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  • Writer's pictureRick Adkins

Creating Backgrounds with a Gel Press

Updated: Apr 15

Creating unique backgrounds for your paper crafts is a fun and exciting way to add character and personality to your projects. One popular method for creating backgrounds is by using a gel press with dye inks (from Stampin' Up!) and Distress Oxide Inks. In this blog post, we will explore the process of creating backgrounds with a gel press and provide some tips for achieving stunning results.

Gel Prints with both Stampin' Up! Dye Inks and Distress Oxide Inks by Rick Adkins

What is a Gel Press?

Gelli Printing Plate by Gelli Arts
by Gelli Arts

A gel press is a printing plate made from a gel-like material that is used to create monoprints. The gel press is designed to hold onto the ink or paint, which makes it easy to transfer the design to paper or other surfaces. The gel press is reusable, making it a cost-effective option for creating backgrounds for your paper crafts.

Dye Ink Gel Prints by Rick Adkins Close up

Materials Needed:

To create backgrounds with a gel press, you will need the following materials:

Gel Printing supplies by Rick Adkins
  • Gel press

  • Dye inks

  • Distress oxide inks

  • Brayer

  • Stencils

  • White cardstock or other paper of your choice

  • Spray bottle filled with water

  • Paper towel

Gel Prints with Dye Inks from Stampin' Up! by Rick Adkins

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Select the colors of dye or Distress oxide inks you want to use for your background. It is best to choose colors that complement each other and fit the theme of your project.

  2. Apply a small amount of each ink color to the gel press, spreading it out with a brayer. Be sure to blend the colors together for a cohesive look.

  3. Once you have the ink spread out on the gel press, use stencils, Stamps, or other tools to create patterns on the ink. You can use a spray bottle filled with water to mist the stencil, which will create a unique effect.

  4. Carefully place a piece of white cardstock onto the gel press, making sure it is completely covered in ink.

  5. Use a brayer or your hands to press the cardstock onto the gel press, making sure to apply even pressure. This will transfer the ink onto the paper.

  6. Carefully lift the paper off the gel press, taking care not to smudge the design.

  7. Use a paper towel to wipe any excess ink off the gel press, and repeat the process with different colors and stencils to create additional backgrounds.

Creating Background Panels with a Gel Press Video Replay:

Tips for Success:

  • Use a light touch when applying ink to the gel press. Too much ink can cause the design to smudge or become muddy.

  • Experiment with different stencil designs to create unique patterns and textures.

  • Use contrasting colors to create a bold and eye-catching background.

  • Don't be afraid to layer colors and designs for a more complex background.

  • Practice on scrap paper before working on your final project to get a feel for the process.

Nature's Print Gel Print with Stampin' Up! Inks by Rick Adkins


Creating backgrounds with a gel press using either dye inks and Distress oxide inks is a fun and creative way to add character to your paper crafts. With a few simple materials and some experimentation, you can achieve stunning results that will impress your friends and family. So why not give it a try and see what unique designs you can come up with?

Affiliate Disclaimer:

Hey there, lovely crafters! Just a quick heads up: Some of the links on this blog are affiliate links. That means if you click on them and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Please rest assured that I only recommend products that I genuinely believe in and personally use. Your support through these affiliate links helps me keep this blog up and running, allowing me to continue sharing helpful tips and inspiration with you all.

If you have any questions about any of the products mentioned, feel free to drop me a line. I'm here to help!

Thank you for being a part of this wonderful crafting community!

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Rick Adkins

Happy Stampin'

Rick Adkins


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