by Julie Warner

Transfer ink from a plate to paper to create one-of-a-kind backgrounds.


  • Pigment inks
  • Piece of glass or acrylic (Glass from an old picture frame is perfect)
  • Painting tools Squeegee, combing tool, texture tool
  • Cardstock
  • Stamps (Solid images work best)


  1. Step 1

    Place your glass over paper to make it easier to see.

    Rub and smoosh ink over the surface of the glass. Cover the printing area with ink and try not leave any open areas.

  2. Step 2

    Use a combing tool to create a pattern in the ink.

    Wipe the ink off the comb after every pass.

    Tip: For more interesting patterns, vary the direction of your combing, even going over areas already combed.

  3. Step 3

    Place cardstock (here a mint green is used) on top of finished ink pattern.

    Use a squeegee to ensure good coverage.

  4. Step 4

    Carefully lift cardstock and allow to dry or use embossing tool.

    Optional: Ink stamps with a darker ink color and stamp directly onto glass over a lighter base ink color.

    Place cardstock on top of pattern as before.

  5. Ink stamps with a contrasting ink color and stamp onto inked glass.

    Here after I stamped the leaves onto the glass, I stamped them off onto a separate piece of cardstock for use later.

  6. Step 5

    For added interest, I used a sprinkling of gilded gold (mostly clear with flecks of gold) embossing powder on these backgrounds, then sponged a little rust colored ink on my backgrounds.

  7. Finished project incorporating monoprinted backgrounds.


Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Monoprinting. Try this technique, then upload your artwork to the gallery. Show us your creations!

***Please note - Internet Explorer/Edge is not a supported browser, and will not allow you to see the videos. Please use Chrome, Firefox or Safari to view our tutorial videos.

Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.

Wow, wow, WOW!!

I also have avoided pigment ink, for the most part, for years. I just never knew what to do with them without smearing. These abstract backgrounds are the perfect solution!
Kim Padan  |  Fri May 19, 2017 at 9:33 AM
Wow what a great video tutorial. Gave me some new ideas to try. Thank you so much for sharing!
Barb Gercone  |  Fri May 19, 2017 at 9:47 AM
Loved it and thought it was so funny you brought out your gelli plate when you did because I was just thinking to myself, wonder how well in the inks will work on the gelli plate versus just acrylic paint so thanks for showing that. I love my gelli plate. Have a lot of picture frame glass also though so will also try that.
Lori McGarrity  |  Mon May 22, 2017 at 12:06 PM
Oh, my...oh, my...oh, my!!! I now know why I've hung onto some stencils and large stamps - so I could do this!
I like that you showed many different ideas. I also learned that I can use a paper towel and a craft iron to heat dry pigment inks. I tried a heat gun with pigment ink before but always ended up with curled edges on the cardstock.
Diane McGovern  |  Tue May 23, 2017 at 1:16 PM
I'm so glad you brought this techiques back to the surface. I missed it back in 2009, but intend to use it soon.
Diana Enns  |  Thu May 25, 2017 at 9:36 AM
Can you please tell me what to ask for when shoppig for a jelly plate? Why is this superior?

Loved your tutorial, lots of top notch ideas!
Sandy  |  Sat Jul 1, 2017 at 6:46 AM

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