Love Notes Three Ways with a Gel Plate

It’s almost a month out to Valentine’s Day — also celebrated as Galentine’s Day by many — and my Instagram feed is flooded with all things hearts.

I’m seeing some amazing new releases by many brands but if you’ve exhausted all your cash on winter releases, worry not! I am here to encourage you to play with whatever you already own. As long as you have a gel plate, we’re good to go!

Have a look at the three videos and let me know if you have a personal favorite.

Part 1: Get Your Fingers Messy

Spread paint around with your fingers. Don’t worry about a specific way of doing it. Just enjoy the sensory experience. Imagine yourself as a 3-year-old. Overthinking is not allowed! Add some textural elements and stencils. Use deli paper to keep the backside of the note card clean. Pull a print. Or two. Or three!

Part 2: Use Your Brayer

Spread out the paint in a thin layer with your brayer and pull a base print. Add another layer of paint and add some stencils to create layers of designs. Pull prints.

Repeat the process until you’re happy with the layers and colors. I used my homemade wooden stamps in this one to include some XOXO and heart symbols.

Part 3: Use Distress Inks

Apply distress inks with a blending brush directly on to the gel plate. It will look like there isn’t much, but wait ’till you pull a print. Less is more in this case. The prints you pull will be soft and delicate unlike what you achieve if you were to use distress inks directly on paper.

Use stencils and stamps as you would with acrylic paints. Applying distress inks on a gel plate is the fastest way of making creative, one-of-a-kind, blended backgrounds.

I embellished the note cards with pencil colors, die cuts of previous monoprints that I had lying around, stickers and paint pens. I also made matching envelopes. You can get really creative and go to town with embellishments or keep it simple if you’re in a time crunch.

The backs of my notecards did become a bit messy, despite my attempts to keep my fingers clean, so I used double-sided tape and adhered a clean notecard on the back. It also made my notecards sturdier.

Hope you enjoyed this project and I look forward to hearing if these gave you new ideas for using your gel plate.

P.S. These videos are from last year but I know the ideas are still fresh and applicable. You can also adapt these to make greeting cards, but sometimes sending little “Love Notes” to friends and family makes it less daunting.

Curious about supplies I used? Here is a link to my Amazon Store Front.

Published by mansimakes

Hi there, I am Mansi, a self-taught artist based in Silicon Valley. I was a full-time communications professional for two decades, with a desk job and a six-figure salary until I decided to become a mom. Motherhood, as many will attest, can be extremely exhausting, especially in those first years. Art became my quiet place. It restored my sense of self. It gave me renewed energy. It helped me become a better mom. I was led down the path of creation by instinct and “discovered“ in early 2019 by a fellow kindred spirit at one of my art pop-ups who asked me to join her entrepreneurial venture. While I immersed myself full time in the role of CFO and co-founder of this women-led venture supporting local women makers, I missed experimenting with mixed-media. So, in 2021, I've decided to focus my energies full time in finessing my craft, producing more online tutorials and offering in-person art workshops for both adults and children. Thank you for joining me on this adventure as I experiment, learn and continue creating custom pieces of joy.

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