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Old 04-10-2017, 05:46 AM   #1
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Default Caring for gel plates and brayers

I thought I'd start a how to care for thread after I saw a video yesterday that mentioned "cleaning" my plate occasionally with something like mineral oil. Please feel free to add any tips and tricks you have learned.


It said you need to clean it once in a while with an oil type product like mineral or baby oil. Pulled out the pamphlet that came with my plate and sure enough it says it is a mineral based product. I had no idea, guess mineral oil is going on my shopping list. FYI, it did caution against using any oil that could go rancid such as vegetable oil.






That same video mentioned giving rubber brayers a good cleaning with Murphy Soap to get it really clean and to remove the crusty bits. Yea, I already have that one in my laundry room cabinet. Off to dig it out so I can soak my slightly lumpy brayer.
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Old 04-11-2017, 03:12 AM   #2
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This is really good to know - thank you!

I've heard of using the Murphy's soap for soaking stencils to get off stubborn paint. I've just been using my brayers for gel printing, so they have *ahem* several layers of paint on them. I don't usually clean my gelli plate either - I just tell myself that the leftover paint will add interest to the next project.
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Old 04-11-2017, 04:01 AM   #3
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I've gotten over the "but it doesn't look pretty" thing but lumps and bumps are another story. I tore a couple of my more delicate stencils trying to get them clean so now I'm in the don't bother camp too but if soaking them will help... although some say the layers make them stronger and less likely to get torn up.

Another tip: Do Not use a heat gun or the hot setting of a hair dryer when trying to speed up drying time. It is an oil based product and is therefore flammable. Use the no heat/cold setting instead on your hair dryer or a small fan even. I wonder if we have any of those hand held fans still, hmmm....
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Old 04-11-2017, 04:17 AM   #4
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Default Since you mentioned stencils...

Here's something I've never tried but if Pam Carricker says it works....

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Old 04-11-2017, 02:21 PM   #5
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Wow! I'm thrilled to know how to effectively clean my stencils, brayers. and gel plate. The wonderful folks at SCS come through for us again.
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Old 04-12-2017, 04:34 AM   #6
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Interesting...

I noticed she used gloves, everything would need a very thorough rinsing afterwards I would think . I also probably wouldn't reuse that sponge with anything that comes in contact with food.


thanks for sharing,
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Old 04-12-2017, 04:58 AM   #7
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I wouldn't use a sponge that I used to clean paint off things on anything that comes in contact with food.

The dish washing liquid itself would seem to be less of an issue. It's meant to come in contact with dishes and such. Still, you probably have to use a fair amount.

I'd also probably use gloves no matter what I used to clean the stencils - Murphy's or dishwashing liquid. But that's me.
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Old 04-12-2017, 05:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachelrose View Post
Here's something I've never tried but if Pam Carricker says it works....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7CfGapLZ04
I will try this! I have several huge wallpaper stencils that are very caked with paint! Murphy's Oil Soap works some but these are beyond its goodness!
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Old 04-12-2017, 06:48 AM   #9
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What a GREAT IDEA! I will put this tid-bit of information in the file with my stencils. I haven't gotten into stencils as this woman has, that is yet to come! LOL But, the last time I used my stencils, I tried out my homemade Gelli Plate.... I ran a sink of SUPER HOT water with dish detergent (not dish washer soap), & just dropped them in when I was all done, (If I remember correctly, I did wear gloves too), & then I used a fingernail brush to scrub them carefully & the paint came right off!

Of course, as with ANYTHING, the cleaner you keep your tools, the longer they will last! Whether that is kitchen tools, appliances, men's tools, or craft tools, they will last longer!
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Old 04-12-2017, 06:56 AM   #10
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HA! Forgot this was the thread on THE GELLI PLATE with all the talk about stencils!

So, here is a question: I'm guessing the care for the Gelli Plate is the same for a Home Made Gelli Plate?
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Old 04-12-2017, 06:59 AM   #11
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I wonder also if Simple Green isn't a good cleaner for Brayers, as it is a cleaner & conditioner for Rubber!
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Old 04-12-2017, 07:23 AM   #12
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What a GREAT IDEA! I will put this tid-bit of information in the file with my stencils. I haven't gotten into stencils as this woman has, that is yet to come! LOL But, the last time I used my stencils, I tried out my homemade Gelli Plate.... I ran a sink of SUPER HOT water with dish detergent (not dish washer soap), & just dropped them in when I was all done, (If I remember correctly, I did wear gloves too), & then I used a fingernail brush to scrub them carefully & the paint came right off!
Getting to your stencils right away is definitely the best way to keep them clean. If you drop them into a pan of water immediately, there's never a problem.

But in the heat of the moment, we tend to not do that. (Or at least I often don't !)

Tim Holtz recommends alcohol wipes. I just remembered this from an online course I took with him. I've never tried that, either.

And I don't think the care for a homamade gelatin plate is the same as for a Gelli Plate. If by that you mean one made with actual gelatin. A Gelli Plate is some kind of plastic material.

I clean my Gelli Plate with either mineral oil or hand sanitizer. (Circling back around to the original question.)
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Old 04-12-2017, 07:45 AM   #13
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And I don't think the care for a homamade gelatin plate is the same as for a Gelli Plate. If by that you mean one made with actual gelatin. A Gelli Plate is some kind of plastic material.

I clean my Gelli Plate with either mineral oil or hand sanitizer. (Circling back around to the original question.)
This comment in part was by Rachelrose.
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When I made the Home Made Gelli Plate, they said because of the "science" of things, the Gelatin was turned to a plastic when mixing in the other ingredients. I figured the ingredients were different from the Original Gelli Plate on the market, but I figured it was the same idea.... And I've used the Hand Sanitizer on mine also, as one of the ingredients in the Home Made Plate is alcohol! I absolutely love the whole idea of the Home Made Gelli Plate, not only because of the cost factor, but because I can melt it down & let it reset if necessary! Just wondering, Can you melt down the Original Gelli Plate???
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Last edited by TLady; 04-12-2017 at 07:47 AM.. Reason: I evidently didn't copy Rachelrose's comment correctly & needed to make that distinction.
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Old 04-12-2017, 07:53 AM   #14
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No, you absolutely can't melt down a Gelli Plate (the kind you buy). It's a permanent plate. That's what people like about it. It basically lasts forever.

The downside to it is that it will never be quite as "sensitive" as an actual gelatin plate. You can get it to register some very fine detail, but not (according to several blogs I've read) as much as with gelatin.
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Old 04-12-2017, 08:16 AM   #15
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Quote:
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No, you absolutely can't melt down a Gelli Plate (the kind you buy). It's a permanent plate. That's what people like about it. It basically lasts forever.

The downside to it is that it will never be quite as "sensitive" as an actual gelatin plate. You can get it to register some very fine detail, but not (according to several blogs I've read) as much as with gelatin.
O.k., what I've discovered on line too about the home made gelli plate, is that it lasts for forever too! It doesn't break down or go rancid, because it was turned to a plastic..... And it is also said that it is a permanent plate also. Do you mean by "sensitive" that it won't pick up the print you want as well, with the store bought plate? It was also said, that if you were to nick the home made plate, you can melt down the plate & let it reset. I'm guessing the store bought plate can be nicked too? Or am I wrong? Maybe, that is what they mean by "permanent?" And so the give, that you get with the homemade plate you don't find in the store bought? Am I getting this right? LOL
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Old 04-12-2017, 11:05 AM   #16
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This blog post explains it better than I could:

I am Rushmore: Gelatin printing vs. the Gelli plate

Can you really remelt your home made one? If it's turned to a kind of plastic? How do you do it?
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Old 04-12-2017, 11:32 AM   #17
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You are a GENIUS! Thanks for the comparison. I was intimidated about making my own gelatin plate. I was gifted with a small Gelli Plate for Christmas. Then for less than $5 total, I was able to purchase the two largest sizes at an estate sale. Your work has been inspirational to me.
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Old 04-12-2017, 11:46 AM   #18
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Well, those were not my prints! That was someone else's blog post! But if it served as an inspiration, then that is wonderful !
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Old 04-12-2017, 12:21 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachelrose View Post
This blog post explains it better than I could:

I am Rushmore: Gelatin printing vs. the Gelli plate

Can you really remelt your home made one? If it's turned to a kind of plastic? How do you do it?

Sorry it took me so long to get back to this. A computer gliche' & our son wanted brownies! GOTTA HAVE CHOCOLATE, RIGHT? LOL

Yes, you can microwave the home made Gelli Plate & let it set up again & again! I was surprised to see that the lady on the site you linked says the home made gelli plate will break down, as what I heard, says it doesn't! I think it depends on what you make it out of. There are several different recipes out there.

Here is the one I used,
HOME MADE GELLI PLATE
7 packets of Gelatin, Knox
1/2 c. Glycerin
1 1/2 c. Boiling water
1 c. Alcohol
If you mix this up & it blobs up on your stirring utensil, just put it in the microwave. Don't breathe in the fumes. The alcohol can be kind of strong.

I used a microwaveable dish with a lid to make it in & to store it in. (My husband found me an Anchor Hocking dish that was smooth on the inside bottom of it, & mine is about 8" x 8".) That way there isn't a lot of pouring to make bubbles. Scrap off any bubbles after nuking it or pouring it your container.

If you damage the plate, you can re-nuke it on high in the microwave & let it reset.

You can leave the alcohol out & use Glycerin in it's place. BUT.....
*** For a more durable plate---add more alcohol & glycerin in the place of liquid.

To clean: Wipe with Hand Sanitzer & a paper towel when done.

HOPE THIS ENCOURAGES you to try to make your own! I REALLY enjoyed reading the site you linked to! THANK YOU Rachelrose!!!
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Old 04-12-2017, 02:34 PM   #20
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When it comes to cleaning my gelli plates, yes I have more than one, I spray them with water and wipe it with one of those soft kitchen scrubber sponges gently on both sides and follow up with a baby wipe.

I was storing my plate in the original packaging with the acetate sheets, but I when I went to use it I had air bubble impressions.
I went to Gelli Arts FAQs and this is what I found out...
Q: I noticed there are bubbles under the plastic sheets that cover the Gelli® plate. Is that a problem?

A: It is possible for air bubbles to form between the Mylar and the gel plate surface leaving a small bubble mark. These are insignificant and do not usually present any problem in printing. If bubble marks do show up on your prints - try the following: Place your plate bubble mark side down on a hard, flat surface (the gel printing plate contains mineral oil, so do not place the plate on a surface that may absorb mineral oil) and let it sit overnight. The gel material conforms to the surface it is laying upon - so in the morning the bubble marks should be gone.

It works! No more bubble impressions.

Also...

Q: How do I store my Gelli® plate?

A: When you are finished printing, we recommend you clean your Gelli® plate and pat it dry with a paper towel. To protect the printing surface when you are storing your plate, cover both sides of the plate with a plain white sheet of copy paper. Be careful to smooth out the paper with your hands to ensure there are no air bubbles in between the paper and the plate. Now you can place your plate back in the clamshell until you are ready to use it again. You can discard the mylar sheets that come with the plate.
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Old 04-12-2017, 02:37 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TLady View Post
Sorry it took me so long to get back to this. A computer gliche' & our son wanted brownies! GOTTA HAVE CHOCOLATE, RIGHT? LOL

Yes, you can microwave the home made Gelli Plate & let it set up again & again! I was surprised to see that the lady on the site you linked says the home made gelli plate will break down, as what I heard, says it doesn't! I think it depends on what you make it out of. There are several different recipes out there.

Here is the one I used,
HOME MADE GELLI PLATE
7 packets of Gelatin, Knox
1/2 c. Glycerin
1 1/2 c. Boiling water
1 c. Alcohol
If you mix this up & it blobs up on your stirring utensil, just put it in the microwave. Don't breathe in the fumes. The alcohol can be kind of strong.

I used a microwaveable dish with a lid to make it in & to store it in. (My husband found me an Anchor Hocking dish that was smooth on the inside bottom of it, & mine is about 8" x 8".) That way there isn't a lot of pouring to make bubbles. Scrap off any bubbles after nuking it or pouring it your container.

If you damage the plate, you can re-nuke it on high in the microwave & let it reset.

You can leave the alcohol out & use Glycerin in it's place. BUT.....
*** For a more durable plate---add more alcohol & glycerin in the place of liquid.

To clean: Wipe with Hand Sanitzer & a paper towel when done.

HOPE THIS ENCOURAGES you to try to make your own! I REALLY enjoyed reading the site you linked to! THANK YOU Rachelrose!!!
I may try this to make a round plate. Thanks
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Old 04-12-2017, 02:43 PM   #22
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I may try this to make a round plate. Thanks

You're WELCOME!
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Old 04-12-2017, 02:48 PM   #23
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Just FYI, before the Gelli Plate - and all the recipes people subsequently came up with to make their own - a gelatin plate was just that - plain gelatin. That's why it had a shelf life. You could keep it in the fridge for just so long before it broke down.

That's what the woman on the blog I linked was comparing her Gelli Plate to - a plain gelatin plate.

Bohodiva - be very careful about using anything at all abrasive on your plates. Once they are scratched, that's it. If I have bits of paint that won't come off, I brayer some paint on thinly, put down a piece of paper and let the whole thing dry. When I pull the paper up, the crusty bits will come along. Usually. The roughest thing I will use on mine is a paper towel.
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Old 04-12-2017, 03:31 PM   #24
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Thank you Rachelrose! I didn't realize that---that she was talking about using REAL JELLO! LOL
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Old 04-13-2017, 09:46 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachelrose View Post
Just FYI, before the Gelli Plate - and all the recipes people subsequently came up with to make their own - a gelatin plate was just that - plain gelatin. That's why it had a shelf life. You could keep it in the fridge for just so long before it broke down.

That's what the woman on the blog I linked was comparing her Gelli Plate to - a plain gelatin plate.

Bohodiva - be very careful about using anything at all abrasive on your plates. Once they are scratched, that's it. If I have bits of paint that won't come off, I brayer some paint on thinly, put down a piece of paper and let the whole thing dry. When I pull the paper up, the crusty bits will come along. Usually. The roughest thing I will use on mine is a paper towel.
So agree about paint bits - don't try to pull them off! An instructor's plate had so many divots that they added dots to every print, whether you wanted them or not!

That said, using hard items to make marks works well. My favorite "tool" is a hard plastic hair roller - the type with the plastic points and a c-shaped cover? An LSS instructor gave it to me because I was so enamored with the many types of marks it would make by rolling it, on its end, etc.

That LSS had bins of objects to spur the imagination, like plastic netting oranges/onions come in, and hard plastic tools are sold by GelliArts. Cardboard inserts from toilet paper/paper towels make neat circles or wonky shapes.

For a "store bought" Gelli plate, GelliArts suggests the following in their FAQ for cleaning. I just bring mine to the sink and use a bit of Dawn and my hands:

"Q: How do I clean my Gelli® plate after using acrylic paints?

A: The plate is very easy to clean. You can spritz it with water and wipe with a paper towel, then pat dry. Baby wipes and gel hand sanitzer are also useful for wiping the plate clean. You can also take the plate to the sink and wash with mild soap and water.

Q: How do I clean my Gelli® plate after using oil-based paints?

A: Wipe the plate clean with baby oil (mineral oil), then wash with a dish soap, such as Dawn, to remove the oily residue.

Q: My plate has become stained from pigments. How can I remove the stains?

A: Wiping your plate with baby oil should remove most pigment stains. After you've cleaned the plate, you should wash it with a dish soap, such as Dawn, to remove the oily residue.

Q: How do I remove newsprint ink or pencil marks from a Gelli® plate?

A: See answer directly above. Cleaning the plate for all stains is the same process."
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Old 04-13-2017, 10:01 AM   #26
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If I accidentally leave paint on my home made Gelli Plate after cleaning, when I melt it down again, it seems to come to the top & I scoop it out.
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Old 04-13-2017, 05:07 PM   #27
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You gals are all so knowledgeable about Gelli printing and I have a very basic question. I bought a Gelli Plate by Gelli Arts and I have a bunch of acrylic paints and even some tools to make patterns with. But what kind of paper do you use for your "prints"? It seems like you could go through a ton of paper! I'm a cardmaker, and I have good quality cardstock, but that could get expensive. But hey, art might be worth it?! But what kind of paper do YOU use?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-13-2017, 05:14 PM   #28
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You gals are all so knowledgeable about Gelli printing and I have a very basic question. I bought a Gelli Plate by Gelli Arts and I have a bunch of acrylic paints and even some tools to make patterns with. But what kind of paper do you use for your "prints"? It seems like you could go through a ton of paper! I'm a cardmaker, and I have good quality cardstock, but that could get expensive. But hey, art might be worth it?! But what kind of paper do YOU use?

Thanks in advance!
Copy paper, deli paper (like unwaxed wax paper), cheap cardstock, sometimes high quality cardstock. : ) Oh - and index cards (50 for a mini book, each folded in half).

Here's some deli paper, just so you can see an example. I didn't buy this particular one.
https://www.amazon.com/Sheets-12x12-...xed+deli+paper

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Old 04-13-2017, 05:39 PM   #29
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I use copy card stock that can be found at Walmart! I use it for making my cards too! I LOVE what bjeans has said about what she uses too... all the different types of paper & sizes..... I've put away some paper from packaging, that I'm beginning to think might be fun to play with the Gelli Plate too! LOL You could probably use most anything! By the way, I am NEW to the Gelli Plate! LOL I just did some "research" on the net. I believe Lydia here at SCS, also uses copy card stock! She has a video too....
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Old 04-14-2017, 04:55 AM   #30
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Boy had an internet issue for a couple of days and my thread exploded, maybe I should have issues more often - NOT.

It's my understanding that dishwasher soap has very strong agents/chemicals in it that are not a problem in a dishwasher because of volume and pressure of the water but caution is needed when used on its own. Rinse thoroughly and then again after you think you have rinsed enough in addition to always wearing gloves. There is a reason it is effective in cleaning when other methods fail.


Listen to the warning about being careful what/where you lay your plate. I washed mine and left it to dry on my silicone mat and now my mat is warped, I had no idea it could mess up silicone. I also laid my journaling bible on mine one time without realizing it and ended up with stitch lines and a pebble texture in my plate. The plate is mostly back to normal, it just took time. I'm not sure I will ever get rid of the large "bubble" in my mat. Thankfully it is a large mat and the bubble is in one of the corners and while annoying I can still use it.


I have used all kinds of paper from printer paper to cardstock to tracing paper to junk mail..etc You won't know unless you try. They caution against using glossy cardstock though so I have not tried that and I'm not a fan of velum, it curled a lot. I have even used the inside of those payment envelopes we all get with our bills and the cardboard inserts from a set of new sheets. I put a thin layer of white gesso on the cardboard inserts first and then gelli printed them. You don't see and can't tell what they were unless you look really closely. I have done some index cards as well, in fact thanks for reminding me I wanted to get some larger 4 x 6 sized ones.


Don't forget you can use fabric. A bonus with fabric is a ghost print with paper after a fabric pull will usually have the fabric texture on it.


Exciting news about the mineral oil getting newsprint off a plate! If it works, my DH might get out of the dog house finally, although the silicone mat issue was because I was trying to put the plate far, far away from him...so maybe not.

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Old 04-14-2017, 06:18 PM   #31
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Thanks for all the wonderful info you experienced Gelli printers have shared! I look forward to getting mine out and getting some paint on it!!
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Old 01-26-2018, 06:37 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by TLady View Post
Sorry it took me so long to get back to this. A computer gliche' & our son wanted brownies! GOTTA HAVE CHOCOLATE, RIGHT? LOL

Yes, you can microwave the home made Gelli Plate & let it set up again & again! I was surprised to see that the lady on the site you linked says the home made gelli plate will break down, as what I heard, says it doesn't! I think it depends on what you make it out of. There are several different recipes out there.

Here is the one I used,
HOME MADE GELLI PLATE
7 packets of Gelatin, Knox
1/2 c. Glycerin
1 1/2 c. Boiling water
1 c. Alcohol
If you mix this up & it blobs up on your stirring utensil, just put it in the microwave. Don't breathe in the fumes. The alcohol can be kind of strong.

I used a microwaveable dish with a lid to make it in & to store it in. (My husband found me an Anchor Hocking dish that was smooth on the inside bottom of it, & mine is about 8" x 8".) That way there isn't a lot of pouring to make bubbles. Scrap off any bubbles after nuking it or pouring it your container.

If you damage the plate, you can re-nuke it on high in the microwave & let it reset.

You can leave the alcohol out & use Glycerin in it's place. BUT.....
*** For a more durable plate---add more alcohol & glycerin in the place of liquid.

To clean: Wipe with Hand Sanitzer & a paper towel when done.

HOPE THIS ENCOURAGES you to try to make your own! I REALLY enjoyed reading the site you linked to! THANK YOU Rachelrose!!!



Thanks for the great recipe, I was wondering how big is your container and how thick. And do you have to store it in the refrigerator?
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Old 01-26-2018, 06:38 AM   #33
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Thanks for the great recipe, I was wondering how big is your container and how thick. And do you have to store it in the refrigerator?
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Old 01-26-2018, 09:45 AM   #34
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Well, I JUST pulled my gelli plate out to measure the container for you..... It is an Anchor Hocking Dish with lid. It's about 8 1/2" x 8 1/2" & 2 1/2" deep. My gelli plate only comes up about a 1/2" in the dish. You can go smaller too if you like.... The company that does them ready to go, has them in shapes too.... ( I would use silicone shapes.) So, let your mind be creative here.... I read that you DON'T have to refrigerate this, BUT as I pulled this out of my craft cabinet, & IT IS MOLDING!!! ACK!!!!! I think when I do this recipe again, I will add MORE ALCOHOL!!! I remember reading you can replace the water with alcohol & that is what I will do! I am NOT happy with the mold! LOL AND I may just double the recipe for a thicker plate, although if you look at the ready made ones, they aren't that thick either. ( I did it in the glass Anchor Hocking Dish so I could just microwave it in that & not have to transfer it.... It is a dish I specifically got for this!) HOPE THIS HELPS!
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Old 01-27-2018, 05:51 AM   #35
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This thread is about purchased commercial plates.

There are a number of threads about DIY plates where this conversation would be more applicable and lots of info there already.
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Old 01-28-2018, 05:41 AM   #36
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Going back to the subject of cleaning brayers- I watched a Clarity video by Barbara Gray the other day on Brayering tips. Her tip for quick & easy brayer cleaning was- lay down a baby wipe on your table and brayer your inky brayer over that a few times. Then brayer over kitchen paper to dry. She said she couldn't believe she'd not thought of it before.
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Old 01-28-2018, 05:50 AM   #37
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Neat idea. I admit I had to google what kitchen paper means - paper towels in the U.S. : D

I just brayer off on the cheapest copy paper or an advertising catalog, though rarely get them now. At the end of a session I wash with Dawn and warm water.
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Old 01-29-2018, 03:19 AM   #38
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The only time I clean my Gel Press plate is before I do a video . Then it's just hand sanitizer and a paper towel. Otherwise, I leave the little bits of paint as Dina does for character in my next print. Brayer - I just keep an extra piece of paper to get the paint off with - sometimes those are prettier than my prints!
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Old 01-29-2018, 06:22 AM   #39
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My brayer is in serious need of cleaning. It has been months since I touched it and has a pretty thick layer of paint on it. I'm going to have to try some of these cleaning methods to see if I can rescue it because that plate has been calling my name lately. I'll let y'all know how it goes, I thinking it may take all of the above to get it cleanish.

p.s... you were right about Murphy soap. I've tried that one before and only got some paint off.


I am so going to try to remember the baby wipe/paper towel combo for the future.
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Old 01-29-2018, 06:53 AM   #40
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If you can't get it clean, get a new one and consider that brayer a texture tool. It probably puts down an interesting pattern. !
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