TFS

    Toni xx

  25. Patti

    Hello Kim!! and thanks for coming to visit. Love your monoprint and technique – thanks for sharing. The acrylic on fabric is amazing – great colors too.

  26. Dianne

    thank you for this great post! I've been wondering why shell out the money when you can do this…or even use a piece of glass. Love your papers, they turned out terrific!

  27. Laurart

    Thank you so much for sharing that post – what a brilliant idea! I had heard of Gelli plates but hadn't known exactly what they did and must admit that price is enough to put me off, for exactly the reason you state – how much use would I get? This is perfect practice though! Love the idea – Lots of love from Laura xxxzz

  28. Meihsia Liu

    Wow… Kim this is such a brilliant idea. I definitely will have to try it. Thank you so much for sharing. ^_^

  29. Gaby Bee

    Thanks for this fantastic tutorial. It's a great alternative to the expensive gelli plates. Your prints look fantastic, Kim!

    I'm so glad you stopped by my blog for a visit so that I could find you.
    I will be back!!!


  30. Sylvia Blum

    Thanks for sharing, Kim!!!
    LOVE the technique and your DIY version! What a great way to achieve stunning effects!
    Sylvia xx

  31. sandi

    Wow! This is amazing! TFS! I must give this a try!

  32. Ita

    Hi Kim this is amazing never heard or have seen this techinique,but I am going to give it a try ,thank you for the inspiration.
    Ita in Irealnd

  33. Alison

    Your prints look fabulous Kim! I do have a Gelli Plate, & find it very good. I'm not sure I would have the patience to make my own! Lol!
    Alison xx

  34. Jacqui Hall

    Thanks Kim. Might give that a go as a play piece to see if the cost is going to be worth it for me. You got some great results.

  35. Netty

    thank you for this terrific and informative post Kim and love your results. Annette x

  36. Deborah

    I get messy enough just playing with my gelli plate, let alone having to make a 'real' one first :-)I am loving your prints, Kim. Look forward to seeing what you make with them.

  37. Astrid Maclean

    Oh Kim this is utterly brilliant!!!! I have been looking at all these gelli plate backgrounds and not been convinced by them at all at that expense. This on the other hand is a really wonderful creative solution and the results are simply stunning!!! I am definitely going to give this a try, thanks so much for the clear step by steps and the links to the videos! Can't wait also to see what you are going to make with these great prints!!

  38. Caterina Giglio

    Hi Kim, thanks for popping by to La Dolce Vita for a visit… your gelli prints are great and your tutorial was excellent!

  39. Traceyr

    I've not heard of these before (must be living under a rock haha!)

    What a glorious way to get messy and create beautiful backgrounds. One to try during the next half term I think.

    Thanks for posting it. 🙂

  40. Lacelady

    Looks great fun, relatively easy, and cheap! I love it! Thank you for the comprehensive tute.

  41. Lucy Edmondson

    Thank you so much for the tutorial and the cheaper option. Your prints came out so well. Now do I buy the Lime or the Strawberry jelly?!

    Lucy x

  42. Kaz

    So cool!! Thanks for sharing Kim x

  43. Brenda Brown

    A fantastic post Kim, love the original gelli plate you have created and all the prints come off it. I have to say for quickness I love my bought gelli plate, but yours is just as effective and what a price lol.
    hugs {brenda} x0x

  44. Juls

    Your prints are fab!!!! I fancy trying this!!! I wouldn't use enough to warrant purchase …. But could stretch to a box of gellotine thanks 4 the tip 🙂 hugs Juls xxx

  45. Aloquin

    LOVE the results! Great job!!! 🙂

  46. Anonymous

    If you make it up with half water and half glycerine it will last for a very very long time and no need to refrigerate!

  47. Billie

    Hi Kim

    Thanks so much for posting this, I'm on the fence about a geli plate too, but this looks well worth trying to see if i love the concept.

    I just linked to this on UK Stampers forum and also to another video where the author makes a permanent version of the plate. Do make sure and read her comments thou as she makes some alterations to her original recipe.

    Best wishes


  48. Maxine Jones

    Hello Kim,
    I'm a bit slow on the uptake….and not recently 'discovered' gelli plate printing, and this tutorial is fantastic and I will try, and will do my best to remember to share the results with you!! Have shared this post on Facebook and pinterest! Keep blogging!! Maxine x

    1. Kim Dellow

      Thanks Maxine that is great and I can not wait to see the results of your printing.

    2. Maxine Jones

      It's in the fridge…..which was tricky to do without spilling….so cant wait to try, tomorrow probably….!

    3. Kim Dellow

      Exciting! I think I might have to make another one – I'm feeling the urge to print!

    4. Maxine Jones

      all very excited and about to try it out……when i remembered I haven't got a brayer yet!!! lol!!! ok, hope it can wait another day or so!! I do feel like a ninny!

    5. Kim Dellow

      So how did it go? Has the brayer turned up yet? That is so what I would do too LOL! Hope it has and that you have had some printing fun.

  49. Bix

    Hi Kim….check out my idea too. I think you will like it! I also made gelatin plates and added vinegar and salt to the mix (I think something came back from a chemistry lesson from waaaaaaaay back) and that strengthened the plate alot so it could be used for a few weeks…more about the recipe on my blogspot February 14 post…have fun. B

    1. Kim Dellow

      Thanks so much for popping by and for the tips Bix, Kim

    2. Shirl R

      I think your gelatine prints have come out really well. My first DIY gelli plate was awful! I then found another recipe including rubbing alcohol, which I think gave a much better consistency – you can also remelt it, strain off any bits and re-set it. However, I have bought a 'genuine' Gelli Plate – and is is good 🙂

    3. Kim Dellow

      Thanks Shirl for the link. I've got a Gelli Plate now as well but so far I think I actually prefer the homemade plate for a lot of techniques. I find the two plates are quite different for me, so I'm using them for different things. 🙂 Kx

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