Simple Gelli Book

This is a really simple book that works for Gelli prints.  It is based on a single sheet of 12 x 12 cardstock (although you could easily use a larger sheet of watercolour paper to make a bigger book, with more pages) and it goes together in a flash.

Cut your 12 x 12 sheet in half, creating two 6 x 12 pieces.  Score and crease both at 3, 6, and 9 inches.  Accordion fold exactly the same.


I only have the 6 x 6 plate, so this size works perfectly for me.  You can EITHER print directly onto the sheets OR you can print on plain cardstock, deli paper, whatever, and stick that to the pages.  If you are going to print directly, just fold up the pieces so you are printing only on the section you want – I did the 3 x 6 sides as pages, then did the middle 6 x 6 pair as a single surface.  Does that make sense?



Once you have printed both let them dry.


Take a length of ribbon about 24 inches long – and used grosgrain, which was a mistake a it’s a little too stiff for easy tying so seam binding would be my future choice – and print on both sides.  By laying the ribbon down right at the bottom then moving up the plate, I got one entire side printed from one plateful of paint, making the pattern all the same along the length.  Set that aside to dry.


Cut two 6 x 6 squares of matt board.  Again, you can easily print right on the matt board, but knowing my proclivity to go too far and then not like what I made, I printed on other paper to cover the matt board.  That also let me make a number of prints then pick my favourites for the front and back!

I also lined the back of the middle pair of pages with thin black paper.  Not required, and you could print on this area as well, but you aren’t going to see much of it so why bother? LOL!


To construct the booklet:

Lay the un-folded pieces over each other,  and pierce along the first and last score lines.  So you will have a 3 x 6 page, pierce in the score line, leave the middle score line alone, pierce in the last score line and then you will have a 3 x 6 page at the end. Pierce at 1 3 and 5 inches along the 6 inch score line.


Now you will sew these signatures together with a simple stitch.

With the printed sections facing out, with a good yard of thick thread:

  • come out from between the signatures, leaving a long tail (and that bit of thread you see in the photo shows the tail going in just one of the middle holes.  Can you see that?


  • go in to the holes at the 1 inch point in both signatures
  • go thru the middle holes in both signatures
  • go thru the last holes in both signatures
  • go back thru the middle hole in the top signature, so your thread comes out between, where the original tail is, and tie off.

I don’t know if this helps or not.  I did look for an image to add but couldn’t find one so I made this.  I hope between the steps as text and the image you will see I did! Despite being two colours it is all one length of thread.  I’m just trying to help you see the steps.


You can repeat the middle steps then finish off with the tying to reinforce the sewing.

Once the two pieces are sewn together, you will see the first two 3 x 6 pages and the last two 3 x 6 pages are loose, like flaps.


Fold the ribbon in half and slip it around the book, with the fold at the left.  Stick the ribbon to just the front from left to right.  Leave the rest loose at the front and all the ribbon behind the book loose.


Stick the front cover over the ribbon and stick the back cover to the back unprinted pages.


Done.  When you open the book just angle the covers back towards the middle.  You can rotate the book around and re-angle the covers to reveal the back pages.



Lordy, those photos are a bit rubbish. I’ll hope to show a better shot once I decorate it up.  Note sure where I’m going with it at the moment, possibly quotes or maybe play on the two-sided aspect of the piece (good v bad, night v day, light v dark, something like that) but even if I shelve it for a bit, one day the perfect solution will present itself, I’m sure.

I have a hankering to do a multi-part version with some watercolour paper, ideally either piecing together two pieces to create at least two middle folds or using long paper, but I have to rummage around in my room to see what my options are.  Watch this space….