Alphabet Gelli tools and a great cheap find

Regular readers will know that I love making my own tools for the Gelli plate.  I had an interesting comment on one of my You Tube videos for making tools.  The commenter said:

Great ideas! I’ve already noticed, the problem with using commercial stencils is that everyone is using the same stencils and my pages start looking like everyone else’s. So I’ve been making my own stuff too.

Well, I never really thought of it like that.  To me, the making of the tools, the process, was the challenge, but now I think of her comments, I realize that yes, it IS a great way to make your own stuff truly unique.  But then there is the whole SHARING thing – telling other people how you made something, even, like I often do, providing a link so they can do it themselves, then takes away a bit of the uniqueness, doesn’t it?  I suppose the saving grace is that there are a LOT of people out there who simply have ZERO interest in making tools, they are quite happy with using existing tools in new and unique ways.  That is a hugely enviable talent as well, the thinking outside the box.

I love text.  As always looking for a good way to add it to the prints.  In this case I simply cut a bit of sticky-backed fun foam with an old QuicKutz die.


The important part is that the sticky bit needs to be on the BACK of the letters, the reverse.  For text on the Gelli, the letters need to be forward reading as you look at them, so when you flip it to lay it on the plate, then pull the print, which gets reverse, the text reads right. Does that make sense?
Peel away the backing over the LETTERS ONLY, and pop out the middle bits. And here is the cheap find – Plastic placemats!  The make good backgrounds for texture plates. You can get a pack of them and a cheap store for very little.  They cut easily and are flexible, which is nice for certain effects, and washable too.
Stick the letters to the placemat.  Just pressing, even firmly, sometimes isn’t enough.  I use an embossing tool to help nudge the letters thru the surround and stick them firmly to the placemat backer.
Ease off the backing gently, as that is a whole other plate for you.  I just stick it to the back of the letters one, making it double-sided:
Now what you really want to know is what it looks like:
OK so let’s say you did it exactly wrong.  You cut the die so the sticky bit was on the front of the letters and your plate had the letters reading backwards.
Don’t despair!  This is a good thing.  What you then have is a STAMP of the letters and the surround.
Just brayer on the paint (or if you like the backwards text look on a pull, load the plate with paint and then load the stamp by pressing it onto the plate!) and stamp onto your print:
Cool hum?
And they would be nice for art journal work, as stamps direct to the page.
So there you go.  Another way to make your old stuff work for you in a new way.