Gel Printed Spooky Windows: A Papercraft | Daniela Mellen | Skillshare

Gel Printed Spooky Windows: A Papercraft

Daniela Mellen, Artist & Author

Gel Printed Spooky Windows: A Papercraft

Daniela Mellen, Artist & Author

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10 Lessons (36m)
    • 1. Class Introduction

    • 2. Class Supplies

    • 3. Gel Plate Printing

    • 4. Mystery Impression Pull

    • 5. Adding a Paint Layer

    • 6. Papercutting Windows

    • 7. Transparency Overlay Option 1

    • 8. Tracing the Sketches Option 2

    • 9. Assembling the Windows

    • 10. Class Wrap Up

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About This Class

Gel Printed Spooky Windows creates a lovely papercraft using gel printed papers, an overlay*, and basic paper cutting, to create a mysterious window.

This project is made of papers, using acrylic paint, an inkjet transparency*, and dark cardstock. 

Tailor the window to your own likes, using the colors, shapes, and silhouettes that appeal to you. 

We’ll start by pulling prints using the gel plate and repurposed materials for making impressions. I use bubble wrap and fabric in the demo, but you can use any textured material that won’t damage your gel plate. (Think corrugated cardboard, textured papers, ribbon, fabric, or packaging materials.) Then, select the window from the Spooky Windows Template, and cut panes from the paper. Then, print out the silhouettes onto an inkjet transparency, ORsketch the silhouettes using a marker, pencil, or pen by tracing the Frightful Overlay Template. Both templates are included for you to download.

Finally, assemble your spooky window to use in your art journal, as a greeting card, or framed for artwork.

Meet Your Teacher

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Daniela Mellen

Artist & Author


I'm an artist and author living in coastal Florida and surrounded by plants, animals, marine life, and the warm sun - all things that inspire me.

I am drawn to creating things and love to get lost in projects. Each day is a opportunity to learn something new, build on existing skills, and branch out to new ones. I was formally trained as a educator which is my passion and incorporating art into teaching makes my life complete.

I upload art classes every Friday, here on Skillshare. You'll see handmade books, memory keeping, watercolor, acrylic paint, unique art supplies, and photography composition. Thanks for joining me and I look forward to seeing your work.

Check out my blog for additional info on my website

You can contact me at [email protected] See full profile

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1. Class Introduction: Hello, I'm Daniella melon and author and artist. Thanks for joining me for today's class, gel printed spooky windows. In today's class, we'll use our gel plates to create a bright and glowing background for our spooky windows using everyday textured supplies like bubble wrap and scrap fabric. With the addition of acrylic paint, will create a unique and intriguing MammaPrint. Then we'll do some paper cutting on card stock, just some simple shapes to create Gothic inspired windows. For a third layer will add silhouettes of spooky images like spiders, autumn tree, and even a which when combined, we get a beautiful paper craft that can be used in journals for cards or as an introduction to paper cutting, including the in-class. Our templates for both the paper cutting windows, silhouettes, and printing the spooky images. I'll show two ways to use the images. One by printing the transparent sheet and the alternative by tracing the sketch will combine all images and I'll show some variations and ways to use them. Thanks for joining me. Now let's get started. 2. Class Supplies: The class supplies for our gel printed spooky Windows include the template, which is the template we'll use for cutting out the windows, can be downloaded right here on our standard piece of copy paper. Each template that you print out is divided into four even sides of the paper. And there are just four different types of windows here that we'll use. And we'll talk more about this in the chapter when we go over cutting out the windows. Now there's also a template and it's marked overlay. And it can be used in two ways. It can be used in, printed out on a piece of acetate like I have here. And I just have the white background so you could see, and with the right acetate, it has a really crisp edge to it and it prints out nicely. And this is acetate designed for a printer. There's sometimes called transparencies. And again, they fit right over your window template. And so we'll use those in class. Now if you don't have acetate, if it's a problem to find, you can just print out this paper, this overlay onto your paper, and use it as a template to trace. So here you have the results of the template when it's printed out onto paper. And you could trace these images or just use them as reference to put spooky images in your windows. I use a piece of black card stock for my windows where I'm going to be cutting out and I like the card stock as opposed to paper because it's thicker, but you can use paper just as easily. It has a nice contrast to the gel printing that we're going to make. And so with this, I have inexact Oh, Knife and I'll have a background, a cutting board to use as well. I make sure I always have a sharp blade and then I like to use a metal ruler, plastic rulers, I'll just cut there with my blade so the metal rulers are key for me. I also have a pencil and eraser to print out, to trace out my template if I so choose, but I use a white chalk pencil, you can use a white colored pencil. You can even use a regular pencil on your black paper, but the white shows up easier. You're not going to print out your overlay and you're going to sketch it, you'll need something to sketch it with. So I just either use a colored pencil or a marker. And so I have that as well. I use a white gel pen. This is optional and this I might just give some definition to my windows. After my project is complete, I have a pair of scissors that I might use as opposed to or in addition to my exact dough blade. I have my gel plate and a small Breyer that I like to use to mix the paint right on the gel plate. And then I have this a stack of copy paper. And this is what I use to print from the gel plate as well as clean my Breyer Because I get some nice images that way. For textures, we're just going to use simple textures. We're not looking for a particular effect. So you don't even need one if you don't have one. But I'd just like to find something around my house that's textured. In this case, I have bubble wrap. It's just a nice texture, kind of an overall pattern not distracting from the windows or from the overlay that we'll put in here. I also have a piece of fabric lays. This was an old shirt that I cut up to repurpose. You can even use just some cardboard packaging because it has some texture. So play around and see what you have in your stash. You'll also need two or three colors of acrylic paint. And the next chapter, we'll start the gel printing. 3. Gel Plate Printing: Now to start the gel printing, I have my gel plate right here just on a piece of plexiglass. And I do this because it just automatically sticks to the plexiglass nicely to the right of it. I keep my paper where I am going to clean off my Breyer. I keep my tool's handy and I'm trying to keep these all within a frame, but I probably keep them above me. But if I was painting without the camera, and then I have my stash of paper here that I'll actually print on. You can use any type of paints you want. You. If you use oil paints on a gel plate, you'll have to clean them up very quickly because the oil can interact with a gel plate and soften it. You can use very nicely acrylic paints and they come out very well. The colors are vibrant and you can get different opacities. For this project. I like a nice opaque, bright color and I am just using simple colors now you could use little craft paint. This is wonderful for working with Gelb plates. The it's very liquidy, it has a high water content. So keep that in mind when you're doing it, you might make a little more of a mess. And then these are the artist paints, the acrylic paints, and these are very thick and very vibrant. So these are the ones I'm going to use today. Doesn't really matter what colors you use. But I want a nice contrast to my black windows. And I wanted to look like essentially a Halloween reminiscent theme. So I'm going to use yellow and oranges. It'll produce a nice glow from the windows. And then I have my Breyer. So I have my orange acquit, acquit own red light and Nicole AZO yellow, which is kind of a brownish yellow. My cadmium yellow medium, which is a very bright yellow. So I start by putting a little bit of paint on my palette. And because I know this is thicker, I'll use a dollop size, a nickel size, and then I'll just add a few other small dollops here of the other color, the accent colors. And I put them right on my plate. You can mix them on a pallet if you prefer. I'm not going for a particular look. I find this method works really well for me. So I just put a few dollops down. Nine, take my Breyer And I choose my dominant color first. I'll just review and roll over that dominant color. And that's just the color I choose to put more of. And that's this very bright yellow. I'll just put it down around my palate and then I'll go in there and incorporate the other colors into it. And I'm not worried about getting full blend or any type of Blend. If I don't have enough paint on my palette, I can go back and add some more. But again, I'm not worried about that. This is not an exact project here. So I'm just rolling my paint, try to make it fairly even all the way around. When I feel like I have it covered up enough. We'll just roll off whatever exists on my Breyer onto this little sheet here. And I'm going to take one of my texture tools, and in this case I'll take my bubble wrap and I'm just going to set it down and just press. And my goal here is to remove a little bit of a paint and leave just an odd pattern. I'm not even sure what I'll get. If I like to leave an odd pattern in the pain and then I pick it up. So you can already see a little bit of texture. Then I add my paint, my paper on top of that. Press down. Make sure I have a nice adhesion with my paper on my gel plate. And then when I pick it up, I have a nice image, reversed image. As you can see, there's some paint left on the paper and there's some paint left on my impression here. So what I like to do is I just take more paper. I always go here to the plate first, pick up what I can get. And this is sometimes called the ghost for int. So I took just a little bit of paint off my palette here, My Plate, gel plate, but then I'll take another paper and press it down on my impression material. And remove this fairly quickly. And I get another impression. So it really depends on how much paint you pick up and how much paint you have down on your palette. I'll try one more with the lace for this impressionable tool. And this time I'm just going to go with this orange. So I'll put a little more. And again, I'm not worrying about covering my palate entirely, but I am trying to get that paint spread out. So whatever paint there is on my gel played, I'm just gonna try and spread out accordingly across. Again, I clean off my Breyer. And then I'll take my impressionable material. And one side of the lace has a little more texture. So I'm gonna try and monopolize that. I'll set it down. And I'm going to take a piece of paper and press over it. Because unlike the bubble wrap, the lace, Some of the pigment might come through and it's a little more flimsy material. So when I think I have a good impression because that's what I'm trying to do. A pull off this to remove my material here and on the gel played, I seem to have a pattern. So when I set it down, I'll put my paper on top of it. Remove the paper and see what patterns I got. And I have a lovely pattern here from the lace. So I'll work on a few more pages of this. I would do want to say that if you remove some of your impressionable material from your gel plate and you seem to have an interesting effect left on it like I do on this gel played. I don't know if you can see in the camera, but there's a very interesting pattern reminiscent of that lace leftover. You have a couple of options. You can put more pigment, more paint right on your palette just a little bit and pick up the image. Or after this image is dry, put more paint on my palette on top of it, and then pull it off. So I think that's what I'll do. So I'll let this sit here in dry and then I'll fast-forward through the video so you can see after it's dried, how I apply the paint and then pull it off and we'll see what type of impression we get. 4. Mystery Impression Pull: So now it's dry on my gel played, it's only been about five or ten minutes, but it was a thin layer of paint and the acrylic dries fairly quickly. So now I'm just gonna put a little more paint on my palette, not too much enough to cover it. And then I'm gonna roll with my Breyer. And this technique will work for the craft paint as well as the artist paint. Again, I'm Maya. Spread my top layer fairly evenly. Clean my Breyer. I mean, I'll see what I can pick up here. I know whatever pay touches the paper will definitely be picked up. But I'm trying to really secure the paint that had dried on the gel played a role. It I'll even take the Breyer to it just to make sure there's good adhesion. And then will pull this up and see what we have. So as you can see, a lot of the paint came up from here. And we have just a very distressed, rustic look of what was on the paint on the gel plate from our lace impression. Can you give us an old-fashioned, old wallpaper grungy Look? I happen to like this look and we'll see what happens. I'm gonna do a few more gel prints. I will fast forward this. And then we'll come back and add a top layer of paint to our prince. The c, n, a n and b. And a and b, a b, a b, b a b, a b, b, a and b. And a and B, a, B and C and D and a repeat here and enter the a1b0, a0b1, a1b0, a0b1, a1b0, a0b1, a1b0, a0b1, a1b0, a0b1, a1b0, a0b1, a1b0, a0b1, a1b0, a0b1, a1b0 indeed came in here and add energy to the d n a n, a n, m and n and b, a b, a, b, b, a b, and a, and B. And a and B, a, D, E, F, G, a, B, C, D, and C, and a. B, C and D. And a and b. 5. Adding a Paint Layer: So now I have my gel prints all made and this is the sheet from just cleaning the Breyer, But I like this sheet and I'll use this, I'll save it. I can even use it today, but I think I'll just save it. So then I just quickly go through the sheets that I already made and so I have different degrees where I filled up the sheet for not, but I have definitely different results here. Some of them can be used as is, meaning that I have enough color and brightness on them that I really like the way they came out for my purpose today. And others, I just really like the way they came out, period. This is the one that has the most color and it's a nice glow. So I think I'll just set this one aside because I think I'll use it just as is. But the others I'd like to play around with a little more. And so for that, I don't require the entire sheet of paper to be filled with pigment, but I do find that to be very beneficial for many uses, for today's use. As you saw in the template, the main image is only in the central area of our pieces. But I'm still going to use the sheet or at least the majority of the sheet. So I'll just choose a couple here to show you the technique that I'm going to do. And I like to choose a couple that don't have a lot of pigment on them. Because I think it really shows how it pops when we add this layer. So I have these three pieces here and those are the ones I'll work on. I'll start with this yellow one here, which is predominantly yellow. And I'm gonna use my gel plate for this technique, but not in the same manner that I used it to create the technique. So I'm just gonna take a little bit of pigment. And this is just some of that paint we used earlier. And I'll put it on my palette. And then I'm going to take my painting that I want to add the color to. And I'll just put a few sheets of scrap paper underneath. And then I'm going to just add a little bit of this pigment to my Breyer. And I just go back and forth. Don't want too much pigment. And I'm just gonna gently roll all around adding another layer of pigment to my existing page. Again, I just continue to pickup pigment and just roll around. You can do multiple colors. You don't have to do just one. I like the look of this lake, almost a glaze. And if I don't have enough pigment, I'll just add some more to my gel plate. Again, I'm trying to bring the pigment all the way to the edge of the paper. And this way if I want to use my piece for collage or to sketch it or to scan it. I have a completed page with the most amount of paper used with pigment. Possible. You can do this with any size paper. I find copy paper just to be very handy. It's very inexpensive. It scans nicely and it's a good size. So they are a transform that page into something a little different. And I'll do the same thing with these others and I'll speed this along. And I'll probably use different colours as well. Di, di, di, di, di, di, di di, di, di, di di, di di e e e e e e e e e e e e e e. 6. Papercutting Windows: So now to make our Windows, what I have here is my piece of card stock. Just I use black and he dark color would work. I have my template, which is the cutting guides for the windows. And if you look closely with template, you'll see that the page is divided equally in fourths. So you can either use the page as a whole or cut it down to size to fit in a journal or a card or however you want to present it. So what I did was I cut not only did I cut out each of the windows, but I cut the paper into four equal squares. And I'm just going to center my image inside each of those squares. And I'll just choose one to do with you today. Now, the one that has two images here to Windows, you can put them side-by-side, and that's how the overlay was intended. But you can certainly put three, combine them as you'd like, or just do one if that, so if you so choose. So I'm gonna take this rounded piece. And I'll take one of my guides here from out of my squares. And I'm just gonna set it down. And then roughly I'll center it and that should fit with my overlay. And if not, I can always move the overlay around. So then I'm just going to lightly sketch, and this will be the back side. So I'll just sketch my piece right here. So I have the outline. And then it's gonna make little marks here while I wanna make my cuts for the Windows. Now you can take your ruler and combine those lines, which is what I'll do here. And this is a very easy technique to do. It's very forgiving. So if you don't get it exact, it's not a problem. And then I'm going to cut out these areas here. I'd like to make the little X's just to remind me because I can get easily distracted or sidetracked. And then with my exact dough blade, this one tends to come loose. So I like to make sure it's accurate. I can either line up my ruler for the straight edges or I can just very slowly and carefully make that cut. And that's what I'm gonna do. I like to do all my vertical lines first. Then I flip my piece around to do the horizontal lines. And then I can come in and work on my rounded edges. Just take it very slowly and deliberately. And this is the part that you should spend your time on because you can get a very professional looking result when it's accurate. And then I'll turn my piece to the side here. If you have any small images, particularly in one of the templates here, I find to remove that small image first, I'll get a nicer cut. There's a little more structure on my paper to support it. But none of these cuts are complicated. So then I just go in and I gently push up and I start at the bottom. And some of them will pop out nicely because I happened to be accurate. And others I'll just go in there and I won't really tug to differ too hard. I'll just read cut and that way I'll get a nice sharp edge. If I do have a little piece there, I'll just go in there and trim that right up and remove it right away. Because if I flip it over, then I can see if there's any mistakes. So I'll continue through this piece. Again. Just gently pressing so I can see where I have to recommit. And now for this piece here, I want to make sure I have my lines. Straight lines first. I did do the straight lines going up here. So this is where I like to just make sure I have all my cuts made, then I can just test it out by pushing on the bottom. And if it does not come out, I'll go back in there. And then I'll test. So now both of my edges come out and now I just work on my rounded piece and just take it slowly. Just like that. So now when I flip it over, I have a nice cut-out here of my window. I'll go and I'll trim all my windows. And then we'll come back and we'll work on our overlay piece. And we'll talk about a couple of things with the transparency print out or the sketches that you'll make. 7. Transparency Overlay Option 1: So now if you're using the inkjet transparencies here, you just take your computer file of the overlay and printed out here it is printed on paper. It's a great reference if you're going to draw or sketch your image or trace over it. But for this one, I'm going to show you it on inkjet and the next chapter will be on the sketches. So here it is where I printed it out on a piece of inkjet transparency. I hold this little tissue paper underneath just so you can see how well it came out. Over here. I had a little bit of an issue with my printer or the paper got stuck. But I still think it's going to work very well for image. And so what I'll do is because I cut the papers, I'll cut these in the four corners, but I wanted to show you the difference. So here is an actual piece of inkjet transparency, the actual package that I use designed for a printer. And one side of this is a little textured. And so that's very helpful. It holds the ANC and the result is a nice sharp image. Here I took just a piece of acetate, which is a beautiful piece of acetate. But as you can see, when it dried, the ink ran and I don't have a sharp image at all. I don't think I can use any of these images, perhaps this little spooky tree, maybe. So there is a difference with inkjet transparencies. So once you have your image printed out on the actual paper you want. I'll cut it down to size. So all I do is I take my scissors and cut right through. And I'll set this aside and I'll use these in our spooky windows. In the next chapter, I'll go over tracing the sketch. 8. Tracing the Sketches Option 2: So now if you don't want to use the inkjet transparencies, you can use this paper as a sketch. There's actually a couple ways you can do it. I suppose if you were ambitious, you could cut around the image and place it down on your printed paper or gel printed paper. And then when you place your window over it, you get the little silhouette, which is very cute. And so each of the silhouettes of the Windows has their own cutouts behind it, but we can use. So you find the cut-out for the window that you'd like to use. And then you can put your paper on a light source, your template here, the overlay. And I have that right here. And for this one, I'll just show you if I put my printed gel printed paper down, I can see the images and I can just trace over them just like that. Or I could come here and do the same thing, or I could just choose my own altogether. So if I wanted to take this one and put it down here, I would just grab either my marker or my pencil or my colored pencil. In this case, I'll choose my colored pencil. And then I'll just come in here and create those silhouettes. Or at least a few of them that I like. So here I have the cat. And then when I put my window over it, I'll see it right in the window. Just like that. You could also use a marker or you can use both the pen and the marker just to get a really crisp image. And so that's your choice as well. I'll go and finish adding some silhouettes to this window. And then in the next chapter, we'll come back and assemble our spooky windows. 9. Assembling the Windows: So now I have our cutout windows are transparencies or the sketches that we made if we don't want to use the transparencies. So here I took the sketch that I just worked on and I attached it just as the gel printed paper to the window. I just used some adhesive. You can use anything a glue stick or double-sided tape. And they'll just trimmed down this edge here. And I'll spend more time getting it for a little more precise. And now your windows done. But from here, if you want to add a few more options, you can take your white gel pen and make it just a little border right around your window just to highlight some effects of it. And that's totally up to you if you'd like to do that. I think it just frames the window just a little bit more. And so I just take my ruler. I can make some lines, connect, some not. And so here I have it. Here I have one that I did, but I use the transparency. So you can see it's a slightly different effect, but similar results. So the way that I piece this together is I take my three pieces here and I've cut up some of the papers. So I had just a little bit different backgrounds. But the idea is that they're all very bright. And so I'll just take one and set my transparency on top of it. And then I'll just eyeball the window and where I wanted to go. So I'll just adhere just on the edges, some tape just like that. And I'll set my transparency down. And then from here I'll just put a little tape on the back of my cut window. You can use glue, glue, stick, matte, medium, whatever you want to use for your adhesion. And then I just before I place it down, I just eyeball where I wanted to go. And I'll set it down. And then I'll just go back, trim and add any highlights that I want. I'll continue this with the rest of them and I'll speed this along so you can see how it turns out. So now I'll just trim up my pieces here at any highlights to the ones that I want. And then we'll come back and look at some variations and how I use them in my journal. 10. Class Wrap Up: So here we have our completed spooky windows. We have the windows that we cut out of the card stock. Our gel printed yellow and glow e paper in the background, and then either a transparency or another layer of a sketch that we did. It helps if you have a sharper image for your transparency, but not necessarily required in all the windows. I wanted to show you some variations in a couple of ways you might use those in your work. So here I took a full page that we used to show you the scale of the difference here. I took a full page that we gel printed and I just eyeballed a window and cut it out. I use simple shapes, the same essential technique that we used, and the same shape that we used. And then I just threw in a little spider here. I think I'll go over it with either in bossing powder or maybe a marker to make it really pop. So it's a little unexpected and it looks like you're peering in to a haunted house window. And here I did one a little more whimsical, or I didn't make the panes of glass symmetrical or even, but it's still indicative of panes of glass. And maybe this one, you're inside the haunted house peeking out and you see the bats in the moonlight. Kind of a fun look. And here's how I use my spooky windows in a journal. Here I have my journal pages and I just stuck in I had just adhere it to the page, the one of the windows that we did, I went a little bit more elaborate on my drawing and I created a spiderweb and a spider hanging down. And here I took that same image using the same size that we made in class today, and I just cut it into a tag. So this one, I could stuff inside a pocket and I still have uses for my spooky windows. I hope you'll try your hand at one of these gel printed spooky windows. The gel plate gives some really interesting effects for the background that we necessarily don't get from just putting paint on our brush. And it's a quick and fun way to use your jump late. Please be sure to follow me here on skill share to get notified of future classes. Please consider leaving your review and I'd love to see your work. Consider placing a photo in the project section. Thanks for joining me.