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Cheap t-shirts can become something fun to wear! Just one gel plate, the Puzzle Piece by Gel Press, was used to cover the entire shirt with pattern. You might think it took planning to get the all the puzzle piece prints to connect into each other. Nope. Because of how the puzzle piece is designed, it is extremely forgiving! No matter how I put it down, I could always fit the next one into it.

You’ll also see how I mixed up the paint so that it became a fabric paint, and most importantly, what I did when I got the curved areas of the shirt, the arms. I cheated to make the pattern work there. You’ll see how in the video!

If you’d like to see more about gel printing, including the Dos and Don’ts of Gel Printing, check out my page of gel printing resources!


Come have fun with me for an in-person workshop making gel prints with layers loaded full of color and pattern!  I’ll guide you through two days of play for Playful Layers at Ephemera Paducah in Paducah, KY. Expect plenty of laughter, an OOPS or maybe two. There always seems to be an OOPS when I’m printing. 

I’m packing up the van & bringing a giant stack of Gel Press plates, an ample stash of StencilGirl Stencils, oodles of paper, and my favorite assortment of printing tools (more commonly called junk by my family) for you to use July, 23-24, 2021. *****These dates sold out quickly, so we’ve added a second class, July 21-22***** Also included in registration is lunch, snacks, and drinks for both days! That means you only need to bring paint, gel medium, a roll of packing tape, and a few paint brushes.

Step-by-step, the techniques are broken down but fair warning, this is an addictive process so be prepared to make an abundance of prints you love.  And since every student will have their own 6ft. table (and able to socially distance) you’ll have plenty of room to spread out! 

You’ll see how to keep the colors vibrant in your prints and the one little tweak that helps you avoid mud. Also, the trick to blending colors seamlessly and how to choose colors that bring out the best in your prints.

But wait, there’s more! How to get hints of pattern tucked into the layers, how to use an ugly print to make an amazing one, and most importantly, you get a strong understanding of why the paint does what it does on a gel plate.  

Amazing prints aren’t random. Once you know the “why”, then you can dial it up or down, creating prints in the looks and colors you love the most. Even if you’ve never made a gel print before.

What about safety? I’ve been fully vaccinated and so has the staff at Ephemera Paducah. The max for the class is only 12 students, each with their own 6ft. table. Kirstin has an overhead projection system so that you can see all the demos from your table so no crowding around to see! We’ll adhere to the CDC and State guidelines at the time of class to stay safe (assume we will be wearing masks and social distancing).

Looking forward to gel printing with you!

Playful Layers workshop

July 23-24, 2021

*****These dates sold out quickly, so we’ve added a second class, July 21-22*****

at Ephemera Paducah in Paducah, KY


A highly efficient stenciling technique was used to start this art journal page. That’s code for an easy (or one could even say lazy) way to do it. What is the this easy way? Using a Gel Press plate.

Since I was very heavy handed with the paint on the Art Nouveau stencil, that meant there was plenty to get two strong prints. All the little ghost bits you see there is from cleaning off the stencil directly on the page. Every drop of paint gets used!

The plan that started this play was the stenciling and the yellow. The rest of this wasn’t planned, including the brown to come! If you’ve seen many of my videos, you rarely ever see much brown. That’s a color that I just don’t enjoying using. Usually. This time I did.

The brown bag below is from the gift shop at the Neue Galerie. Even though it’s brown, it’s a treasure to me that I’ve held on to for years. Yes, this is treasure in my world! Why? Because it is a souvenir of a magical experience of seeing a stunning Gustav Klimt painting in person. The Woman in Gold was breath taking.

Next I needed a word. Having a bowl of stenciled words on tissue paper nearby means I can always find the word I need. Lately, my bowl has been full of words from my Feelings and Emotions collection from StencilGirl Products.

The word I chose was respect. Naturally, I respect Klimt and his inspiring artwork. But this respect was for Ronald S. Lauder. Why? Because he is the collector who bought the Woman in Gold (portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer) for bargain price $135 million and then made it available for the public to see.

How did I make that orange tag? See how in this video using trash.

To add some of my thoughts to the page, I used a pencil. Why? Wet glue and paint is very hard on pens so the final journaling was done with a water soluble black pencil. Pencils survive wet paint easily, pens not so much.

Where did that black circle come from? Leftovers from another play session.

When the play began, there was zero intention to use brown. And that’s part of the fun of play! Next time you’re using your art supplies, if the play leads you in an unexpected direction, follow it and see where it takes you!

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