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Gelatin Printing – Try Something New Every Month

Gelatin Printing

This was my March project for ‘Try Something New Every Month’; you can see my other past projects and read more about TSNEM here. You can also see more in a fun round-up of gelatin printing inspiration and ideas here!

I had never heard of gelatin printing until Abby tweeted about it and I was intrigued. I really like seeing other people experiment with printmaking and I am brainstorming more printmaking experiments! I think gelatin printing is especially fun because it has a pretty low cost to try; I used my fancy brayer but all you really need is two boxes of gelatin (I used Knox brand).

I used this tutorial from The Sketchbook Challenge to make my gelatin plate. Apparently my fridge has a crooked shelf, because while I know the Pyrex dish I used is flat, the gelatin came out totally uneven. I had a few paper hexies sitting in front of me that Rebecca had just mailed me, so I thought I’d try those out first.

Gelatin printing

Attempt #1 was a total failure. I used printer paper, and clearly wayyyy too much paint. The hexagons were completely soaked or smooshed and at this point, I wondered why I’d tried this.

Spool Print Making

Attempt #2 went much better – I smeared the paint over the empty spots left by a few of the hexagons and tried pushing a few empty thread spools into the paint. I was using cheap white muslin so the paint leaked through, but it dried quickly.

Thread Spool Artwork

For attempt #3 I washed the plate off – and in the process accidentally tore off the thinner side. No worries, it still worked well! I put paint off to the side and stamped directly on to the plate, which gave more distinct shapes on the fabric.

Triangle Gelatin Printing

Attempt #4 was another mixture of too much paint and printer paper. I am thinking a thicker art paper would do better for this, in retrospect, and the hand-carved stamp I used was too shallow to leave a great imprint (I carved it for fabric stamping in this post way back when).

So! Those were my 4 first attempts. I washed off the gelatin plate and stuck in a Ziploc, we will see how long it lasts in my fridge. I let my 2 year old shred and play with the pieces that had broken off, so it was a win win.

I think this would be really fun to do with older kids after a nature walk, using found objects and making stationary. It’s hard to explain why exactly it’s different than just stamping, so I suggest you just try it! I’m really glad I did and will have it rolling around in the back of my creative toolbox. I’m not sure what or if I’ll use the fabric I printed for – so let me know if you have a brilliant idea for that and/or if you plan to try gelatin printing!

See what other bloggers tried for TSNEM this month:

Gelatin Printing - Try Something New Every Month

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This Post Has 8 Comments
  1. My first screen printing attempts looked something like this too. I’m sure you know from sewing experience that you’ll work out the details with more practice. Thanks for sharing the process photos!

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