Monoprinting: From Basics to Sophistication

Supplies Students need to have:

• 4″ soft rubber brayer (Speedball is readily available) – if you have a hard one, that will work as well. Optional: an extra brayer

• Plastic to cover the table with

• Gelli plate- 8” x 10” works well


• 1/2 yard of muslin or inexpensive fabric or an old fabric to use as a drop cloth under your printing plate

• You can monoprint on any fabric. The tighter the weave, the cleaner the print. For the class, and to experiment, white fabric or light colored is best, solid color, as it will show your prints better. Consider that when choosing, but the choice is yours. Keep in mind the colour of your paints. White fabric will show your prints better than a colored fabric, which will change the color of the print if you are using transparent paint – more on paints below.

If you have some metallic paints, you may want to try some dark fabric: black, navy blue, dark green, etc.

• Use PFD fabric (prepared for dyeing) if possible, which has no finishes. Otherwise, consider washing your fabric first (your choice). Do not use fabric softener or dryer sheets. Washing is important if you are going to wash the final product.

• Cotton fabrics, quilting quality, tight weave, work best for clean crisp prints, but you could also monoprint on silk, wool, velvet, even batting! Have a few pieces of different fabrics handy – if you have some – to experiment and see what happens.

To prepare the fabric for the workshop:

• Consider pre-cutting the fabric to the size of your printing plate plus 2”. That will give you enough area to work with and extra for sewing later. Prepare around 20  pieces. You can always cut more during the class.

• A fat quarter or a half meter to print multiple prints on the same piece of fabric – optional

• How many monoprinted pieces you end up with will depend on how you work. I’ll be showing lots of different techniques and expect you to try them all, so you’ll have a repertoire of samples to refer to in the future


In the colors of your choice. It can be acrylic paint or fabric paint or a mix of both. Remember that paints come in your choice of transparent, opaque and metallic.

Transparent paints are good to use on light-colored fabrics and will show the pattern underneath if you use on patterned fabrics. Opaque fabrics contain chalk which makes them opaque so they are good to use on dark fabrics for good coverage. Of course, you can also use them on light-coloured fabrics. They’ll have good coverage. Metallic paints contain mica which gives them the metallic look. They are opaquer and are good to use on both light-colored and dark-colored fabrics.

If you are using acrylic paints and are making something that will be washed, consider adding Fabric Medium to the paints so they can be laundered. If you are using the fabrics in wall-hangings and art pieces, the fabric medium is not necessary as the final pieces will not be washed. If you are using textile or fabric paints, the fabric medium is already added to them and are washable after heat setting.

Consider having a fat quarter or half-meter of additional fabric next to your gelli plate (or a few) to clean the brayer on. You’ll end up with a beautiful piece of fabric to use in your work. You can also use copy paper for this if you want to use them in your sketchbook or in your collages. A magazine or old book will work as well.


• Thin Cardboard – such as old file folders or cereal box cardboard or posterboard

• X-acto Knife

• Cutting mat

• 1″ chip brush (the inexpensive kind)

• Tissue paper – white and coloured as desired

• Paper towels

• Spray bottle with water

• A wooden kebab stick or a chopstick

• Paper scissors

• A few sheets of copy paper

• Painter’s tape

• A photocopy of an item that you like such as a landscape, a flower, a bird, trees, etc.

• A ballpoint pen

• A couple of plastic trays or large plates to use as paint palettes

• An old rag

• Disposable gloves if you don’t like to get your hands dirty

• Commercial stencils – any that you have – if you purchase, 2 or your choice

• Stamps / foam stamps – any that you have

There are lots of expensive stencils and stamps in stores. Dollar Stores are great to get some inexpensive stencils and stamps if you are looking to purchase some. I also find some at Walmart.

• Baby wipes to clean the printing plate (optional)

• A package of PostIt Notes (optional) to mark your fabric with the steps you took to make that sample

Supplies for Making Stamps:

• 1 sheet of foam core board

• Self-adhesive foam sheets I find the self-adhesive foam sheets in packages at Walmart or Michaels. They are also available on Amazon. If you cannot find the self-adhesive foam sheets, regular work too but you’ll need a glue stick to attach them to the foam core board.

Other supplies:

• Q-tips

• Saran wrap

• Combs

• Bubble wrap

• Corks

• Shelf liner

• Mesh