Thursday, March 26, 2015

Gelli Print Recipe Box Journal Tutorial

Hello everyone! Today I have a Sizzix tutorial to share with you, made with the wonderful Recipe Card Box die by Eileen Hull. There will be fun gelli printing techniques and I made a mixed media cover for the box.

When you have babies who are born too early a large part of their first months of life has to do with the importance of gaining weight. I documented that through 12 x 12 layouts for Anton, but for Leo, I wanted something different and made a little mini book devoted to weight and other developmental changes. Because of his name, I wanted to include a lion and luckily I had a lion die at home by Eileen.

You can use the techniques in this tutorial for just about any project, so don't feel that you need to do a mini book or anything baby related. Let's start with the box.

The Recipe Card Box is such a fun and versatile die, and I knew I'd like it even before I had it in my hands. It is an XL die, so you need the Extended Cutting Pads. Use this sandwich: Cutting Pad, die facing up, mat board (or chipboard), second Cutting Pad.

I die cut it from cream mat board and from sticky back canvas. As you can see, I cut off the flaps where the adhesive will go from the canvas, since the box will be easier to put together without canvas on those flaps.

Adhere the canvas to the mat board and smear a thin layer of gesso over the canvas. 

Water down Distress Paints and paint the box. I wanted it to look like a sky and brown ground. Leave to dry.

I used this great Weeks & Months stencil by Hero Arts, together with Ranger's Texture Paste. A good thing with stencils is that it is easy to move the stencil around first to see what design you like the best. Leave to dry.

Add some Walnut Stain paint to the box to distress it.

I love gelli printing and using my embossing folders and dies together with gelli printing is one of my favourite techniques. You can also have a look at this tutorial for more ideas. I had just gotten the 5 x 7 gelli plate, which is a great size for smaller projects and cut a bunch of letter sized papers into two before starting. I just love the look of that clear plate.

Emboss white cardstock in various embossing folders. You can also use coloured cardstock. Make sure that you have the design you are planning to use on the smooth side of the paper, in case your paper is textured. This is a great way to use leftover or damaged cardstock. I use white paper as backdrops for most of my tutorial photos and it tends to get a little buckled and ugly after a while. I used a few sheets to cut up papers for this technique.

Place a few blobs of paint on the gelli plate. I used Dina Wakley's paints and some Distress Paints.

Roll the paint out with a brayer and press the embossed papers into the paint, varying the placement. I find that it works better to use embossed papers than the actual embossing folders, and there is much less clean up too.

Place a paper on top and carefully press it down, pull off to get the print at the top. Place another paper on the gelli plate and you get the ghost print at the bottom, which is often my favourite. 

I wanted double sided cards, with one darker and one lighter print, so all my papers were printed with one first impression print and one ghost print.

Printing is so much fun, I always do quite a few extra papers for future projects.

For the blue papers I used Sky, White and Gathered Twigs.

And those embossed papers that you used to press into the paint end up being pretty cool too. I love having these at hand for projects. You can find some of them used on this layout, for example, from an earlier printing session.

There is a coordinating die to the Recipe Card Box which die cuts a perfectly sized card for the box (4 x 3 in). But I didn't have that die, so instead I used one of the Basics Life Made Simple dies by Rachel Bright, meant for pocket scrapbooking. I die cut enough cards so that I can use this journal until Leo is about 5 years old. 

All the printed cards are different. 

Gelli printed papers are such a great base for mini books, you can find other examples here and here.

I used a lot of different Hero Arts stamps to stamp the cards, just a few of them are shown on this photo. A mix of word, pattern and image stamps were used, fitting with my theme. I love the new Overlap Circle Frame.

The words and ledger lines were stamped with black ink, while the rest of the stamping were done with tone-on-tone Archival Inks. 

The lion was die cut from gelli printed papers, using both darker and lighter papers.

I used the Homemade Alphabet die to die cut his name. Love the font of this die.

Assemble the box with a strong adhesive, I used Ranger's Wonder Tape. Layer the pieces for the lion together and glue to the box. I also added a piece of lace. The title was stamped with a word stamps and alphabet stamps.

This lion is so cute and I liked how it looked with the printed patterns.
The ruler stencil is by Tim Holtz.

A Velcro dot is keeping the box closed.

The back of the box was stamped with some of the stamps used on the cards.

I always like to decorate the sides of 3-D projects, and stamped them with word stamps. 

The other side of the box.
The cards are all different and there is the same amount of yellow and blue cards. The front of the cards are the lighter side, so that they will be easier to write on. I added a date stamp and lines on each card.

There had to be some birds of course. I used a lot of stamps from the Stamp Your Story sets.

On the back of the cards, I will add a photo for each point in time that is documented.
The layers of prints and stamping makes for an interesting background, without being too busy.

I like the idea of gathering a whole bunch of developmental milestones in one journal. I might bind the cards in the future, but for now, I am leaving them lose so that I can pick one that fits every time.

I love sitting down and just stamping away. 

You can easily make pages that will fit your theme perfectly, and the printing and stamping process doesn't take very long.

Use other colour combinations to fit your project. Each of these little cards, could also be a card on their own, or the background of an art journal page. In fact, you will see one of them in my art journal in the future since I made many more prints than what I needed for this project.

I like that it looks as if smoke is coming out of the chimney, which was something I didn't see until after I stamped the house.

Another close up of the layers of printing and stamping. 

This It's a Parade stamp is another favourite of mine, and I have used it quite a few times. It looks so happy. 

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that it inspired you to make mini books and do some gelli printing.

Happy crafting!




  1. Wow ! Great box ! Thank you for the tutorial and inspiration !

  2. Oh my gosh Anna-Karin- Leo is such a lucky boy to have a mom like you! What a great idea to use the box as an alternative to an album!

  3. wow, wow, wow Anna-Karin! This is so wonderful and happy! =)

  4. OMG THIS IS AMAZING! I love all the wee cards you made! So much colour! What a lucky little man!!!!!

  5. Love this Growth Box to record all of sweet Leo accomplishments as he gets bigger. What a sweet photo of him...just precious.

  6. What a fabulous project, and such a practical use for the gelli plate. I've wanted one for sometime, but really didn't think it was something I had to have. Now I can see more uses for it. Love your work, Anna-Karin!

  7. This box is just adorable! Will be wonderful to look at in the future. Maybe I need a gelli plate:-)) I always get so many ideas from the stamps you use.

  8. The card holder and cards are fabulous Anna-Karin - this is so clever and such a compact way to record Leo's progress. Your colour choices are just brilliant! Anne xx

  9. This just made me smile from ear to ear. Absolutely LOVE this! Incredible photographic tutorial also. :)

  10. I love this amazing project! What
    a perfect way to celebrate your beautiful little boy.

  11. Great tutorial! And a great project! Allways fun to come around here and enjoy your are so versatile! Inky greetings, Gerrina

  12. Thank you very much for sharing this beautiful art work!!

  13. What a super tutorial and gorgeous project.
    Julie x

  14. Fabulous! Thank you for sharing!

  15. What an amazing project!! Wonderful Tutorial too. I love it!

  16. Thanks for the detailed and enjoyable tutorial. I have a geli plate on my wish list now.

  17. This is beautiful Anna-Karin, what a labour of love! Thanks for sharing step-by-step photos for the printing process, I love the effect of the embossed cardstock to life paint off the gelli print plate.

  18. Such a great way to color your embossed pieces using your Gelli Plate and a gorgeous project to be treasured over the years to come. TFS xx

  19. Oh wow, I loved reading this post and seeing all the techniques.

  20. How lovely and clever too!
    Leo is lucky having you as a mother.

  21. realy love your tutorial!Thank you!

  22. I love this idea and your little PL type cards are perfect. Love all the co-ordinating stamping... <3

  23. Was looking at getting a Sizzix and I'm wondering if you can run plastic through it? Plastic such as slash folders. Also, what about Styrofoam plates and non-woven interfacing? TIA, k-)

  24. Kay, thank you so much for your comment. It depends on the die that you use. The steel rule (Bigz) dies can cut through all the materials that you mentioned, as well as, for example, chipboard and mat board. The thinner dies can't cut very thick material, but most can manage very thin chipboard, if you run them through the machine a few times. I hope that answered your question.


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