Gelli book – learning a new skill


My absence from blogland is much to do with some non-crafty issues, but in part due to crafty frustration.  I am lucky to be able to see something crafty and work out much of the process just from a quick glimpse.  Like the 90-minute quilt thing from last week.  I know the video I linked didn’t have a lot of info in it, but it had enough for me.  The flip side of this is that if I do see something, and I can’t work out how to do it, I get frustrated – especially when something seems logical to me but turns out to be completely wrong.  So a month or so back, before I got all wrapped up in sewing, I was working on a series of Gelli prints.  I made a little coffee filter print book, but always planned on collecting my paper prints into a book as well, for some, as yet, undetermined purpose.  So I read a lot of book-binding PDFs, and watched a fair few videos on YouTube.  I thought I had the basic concept down.  Then I did what I do A LOT, I ALTERED the process before I even tried it the “right” way.  DOH!  I had the idea to make a little round Coptic bound book, with hard covers.  It all began well enough.

I lined up the folded edge of the prints (which, if you recall, I folded from A4 originally to get a standard size, that fit my 6 x 6 plate, and printed on all four faces) with one of the grid marks on my desktop cutting mat, then lined up my old CM circle cutter template and cut, leaving the fold intact.

circlegellibook circlegellibook2

By using the grid marks I knew I could get the pages all the same size. I made the cover from matboard, and covered them with the Deli paper prints as they were too thin to use as a page, unless I collaged bits onto heavier paper. I only punched/poked three holes, although 99% of the Coptic binding stuff I saw used 5 or 7 holes,  but I thought it would be logical to just do it on the series of three holes.  AND I picked some thick pearl cotton weight thread for the stitching. Yeah, I know.  It worked out in the end, more or less, but it was not easy.  Try Googling 3-hole Coptic Binding – maybe your Google gives you something useful but mine does not, and I get different things on my desktop v. my iPad.  In the end I just had a go.  I had also seen something in a book at some point where the stitches were wrapped so the binding stitches looked like smooth bars – no idea what that is even called but I knew I liked it.  So that makes, what? At least three significant changes from the basic process? All on my first go at it.  DOH! yet again.

Here it is:


The cover, with the deli paper print.


My quite amateur binding (let’s not dwell on that….)


A bit of a fanned effect of the pages, and my very messy desk


Just an inner page I happened to like quite a lot.


So, not 100% sure what will become of this in the end.  I guess it was more about the process than the finished item.

Now, I really, REALLY need to get on with making the bags – thanks to Fairy Thoughts Janet, who posted a nice easy tutorial,  I am feeling optimistic that I can manage it.


12 thoughts on “Gelli book – learning a new skill

  1. I’m really late coming to this party but had to leave you a comment about your little Gelli print coptic bound book… it is totally fabulous! In my humble opinion that is, 😀 I might just have to make myself one of these cute little books!!! I made my own Gelli plate, which is about 5×7 but have yet to play with it… I am thinking about making a bigger Gelli plate like 9×12 – that’s the biggest glass roasting pan I have! lol! Thanks for sharing this lovely idea…
    Beth P

  2. Pingback: Finally, paper not fabric! GelliBird | Scrappy Sticky Inky Mess

  3. If the pictures do the project justice, I think you did very well. Congrats on working through your issues! Hugs & Creative Blessings! Kelly

  4. Where do I start, Blakey the pages are awesome, brilliant in fact and the binding into a book, well I can’t see any faults from here and the Album cover beautiful. You get distinction marks for producing a marvellous final result. I love it…. Hey and this is what art us about living outside the box and playing

    Happy Easter I’ve enjoyed my read and I love your blog.


  5. I have those Creative Imaginations circle cutters. I still use them and love them. Your book is turning out great.

  6. I think your book is great and you have given me inspiration to gelli the back of the 30 or so prints I have done and turn them into a book rather than a pile of pretty papers!

  7. I think your book looks wonderful! I hear that the Coptic stitch is simple to do, but for some reason I’m intimidated by it, lol! I can do a simple pamphlet stitched book though!
    You make such wonderful things that I’m sure that anything you do will be marvelous!!

  8. I don’t comment often, but I really enjoy your blog and your energy….Your art is great, you inspire me, I smile while I read your blog….please continue just being you! hugs

  9. Both the Gelli pages and the bound book are Beautiful! Looking forward to seeing what you do with it from here.

  10. I think it’s an amazing HAND-MADE book – love the binding, the pages, the printing! Thank you for sharing your creativity!

  11. You did awesome. I agree with Julia’s assessment. I need to get out the gelli pad. Thank you for sharing.

  12. It’s a thing isn’t it – there are certain things that I can deconstruct by looking…but altering as I go when making my first attempt…oooh I don’t know,. I think that’s why people with your natural sense of enquiry are do the legwork and because you’re a sharing person, people like me benefit. No doubt too – that you get to our age and you know yourself well enough to know that you’re going to make changes as you go – it’s wired into you – so you don’t get all uppity if it doesn’t finish up like the original…for you that would be boring, for me it would be a miracle! I like the book, the fact that it’s now a bound book is the triumph to me…I would so not have got around to that in this century!

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