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Making Hot Glue Pattern Stamps Tips and Tricks

Making patterns for printing with hot glue and cardboard is a time honored way to play.  But how do you get the hot glue uniformly smooth for the best printing?  What’s the no fumble way to use them when printing?  How can you stamp a good impression in an art journal using regular acrylic paint (and this used to frustrate me so much until I found a solution)?

All these secrets are revealed in the video below. Okay, secrets may be a bit dramatic but they are the tips and tricks that I learned while playing with the Gel Press plate.

Watch Tips and tricks for how to make hot glue pattern making stamps on YouTube.

You’ll need a hot glue gun, extra glue sticks, cardboard, a non stick surface, and caps, lids or little things like the mini dental floss you get when visiting the dentist.  (I get the super cheap thin non stick mats from Amazon and they are around a $1 per mat.)

When I stamp with homemade hot glue pattern stamps and acrylic paint directly onto paper, the image is spotty at best.  The paint had to be loaded on it, and then only some of it transferred.  Lots of wasted paint, disappointment and frustration.

But if I stamp onto a Gel Press plate, then quickly take the print of it, I get a whole lot of the pattern and detail.  All the wonderful color mixtures here, all loaded up on the stamp while making a traditional gel print, transferred directly onto the art journal page.

All those wibbly wobbly circles in my journal make me so happy and the big trick for doing this is to have the paper or art journal right next to you and ready, since the paint is so thin it will dry very quickly.

I was so excited about this big circles stamp, I totally forgot to play with the single circle I made in the video! OOPS!  Twist my arm…guess that means I need to go and make some more prints!

Curious to know more about gel printing?  I’ve got a step by step video and downloadable guide to get you started.

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  • SusanJane June 23, 2017, 7:41 pm

    I hate hot glue for a bunch of reasons, would this work with some other glue? Like a thicker white glue (Elmers) or a squeeze bottle of acrylic medium or something else?! I think leaving the cardboard/glue face up and putting the craft sheet on top so there’s less weight… or maybe the self-leveling will happen by itself? Maybe I shouldn’t be asking and just get my ass to my art table instead 🙂

    • Carolyn Dube June 23, 2017, 8:09 pm

      I say give it a try and see what happens SusanJane! I used hot glue because there is not a long wait time to play…and I’m impatient lol

  • Terri Young June 23, 2017, 9:09 pm

    Great information on making stencils and hot glue. If you pull the stencil off the kraft mat before it is cool and you get a rough glue area, you can melt that area with the tip of the hot glue gun and smooth it out a little. Or add more glue and restick it to cool.

  • elenor June 24, 2017, 4:16 am

    I love the results you get – such lovely prints! I’ll have to give it a try.
    Thanks for the tutorial. And also thank you for the written instruction. So I can take a fast look when I forgot about something.

  • Joan June 24, 2017, 3:13 pm

    I tried it right away. Thanks for your great inspirations and confidence boosts.

  • Elizabeth July 1, 2017, 2:36 pm

    And THIS is why you’re the best teacher.

  • Sue July 13, 2017, 10:59 am

    I LOVE watching your video’s Carolyn. You make everything so fun and new. I never would have thought of this one, glue gun and cardboard!!! I just have to get me one of those gel plates. The only thing is they are rather expensive where I live, so I will have to add that to my birthday or Christmas list 🙂
    Thank you so very much for sharing all your fun technique! I am definitely a big fan of yours !
    Victoria BC

  • Brenda November 6, 2017, 12:30 pm

    I’m new at this and love your help

  • Brenda Collins March 31, 2021, 12:26 am

    I love your idea for the cardboard hot glue stamps and can’t wait to give them a try! I am just starting to do gelli printing but am already totally addicted to it-there’s something so calming about it. That you for all the great ideas.