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What is Zentangle?
Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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Zentangle® and Gelli™ printing with foam stamps

Tips, Tools, Techniques

Many of us are hooked on Gelli monoprinting. Creating colorful prints without a printing press “is taking the art and craft world by storm“.

Monoprinting with a Gelli plate is another very addictive creative outlet using simple supplies. It’s totally carefree fun, “playing with paint, color, texture, and moving at a fast pace.” In no time flat you collect a colorful stack of your very own prints. Playing with “found textures” for your prints is almost as fun as discovering a tangle in your surroundings.

If you’re wondering what can be done with them, “Many monoprints are simply good beginnings for a vast array of projects. It’s great fun to work back into prints with various media, layer over them, journal on them, or tear them up and use the snippets for collage.” Or make greeting cards …

This video tutorial from Gelli co-founder Joan Bess demonstrates how to print greeting cards and matching envelopes using simple foam sheets to create printing plate stamps.

Just imagine what stunning Zentangle-inspired designs we can make using our favorite tangles to create the foam stamps used in this cardmaking tutorial.

The demo uses purchased foam printing plates but if you have styrofoam picnic plates or even clean foam takeout containers or vegetable or meat trays from the supermarket you can make great foam stamps from those recycled supplies too.

Materials used:

  1. 5″x7″ Gelli Arts Gel Printing Plate
  2. Strathmore Printmaking Cards – Package of 75 Cards and Envelopes AND Gelli Arts Printing Plate
  3. Pebeo Studio Acrylics
  4. Amsterdam Standard Series Acrylic Paint
  5. Speedball 4″ Pop-In Soft Rubber Brayer
  6. Inovart ‘Presto’ Foam Printing Plates – “It cuts easily with scissors or a craft knife—and drawing into it with a pen, pencil, stylus or other pointed tool gives you endless design opportunities!”
  7. Gelli Plate Printing, by Joan Bess [I love this book! The italicized quotes above are from the Introduction.]

If you’re like me and enjoy reading the instructions, the step-by-step tutorial is here on the Gelli Arts blog. The blog includes excellent tips that aren’t in the video. (Please note that the giveaway mentioned on that page is now closed.)

As a little background on these great gel printing plates, Joan and her partner Lou Ann Gleason created the Gelli plates about four years ago, as she describes:

I love all kinds of printmaking methods, gelatin printing most of all. But it made me crazy when I didn’t have a plate ready. Or my plate fell apart at the wrong time. Or was damp with humidity and turned mushy. And no room in the refrigerator to keep it fresh. Ugh! Too many negatives getting in the way of the creative process! Know what I mean?

So I started thinking about a printing plate with the look and feel of gelatin, that would always be ready for printing. It had to be easy to use, easy to clean, store at room temperature, and of course, be totally non-toxic.

The Gelli printing plate is the result of their brainstorming and the rest, as they say, is history. If you visit their blog, be sure to check out the archives as there are many excellent tutorials with lots of creative ideas for making and using your Gelli art for other projects.

Materials available from Amazon


8 comments to Zentangle® and Gelli™ printing with foam stamps

  • Patricia Raygor

    Hi, Linda, great craft!!

  • jan

    thank you; I have the book gelli art book. I love the look.
    Love to do more Zentangle into this gelli art. Nice cards Ideal.

  • Daphne LaPorte

    What a great idea – I have been making cards with my zentangle designs, but photocopying them and layering onto the card. This way you can get more cards from just the small designs and not giving away your originals with each card. I am going to try some. Thank you.

  • Lisa Fae

    oh great, something else for me to get addicted to…lol.

  • Nancy Pearson

    Oh, Lisa!! You are so right. This looks fun and possibly easy to do. I love Zentangle because it is a very neat and clean art. Just looking at paint it ends up on my elbows and the tip of my nose. But then, again, this looks fun! These two art forms can certainly come together as one. Thank you, Joan Bess and Linda, for showing us new things. Nancy

  • jan

    Thank you. I have the book gelli art book. Love the look you can do with zentangle art with gelli .

  • Sandra Botset


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