Packing Tape Gelli Book done

Finished it.  So cute. Simple construction, using the 5 hole pamphlet stitch to secure 3 signatures inside.



I added little strips of red electricians tape across the spine, just to further reinforce the packing tape, although it was well stuck anyway.  I just liked the look of it.

I also played around with the binding threads tying them with contrasting thread.  Not sure I love it but will def. play with the idea a bit more.



Used lots of prints


many with the wallpaper texture impressions.  Nothing too busy cause I have an idea for finishing it off.



and that favourite made with the sink mat.  Still really like that one



But DOH!  How is it DS managed to cram the vast majority of his dirty clothes in one small bag to come home for such a short trip, JUST so I could do his laundry?? And cooking is not the usual one hour process but hours and hours of “special” meals he would never make himself – last night, chicken with whiskey, cream and pecans, tonight beef stew with mash from a friends potato crop.  Misshapen but tasty.  And of course he held off getting a haircut and new shoes – wonder who he thinks is footing the bill for them?  Oh wait, I know….

The point is between all that (and more) and the fact that while working on this I had a massive flash of inspiration that I think is going to be so cool if I can make it work.  It’s one of those multi-stage projects, and unfortunately one where any mis-step could ruin the whole thing.  It needs to mix craftyness with some technology and I am DYING to get started on it.

Off to get DD a haircut and re-style soon, then prep tomorrow for a Halloween party on Saturday.  Plus having a go at making DS’s fave dessert, pumpkin pie, but from an actual pumpkin rather than the handy canned puree.  Oh the joys of motherhood.  My craftyness will have to wait….


WOYWW 230 – Gelli, Gelli everywhere

Oh dear.  As bad as it ever was.

My desk, moving around from left (in front of my monitors) to right (my satellite table.)

A pile of masks, mostly paint-y….


Where the action is



Side table with more stencils and masks



I am working on the pages for the tape-covered book I showed yesterday.  I’m using the shelf from a fridge we got rid of last summer (they took it away when delivering the new one, but the shelves I knew would be helpful so I held on to them!) It’s all a bit unstable at the moment, but its usual location is take up with something else at the moment. At least here it’s close at hand.

And just a couple of prints I really liked – this one is using a plastic sink mat that looks like pebbles to me:


and this one is using one of the angalypta wallpaper texture plates I made over the weekend:



Still lots to do, and DS is coming home today for a dentist appt. so not sure how much progress I’ll actually make on it.  I have a plan for the sheets but that may not happen till DS heads back to Uni.  I get to see him all to infrequently so I have to grab the chance for some quality time with him when I can.

Happy WOYWW day!



More Gelli print packing tape uses

People have commented that they (like me) have tons of Gelli prints that they struggle to find a way to use.  If you don’t do collage that must be a universal problem.  I love the effect of the Gelli prints on packing tape and while I also love the iPad decoration idea, there are just so many iPad covers anyone needs!

Although the original tutorial applies the Gelli printed tape to foil, or adds mica powder to fill the still-sticky gaps, or glitter flakes or glitter, I tend to leave the sticky so the piece can be stuck to something useful.  I am careful in my placement of the paint so the areas that are sticky are spaced, and enough to adhere the piece.  But in considering ways to use it, I thought of a simple little mini-book.

I cut an old dishwasher tab box down to 6 x 10 (that size suites my 8 x 10 plate)


and scored it with a 1 inch spine.


I will make maybe two, maybe three, little Gelli printed signatures to sew in.  I’m thinking I might try sewing them in with my sewing machine.  With a heavy-duty needle it might work, although I may end up dodging broken needle tips! Goggles a must, I think LOL!

I intentionally set it up with the shiny printed side inside the book.

I painted the raw cardboard on the other side with white, then pulled a print directly on to that.

I did my Gelli plate set up and pulled the printed on the sticky side of the packing tape.  I made sure the side edges matched as best I could, but left plenty extra tape top and bottom. As I pulled them off, I “stored” them on a bit of release paper from a previous contact paper pull, but the cheap Teflon baking liners, wax paper, shiny side of freezer paper will all work as well


As a sidebar, let me say that if you DID do an iPad cover, you could do a few and store them on sheets so you can change them around daily.  They do stay sticky and peel off and re-stick reasonable well. You could have a whole little wardrobe of strips, even mixing them up, one strip from this set, another from that…

Starting just at the spine on the cover, I stuck the packing tape on, wrapping the extra bit top and bottom to the back.  That’s why I made the slightly slick printed surface on the inside.  The tape stick very well to that and really secures it in place.  That avoids most of the issue with the printed areas not being sticky anymore and give a good overall adhesion.



Just line up  the tape strips.  I made sure the last one had a strip of unprinted area on the right so I could miter the two outside corners and wrap the tape to the inside.



I could have covered the spine and the back too, but haven’t yet.  I am pretty sure sewing thru cardboard, a stack of paper, AND packing tape would be a struggle at best, impossible most likely.

Despite have the most enormous stack of Gelli prints, I find MOST of them are not right for this.  I get an idea, and print willy-nilly here and there on the paper, sometimes two 6×6 prints on one A4 sheet, slightly overlapping.  I have to really examine them and see if there are any I could use by over-printing to unify them, and check on the double-sided-ness of them.  And I may have to just plan a session that is much more INTENTIONAL printing and not random play.  But overall I am liking the look of it, and liking that I can play with packing tape and actually USE it.  

Just a glimpse into how my mind works  – so I’m thinking…

  • could you pull a print on tape and wrap it around a candle?
  • is packing tape flammable?
  • could you pull a print right onto a wax candle?  
  • is the PAINT flammable?  
  • when the candle burns down will it all catch fire?
  • are burning paint fumes toxic?
  • could you pull a print made with inks on tissue paper?
  • would Deli paper work?
  • apply that to the candle in the usual way?
  • is that practical? more or less effort than doing it just by stamping?

All of these things dash thru my had in seconds:  consider, assess, discard, consider more, TRY it.  

and that’s the problem.  There are so many ideas that pop in to my head there is simply not enough time to try them all…



1 Comment

Packing Tape iPad decoration

I have been meaning to get a tutorial (of sorts) done for my iPad Gelli printed packing tape project, but as DH liked the quick and dirty version I did already, and I had already Gelli printed right on the other cover, and we didn’t have ANOTHER one going spare, I wasn’t sure how I could do that.  I wasn’t interested in spending £35 on another cover.  But I thought I could go ahead and do the steps without sharing a final project.  Started that, and as it is such a long process (due to the drying time needed between layers on the plate) it just got darker and darker.  Some of the photos at the end of the process aren’t brilliant but they should still convey the info you need.

I would ask that your read thru all the steps before starting.  The template may SEEM like a bit of a pain but it will really pay off in the end.  Having said THAT, if you at least read thru it, you will be able to better identify the steps you feel like you could skip, or alternative ways to do it.

1. Measure the bars of the iPad cover. Cut templates.

Measure from just a hair inside the edge of the raised area.  You need the tape to make contact with the hard FLAT surface, not the soft FLEXIBLE area that allows the cover to fold to create the stand.


I am showing you this on the back of the cover, but that is only because the front has already been painted and it will be too  visually confusing!

You will quickly see that only two of the bands are close to exactly the same size.  One is much bigger, one is a hair smaller.  You can deal with this as you like – make them all the same (smaller) size, make three the same and one to fit the biggest band, whatever.

I used the EK Success more acute corner rounder (mines yellow – are they all yellow and green for the softer rounded corner??).  That one fit the corner curve of the bands best, to my eye.



2.  Cut a piece of Freezer Paper, at LEAST 9 x 11.  Bigger may actually work better.



If you don’t have Freezer paper, you could use a Teflon baking sheet (one of the cheap ones) or perhaps Baking Parchment or waxed paper.  The KEY is that there has to be one side that the tape will NOT STICK TO and one side you can write on.  Freezer paper is ideal.

3. Lay the plate centred on the paper side of the Freezer Paper. Draw around your plate – I used the 8 x 10 Gelli plate as it fits, near perfectly, the standard iPad cover. Mark out 2 inch bands.  The packing tape is 2 inches wide.  See where this is going?


4. Centre the paper templates in the drawn bands.  Trace around them.  Keep them – you will need them later.


You can see that widest band is pretty close to 2 inches.

5. Draw a line about 1/8 inch INSIDE the lines of the templates.  If you want more of a secure border,  make it wider.  I squared off the corners.  Life is too short to round them on an inside curve.


Why go to all this trouble?  Well, the packing tape sticky is what is going to hold the decorated strips to the case.  You doubt me? The one I posted a couple of weeks back has been in use (HARD use) since then and the tape still sticks perfectly well with no additional adhesive added to it.  This slight edge around the entire border of the design will help overcome any parts of the tape where the sticky is to sparse.  And holding down the EDGES is the most important thing.

I may experiment with masking the tape itself at some point.  That might be easier, it might not.

6. Cut out the innermost lines.


This is going to help you in two ways.  FIRST, it will help you see where to leave unpainted or open areas (the corners, some of each edge) as you decorate your plate. SECOND, the paper side is going to block the paint from those areas of the packing tape you want to remain sticky. And THIRD, the non-stick side will let the paint stick to the tape, but let the tape peel off the paper where the paint has been blocked and where it is still super sticky – without losing that sticking power!

7. Lay the plate OVER this template so you can see the lines thru it. I’ve put it on the top so you can see better.


I’ve tried to place my masked (unpainted areas) so there are plenty that cross the lines.


8. Carry on with the decorating.  Keep focused on the open areas and take care not to completely block them.


Note the text stamp – this is NOT an overall pattern.  The open areas are just as plentiful as the painted areas.  The unpainted areas will stick. See how dark it got? All those layers, all that drying time!

Let it all dry between each layer,  DRY dry, not mostly dry, BONE DRY.

9. Lay your template over the now dried paint.


THIS is where your template is really going to pay off.  You are going to VERY CAREFULLY, especially for the first one, lay the sticky side of the tape over the aperture.  The tape should fall within the 2 inch lines you marked out.  Once they are all laid out, burnish with a bone folder, the back of a spoon, an old credit card, whatever.  You want every bit of that paint to get pulled up by the tape.  You want the slight border, where the aperture is smaller than the template, to stay clear and sticky.

10.  Pull off the entire sheet.  Stick the painted side to another piece of freezer paper or waxed paper – anything you can peel it off and don’t mind cutting thru.  Go back to your templates.  Use them to cut out the bands.



I hoped I would be able to see the original lines thru the paper and the tape, and maybe using a different colour might help with that, but in the end I found using the templates was easier for my “old eyes” – this is one of those places you may feel you can skip my added steps for the elderly LOL!

What you will have is a strip of packing tape with the Gelli print on the sticky part, but with plenty of bare sticky areas


AND a thin border around the whole strip that is stuck to the plastic side of the freezer paper.



Peel away the freezer paper from the edges.  You can now stick the tape to your iPad cover.

This one used only a stencil that had lots of open areas.  One quick painting and pull and done.



You’d be surprised how LITTLE sticky is needed for it to grab on to the rubberized surface of the iPad cover!

Obviously it would be SO MUCH SIMPLER to make the template then pull the WHOLE PLATE onto the sticky side of a large sheet of contact paper, and use the backing you peeled off to back it for cutting the bands.

So it was bugging me not to be able to show it finished. I figured why not just stick the new strips over the already painted and Mod Podged front?  So I did, and DH said, in a word, WOW!



What you are seeing is the cover that had the print pulled right on to it, with the new packing tape strips stuck over the top.



I just love the glimpses of the original print showing thru the open areas of the packing tape!  And the packing tape clings just fine to the Mod Podge.  So now I will have to wait for another cover to come my way before I can play again.  Unless I can convince DH to let me peel off the stencil one and have another go at it…..

And now the power is finally back on I have another packing tape idea I am keen to try – nothing so complex as iPad covers, but I hope I’ll have fun with it anyway….


Samples from the wallpaper texture plates

wow.  Doing a quick Google for anaglypta shows some fabulous patterns!  Not all ones I’ve seen in my local DIY store, but there are some stunning examples.  Two I really like:


Here are my double-sided plates:


and the other sides:


and some of the sample prints:

(I wiggled a bit, and maybe had a little too much paint.  LESS paint def. works better with these)


LOVE the big flower.  This wallpaper had interesting bits all over it so I used two parts of it, but this is def. one of my favourite areas.



And this one – I got a nice textural print:


and nice “stamped” version by pressing paper to the paint-y paper before it dried:


and a great “clean-up” print too!


and I had decent luck using a bit of the scraps as a stamp – inked with Distress Ink, it works pretty well.



Really, I am loving them all so much it’s all I can do to keep from jumping in the car to grab a whole load more.  Well, that and the laundry, anyway LOL!

Happy Sunday….


Virtually free texture plates for Gelli printing

I am so excited about this one.  

I have been looking at my Gelli printed wallpaper circles, as they are pretty much in mu line of sight as I sit at my Mac, and it got me thinking.  I knew I had seen wallpaper rolls at the local DIY store that were white or cream, meant to be [painted over, to produce a textured wall covering.  Is this the dreaded Artrex?  Not sure.  But when I was there to buy some duct tape and painters tape I had a look.  OMG!  There is a HUGE selection.  What I had not realized was that the “paper” actually has an almost plastic-y feel to it.  ALMost like Fun Foam.  And the texture is actually raised quite high.  AND best of all, they et you tear off a chunk as a free sample, presumable so you can take it home and see if you would like to have it on your walls.  I scored a good-sized selection:



I only took patterns that spoke t me, and ones where a roll was already opened and a sample already torn off by someone who probably took it to use for it’s intended purpose.  A couple really are too cool.  This one has two huge (full 8×10 size) leaves that I know I will love using.



But I decided to start with this more overall pattern.

3freetextureCan you see the raised bits actually have some texture to them?  You’ll see it better in the print.

So simple.  I always save all the hard cardboard (thicker than cereal box card but not as thick as mat board) from the back of the 100s of paper pads we seem to acquire for various reasons)  All I did was put down a good cover of ATG tape and press the wallpaper sample to it, then trim.



4freetextureYou can see from the overhang that the samples are big enough to cover the A4 size card with room to spare.  I think they might cover a piece of matboard (if you can score some offcuts for free like I can from my local framer) big enough to make a plate for the larger Gelli plates.  The strips I got were 21 inches wide!

I trimmed to the edge of the card and then decided to go ahead and do another paper on the back side.  Why not have a double-sided plate?

I picked this pattern for the reverse:



Loaded the plate with paint, pressed on the texture then removed it. Wow.



You can really see the texture of the raised areas on the wallpaper, and you can see how clear the pattern has transfered to the plate.

And the print?

9freetextureNice! and the wallpaper wipes clean in a snap with a baby wipe.



The other side prints like this:

10freetextureThere is less texture on those leaves, but I still like it a lot.

So I have another 10 or so to play with.  But you just gotta love free tools, right?






Happy Birthday card (repost)

17 years ago today, just about now, I was in UCH in London, having DD.  I simply cannot fathom the passage of that much time in what seems like an instant.  So not blogging today, really, but wrapping some gifts, planning the perfect dinner of her choice, and getting a head start on a few tasks for half-term week.

When I was looking thru my stockpile of cards, for one to tuck in her lunchbox, I came across this one.  I liked it a lot when I made it, ended up sending a different one instead, so I still had it there, forgotten.  I think it should see the light of day again. You can see the original post here, with the template sized for A4 card.

It looks like Gelli prints, a bit, but it isn’t!  Distress Ink instead.

So Happy Birthday to my darling DD and a happy Friday to you.



This is a bit crazy, I’ll admit, but I think it is fun and not too hard to accomplish with the right tools.  The problem is every time I start to create one, with the idea of making it a tutorial, I make different (and not always better) choices.

There is going to be a LOT of trial and error, depending on your photo, I think.  What I can do is try to explain it then you will have to play with the process to see what you can come up with.  I am sorry, but there are just so many variables, I can’t give you precise settings or a proper step-by-step list.

Basically you want to start with a photo.  A good face shot is probably going to be the best choice.  I have an old one (honestly – so old) that I used for this.

1. Open your photo is PSE or the like.  Start by clicking IMAGE > Mode > Grayscale and click OK to Discard the Color Info

All this does is turns your photo B&W – if you prefer to do it another way, do that.

2. Click FILTER > Sketch > Stamp in the drop down menu.  This will turn your photo into something that looks a bit like this:


There will be issues with this – I had on a patterned sweater and that shows as white spots. Some of the lines are too fine to cut well, or show well when stencilled.  You can correct some things by playing with the sliders in the Filter – take the Light/Dark balance UP and nudge the Smoothness up a bit too.

Another trick is to pick areas that are too thin – like the frames of my glasses.  Select them, then click EDIT > Stroke and make the WIDTH maybe 2 -5 pixels and select OUTSIDE.  Make the colour the same (Black, in this case) the OK.  This will effectively thicken the line.  Sometimes you can also select the area then use the Fill bucket.  That will sometimes smooth out the edges a bit too.  No idea why.

One issue with stencils is the need for things to be connected.  See the WHITE areas to the left?  They fall totally INSIDE the black.  When the black gets cut away they will fall out with it.

I found it easiest to use the Magic Wand to select ALL the White and ALL the Black in turns, then put them on a new layer so I could see them easier.

3. Select all the WHITE with the Magic Wand. Easiest to select one area with the Magic Wand then SELECT >Similar to select all that colour.

4. Click New Layer, be active on that layer, then Click EDIT >Fill Selection and pick WHITE.  You will end up with a layer with just the white areas.  Hide the other layer and you can really see any possible issues.


Now, assuming that the WHITE areas are going to be the MASK (ie when you smudge the black ink on it will fill what you see as the transparent grid above) you need to identify the problems and fix them.

I’ve made the part we want to keep, the MASK part, gray so you can see a bit better:


See to the right?  That white bar?  That connects the face part with the outside.  Without it, the face part would just drop away. And the other bits on the left?  Same thing. I handled those issues differently.  Adding the bar (just use the brush to swipe away that area and connect the face-island to the surround) gives me a usable stencil and all I need to do is fill in that area with paint or ink or whatever.

The black areas you see in the green circles SHOULD be white.  But if I tried to connect them somehow it would look rubbish.  You could just delete them, leaving the left of the face a solid black shadow. But that loses some of the detail.  What I did was select just those areas that would drop out, and repeated the New Layer step.  I save that layer, with JUST THE SPOTS on it.  I’ll use that as a top layer over my main stencil.


This is a prime example of where the select and stroke trick will work well.

I had to resize my two images cause it’s easier to import them to SCAL the right size.  But this shot shows you the two layers.


5. Cut. However you do that.  Any electronic machine that has a TRACE function should work, but you can also cut with a craft knife and a really sharp blade, especially if you really smooth out the edges.

When I import the JPG into SCAL it already smooths things out a lot.


You can really see it with the hair.

6. Stencil the black layer.  


Not too bad!  You can see the left is just a big black area, and here is where the 2nd layer comes in to play.

I lined up the second layer stencil


and punched three registration marks thru BOTH layers. You can see the pencil circles on the stenciled image above.


7.  Once your black layer is dry, you can stencil WHITE over top to add a little detail!


I still need to fill in the bar across the hair, but otherwise it’s done.

So, why use a famous face in your art journal or the face from some random commercial stencil when you can use your own?

I hope I have given you enough info and a few tricks that worked for ME, so that you can give it a go.  I am happy to try to answer any questions, but it really is going to be playing around with YOUR photo.



I have amassed so many Gelli prints that I am not using them up fast enough to keep them from overtaking my space!

Case in point:



I have a bit of an idea but it’s all slightly unformed at the moment.  I think today I will have to have a play and see what happens. After I pop round the other WOYWW desks, of course.  Perhaps inspiration will strike…..

Happy Wednesday!



Famous people stencils

I found a brilliant site!  It’s called Stencilry and it’s just loaded with fab images for making stencils.  I cut them, as I have shown before, with my Cricut from report cover plastic.  I’m back to using my original Cricut, as the mini is boxed up ready to be returned, but my old one works perfectly fine for this.  I just save the image, open it in SCAL and use the TRACE function.  Sometimes I might have to edit it in PSE very slightly to link up an internal area that would otherwise just get cut and fall out, but some work just fine as they are.

Here are a few samples to tempt you:

Clark Gable – cut as it comes with no editing needed


and in use:


I think this guy is called Tom Wellington – I have NO IDEA who he is but I call him Pretty Boy LOL!


Can you see the split in his lip at the right?  I added just that little bar because otherwise the white bit (which fell totally within the bit that cuts out to produce the lip) would just fall out)

Marilyn – same deal with the white of her left eye:


And I was stoked to find a couple of Banksy images.  This one, Girl with Balloon, is iconic.

5stencilsiteTo give the stencil more stability I surround it with strips of firm cardstock

6stencilsiteThen to make sure I can wipe it clean I cover that with packaging tape, like so.

7stencilsiteThen I can smudge ink or paint thru the whole thing or just part of it if I prefer:

8stencilsiteMy camera is acting up – it TRIES to turn on but then shuts down immediately.  I am not sure if it’s the batteries or the camera itself that is causing me problems.  I’m trying to charge the batteries again but we’ll see if it works for my WOYWW photo later.  If not it’ll be my phone.  Arrggh!  Seems like I just bought the darn thing, never been happy with it, if I’m honest, but still annoyed it won’t behave.