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Gel Animals Card Kit | Printmaking Starter Kit Review by Brittney Rutherford

Gelli Arts®

Gelli Arts® offers a fun way to experience printmaking with gel printing plates. The durable gel plates look and feel like gelatin, are easy to clean, easy to store, and ready to go! In addition, we received the Print Making Starter Kit and the Gel Animals Card Kit, both of which contain everything needed to create multiple prints.

The Printmaking Starter Kit contains one 5x5" Gelli Arts® printing plate, one 4" roller, six acrylic paint colors, popsicle sticks, punchinella, bubble wrap, parchment paper, and four tags. A punchinella is a sheet that is already "hole punched" to help create designs. The popsicle sticks can be used to dispense paint, create a comb, or make other designs. The instructions include information for getting started and ideas for making unique prints on the tags. My girls were six and eight years old and could follow the instructions after I read them aloud. They created decidedly different style prints and then chose to turn their tags into fun and personalized bookmarks for the new school year! The instructions also include information for cleaning and storage, as well as the recommendation for using acrylic or water-soluble oil paints.

The Gel Animals Card Kit contains the same basic supplies, but it includes 12 pieces of card stock and animal cutouts instead of the tags. The animals include a flamingo separated into six individual body parts, as well as a Mama Llama and Baby Llama, each with their own blanket. While the instructional process is like the tags, it also includes more steps for printing the different parts of the animals in different colors or patterns as desired (which requires more cleaning in between each step) and cutting out the pieces. These additional steps require more oversight and help for younger children, so I would suggest this kit for those who already have some practice with printmaking and the patience for multi-step crafts.

Printmaking is a fun art process, and we used the Gelli Arts® kits in conjunction with other art lessons on printmaking. In addition, the Gelli Arts® website has numerous lesson plans for different grades levels and a variety of project ideas. This makes Gelli Arts® a great handicraft option. After using the kits, artists of all ages and skill levels can continue exploring printmaking with lessons and tutorials to create greeting cards, ornaments, wrapping paper, gift tags, and other useful items through their art.

Overall, I found these kits to be a great introduction to printmaking for my early elementary students. The instructions were brief but straightforward and easy to understand. All the necessary supplies are included, and additional projects can be completed with easily obtainable supplies.

We enjoyed learning something new together, as I have never done printmaking with a gel printing plate before. I would recommend these kits for artists of all ages interested in printmaking or learning a new art technique.

Product review by Brittney Rutherford, The Old Schoolhouse®, August 2021