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Trash Makes a Great Pattern For Gel Printing!

You can take trash, like the lids from water bottles, paints, cosmetics, or anything you have to make circular patterns on your Gel Press plates! You’ll see how using up every last little bit of paint gives you the ability to create the varied layers on some of these tags!

The tool used to make this pattern is just a bunch of lids glued to a piece of cardboard. You can use any lids you have from the orange juice jug or the cap from a finished tube of paint or a water bottle cap or the lid from your used up cosmetics. Keep an eye out in your trash or recycle bin for those circles!

Gather a bunch of lids then find the ones that are all the same height. I keep a bag around to collect these in and when it gets full, I pull out all the ones of similar heights to create a gel printing tool.

The variety in these tags is from using up every last bit of paint on the plate. That’s how the grungy layers were created.

If you have a paint that is older or starting to thicken up, it may do something like this. This tube of purple paint is near the end and it’s old so those two factors lead it to not spread as evenly or smoothly as younger paint.

If you ever have older paints, give them a try on your gel plate- it just might give you a cool speckled color variation like this purple did!

Creating all this variety was fast and each and every tag is one of a kind! This is just one of the ways you can use a Gel Press plate- if you’re looking for more ideas check out my page of gel printing resources!

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  • ann b September 29, 2020, 7:25 pm

    I love this idea, and what a fantastic result on your tags! Thanks for the inspiration

  • Donna October 2, 2020, 6:47 pm

    absolutely love it – my brain is working overtime with this one!!

  • Angela October 2, 2020, 7:09 pm

    Thanks for a great video! Do you ever clean the lids or just let them dry between printing?

  • Sarah October 2, 2020, 9:29 pm

    Carolyn I love this method of making tags from circles. Thanks for the tip. I recently watched a YT video of gel printing with 4 layers and 3 stencils and would love to see your take on this idea. I am sure with your creativity you can come up with something that will be great!

    Thanks, a long time viewer, Sarah

  • Bernadette Josephine October 3, 2020, 3:59 am

    i have never thought to stick lids such a great idea.. Many thanks

  • Boo October 3, 2020, 8:51 am

    Love your fancy tool!

  • Dottie October 10, 2020, 8:10 am

    Seems my most favorite gel press marking tools are those “junk” items, esp bubble wraps. These lids are awesome & I’ll add it to my stash.

    Thanks for sharing your crazy, great , fun ideas!

  • Donna Hamblin November 6, 2020, 2:08 pm

    I really enjoy watching your demo’s. You are very creative.

    Donna Hamblin

  • Karen November 22, 2020, 9:27 pm

    So Carolyn, help me out here — what do you do with the tags? I love how they look — but I don’t want a pile of pretty tags sitting in a box somewhere, taking up space.
    I don’t do a lot of gift-giving at this point in my life. Is there some other thing one can do with tags?