Leaf Prints With a Gel Plate

by Lydia Fiedler

Preserve nature's beauty with beautiful leaf monoprints.


  • Gel monoprinting plate (Gel Press used here)
  • Acrylic paint (Golden Open used here)
  • Soft rubber brayer (Speedball brayer used here)
  • Leaves (Ivy and pecan leaves used here)


  1. Step 1

    Apply paint to your gel printing plate.

  2. Step 2

    Use a brayer to evenly distribute the paint in a thin layer across the plate.

  3. Step 3

    Place a leaf directly into the paint on the gel plate.

  4. Step 4

    Cover the plate with your paper and rub and press to get good contact with the paper around the leaf, and between the leaf and the plate. Do not lift paper yet.

  5. Step 5

    Securing the paper in place with one hand on one edge or corner of the gel plate, lift a corner of your paper just enough to remove the leaf without shifting the paper. Lift the leaf off, don't drag it, to preserve the detail of the veins which are left on the plate.

  6. Step 6

    Carefully place the paper back down on the plate and rub and press to transfer all the detail to your paper.

  7. Step 7

    Remove the paper from the plate and enjoy the nature print. Experiment with different color combinations and single colors for monochrome prints.

  8. Step 8

    Use the leaf print in a project.


Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Leaf Prints With a Gel Plate. Try this technique, then upload your artwork to the gallery. Show us your creations!

***Please note - Internet Explorer/Edge is not a supported browser, and will not allow you to see the videos. Please use Chrome, Firefox or Safari to view our tutorial videos.

Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.

This is stunning, I play alot with my plate and will be doing this it looks so pretty
janette deans  |  Wed Oct 28, 2020 at 4:25 AM
This is absolutely gorgeous. Where do you get a round gel plate? Do you think this would work if I made a stencil with a round hole in it and put the paint in the round part? I think a trip to Hobby Lobby is in order for today.
barney  |  Wed Oct 28, 2020 at 5:36 AM
Gorgeous technique and prints! What colors did you use that are transparent? Do you know of secondary colors that are also transparent? I’ve only used craft paint with my plate but love this effect! Did you cut your plate down and if so, how did you do it? Thanks so much, Lydia!
Julie M H  |  Wed Oct 28, 2020 at 5:41 AM
this is great, I'm going to give it a try, but what kind of paper do you use ??

thanks !
junedonofrio  |  Wed Oct 28, 2020 at 6:55 AM
Hi June - typically I use copy paper but you can also use any cardstock - even fabric. I like copy paper because it's easier to feel that you're making good contact around the leaves.
lydia  |  Wed Oct 28, 2020 at 7:08 AM
Round gel plates are from Gel Press. You can purchase directly from them or Simon Says Stamp or Blick. Never cut a Gel Press - it affects the durometer, aka the squishability.

Barney yes I frequently use a template to get that effect - even just die cut a piece of paper.
lydia  |  Wed Oct 28, 2020 at 7:10 AM
I use Golden Open paints - the transparency is indicated right on the tube.
lydia  |  Wed Oct 28, 2020 at 7:10 AM
This is a fantastic tutorial. My two favorite things, gel printing and leaves. Thank you for all the great tips. Your prints are beautiful!
FranneB  |  Wed Oct 28, 2020 at 7:24 AM
This is absolutely something I’d like to try! Very beautiful and ai love the ideas you have to make use of objects That usually go into the landfill. Pure awesomeness! Thanks for sharing!
Tangledup75  |  Wed Oct 28, 2020 at 7:37 AM
Beautiful! Thank you for the video.
djc  |  Wed Oct 28, 2020 at 7:47 AM
thanks for a terrific tutorial!
Conniecrafter  |  Wed Oct 28, 2020 at 9:39 AM
Thank you for sharing this great video on using a gel press! I can't wait to try it. I have ivy in my yard and have ordered a gel press. Now just need the Golden Open paints. Please share the names of the colors you used. Your colors were so pretty - my craft budget is limited so only want to start with your three colors. Thank you!
sbrengel  |  Wed Oct 28, 2020 at 11:55 AM
Gorgeous. I hope mine comes out as well!
muscrat  |  Wed Oct 28, 2020 at 1:23 PM
WOW, Lydia! These prints are out of this world! Thank you so much!!!
Margarita N-R  |  Wed Oct 28, 2020 at 2:02 PM

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