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7 Practical Reasons I Use Stencils on a Gel Plate

There are 7 practical reasons why I gel print with stencils. These are in no particular order, except my #1 reason. It might be a bit controversial as a practical reason, but it is the most important thing I get from gel printing.

7. Speed! Using a gel plate is the fastest way have ever used to stencil and that makes the impatient parts of me very very happy! When I’m working with a detailed stencil and a heavier paper, like cardstock, I use my fingertips to make sure that the entire pattern is picked up. You can see this in action in the video above at about the 0:50 second mark.

6. Get a variety looks from one stencil which means getting more value out of every single stencil. Both of these prints were made with the same stencil, Once Upon a Time. In the video above you saw how to create the blue print and in Stencil-rific Layers, you can see the multi color print made step-by-step.

5. Gel plates capture all the details of a stencil to show up in the print, even when you’ve got a detailed stencil such as Words to Live By. Then you can layer details using a stencil to take a print to the next level just like the hint of black on the print on the right does below. How that subtle touch was added to this print is inside Stencil-rific Layers for you.

As a side note, these practical reasons overlap. This print was both speedy and detailed.

4. Use every drop of paint can be used. The paint on the backside of the stencil can be used in a snap on a gel plate! It’s also a very quick way of cleaning off the stencil. Plus, it enables you to create multiple looks by using the positive or negative of the stencil. It slices, it dices. Well, not really but stencils on a gel plate can do a lot of different things! What is this stencil? It’s Trapezoid Squared.

3. As you grow, the stencils and gel plate grow with you. When I started gel printing, my prints had one color and one layer. I loved them! As my understanding of the gel plate grew, I was able to add more layers and colors using the same gel plate and stencil. How that exact print on the right wax created step-by-step process is inside the workshop, Stencil-rific Layers.

2. I can create looks with them that I could never do with just a paint brush. That Venice inspired stencil can become an abstract print or a gloriously grungy one. And yes, you see how both of these prints were created inside the online workshop Stencil-rific Layers.

The #1 reason why I started gel printing and haven’t stopped, is it’s FUN! Is that a practical reason to gel print? Yes! When life is extra stressful or the world is a bit much to handle, spending a few minutes playing, printing and creating helps me decompress and turn the day around by putting a touch of joy back into it.

The reason I created Stencil-rific Layers is so you can have more fun printing. I’ve heard time and time again from students that understanding why the gel plate does what it does and then being able to guide a print to get the look they want, gel printing is even more fun! If you’d like to fast track the understanding and fun, then check out Stencil-rific Layers!

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  • Linda October 6, 2023, 4:47 pm

    Oh the joy. Thanks for sharing your expertise.