Skeleton Leaves Gel Plate Print Card

When I watched the Tim Holtz Halloween Sizzix release live, I knew that the Skeleton Leaves 663094 dies were going to look awesome used on a gel plate. So I finally pulled my gel plate out and had some fun.

I shared a few of the prints on Instagram (@wendy_baysa) and had a very kind creative (Tina) request a tutorial so here we go. Thank you my dear for all your support and kind comments 🙂

Leaves Gel Plate Print (2)

First, I ran the dies through my Vagabond cutting them out of Dura-Lar. Mine are pretty caked up already do to all the play time I had prior to this step by step.

Leaves Gel Plate Print (3)

Next, drip some Pitch Black Alcohol Ink (AI) and brayer a thin coating on your gel plate (mine discolored for some reason when I first got it almost a year ago, now, but it does not affect any prints). Work quickly, AI dries very fast.

Leaves Gel Plate Print (4)

Lay down and arrange the die cut leaves how you want them and add more AI. Brayer a thin layer until the AI starts to dry, then stop. Now add more AI around edges of some of the leaves so the AI will move along the plastic. Don’t over do the Pitch Black.

Leaves Gel Plate Print (5)

Add additional colors if you like, here I have added Valencia adding into areas where the brayer had picked up some of the Pitch Black. The AI will start to react with one another. The wetter the better with this technique. The ink will seep along and under the plastic die cuts, which is what you want.

Leaves Gel Plate Print (6)

This step can be done if inks are still wet or have dried. I am using Tim Holtz for Stampers Anonymous Ornate & Lace CMS348. If you work fast enough you can stamp off the ink you are lifting onto a piece of paper. This step is optional, it is just adding a little interest between the leaves.

Leaves Gel Plate Print (7)

With dies are still in place, pick an opaque acrylic paint and brayer it on.  Here I have chosen Yellow Ochre. AI are translucent, so what ever color acrylic paint you choose, remember you will see through the ink first with the acrylic behind it.

Leaves Gel Plate Print (8)

The layer of acrylic paint needs to be thin in order to pick up the layers of ink. It is kind of hard to explain but if your brayer is sliding, you have too much paint (correct this by brayering onto a scrap piece of paper). If you start to see through, then you have gone to thin and add a little more paint. Working quickly, lift off leaves and set aside. With such a thin layer of paint it will dry quickly and you want it to still be wet when you lay down the paper onto the gel plate.

Leaves Gel Plate Print (10)

Burnish (rubbing hands around the back side of paper) for a few minutes allowing the paint and ink layer to ‘stick’ to the paper. Here I have used Distress 8 1/2″ x 11″ Mixed Media cardstock. Slowly lift to reveal print.

Leaves Gel Plate Print (11)

Isn’t it gorgeous! There is something so satisfying and thrilling lifting off the prints. You never know what you are going to get 🙂

Leaves Gel Plate Print (12)

For my last step with the background, I used Distress Inks (Candied Apple, Mustard Seed, Carved Pumpkin, Rusty Hinge) over the leaves. DI are translucent, so I did not worry if some got onto the AI which are permanent.

Skeleton Leaves Gel Print Card (3)WM

To finish off the card I added a frame cut from deep brown Kraft-Core, placed the panel on a orange Kraft-Core piece, die cut some of the leaves out of Metallic Cardstock that had AI on it, added some dyed ribbon and sentiment. Kept it pretty simple to showcase the background.

I do hope you give this a try, the AI working with the plastic die cut shapes add a really cool, unique texture 🙂 Thank you for viewing and as always, have a blessed day! xo xo

What a coincidence … Simon Says Stamp Monday challenge is ‘Make your own Background” I will be entering this card here 🙂

Below are some of the products I used, the links are a courtesy I am not affiliated 🙂


  1. What a stunning card! I love the background you created using the gelli plate and those Tim Holtz Skeleton Leaf thinlets and lace stamp – amazing 😁. Thanks so much for joining in the fun at Simon Says Stamp! J 😊 x


  2. Lord, have mercy! This is incredible, Wendy! This is such a fabulous background technique and those colors and visual texture in the print are so rich! Your embellishments are the perfect compliment–fabulous card! Is it safe to assume you’ve used Lift Off ink on your Ornate stamp? I really want to give this a try; I hope you don’t mind me stealing your steps. (As soon as I can find that durn gel plate, and 30 minutes of solid crafty time.) Happy Sunday! Hugs!


    • Awe thank you so much my dear, you always have the best comments! Nope, no lift ink was used. The AI are such a thin layer that when something touches them on the gel plate, it just lifts off. And because the inks really are pretty dry, there isn’t much of a stamp off image, bits and pieces yes but not a solid image like when you use the actual Lift Ink product technique. I would love for you to try it, I am positive you will create masterpieces 🙂 xo xo


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