Make-It Monday: Jello print bird nest

Let’s Make Jello Prints

bird nest jello print
Bird nest jello print


I love making prints almost as much as I love to make homemade paper (we’ll do that on a Make-It Monday soon). So this week, I made a print using grasses, leaves and an oval card stock shape to make a print of a bird’s nest in a tree. Here’s how you can make your own jello prints. It is so much fun.

jello print supplies


  • Knox unflavored gelatin
  • tray for spreading paint
  • pan for holding jello(at least 1 inch deep-a 9 x13 baking pan works)
  • spoons
  • water
  • glycerin(optional)
  • paper
  • measuring cup
  • acrylic paint
  • brayer or rolling pin
  • bowl for mixing
  • saucepan for heating water
  • objects such as leaves, natural materials, lace, textured paper, etc.

Steps in jello print making process

jello print plate
Jello plate made in disposable cake pan with 3 cups water and 6 packets gelatin


  1. The jello printing base will be made by mixing the Knox jello with hot water in a 1 to 2 ratio. This means for every 1 cup of hot water, you will need 2 of the small packets of Knox gelatin. Thgelatin comes in boxes of 4 packets. So, 1 box of gelation packets will make 2 cups of jello base.
  2. How do you know how much water and gelatin you need? Fill the container you will be using for the jello with water until you have at least 1 inch of water in it. Measure how much water this is and then figure out how much jello you need.

Example:  I used a metal cake pan. I need 5 cups of water to fill it to 1 inch.

              5 cups x 2 = 10 packets of jello (2 ½ boxes)

  1. Pour ½ of the amount of water into a mixing bowl. Add the jello packets needed one at a time, stirring until dissolved.
  2. Heat the ½ of the amount of water on the stove (adult supervision, please!} until boiling. Pour the hot water into the mixing bowl, stirring carefully.
  3. There will be foam on top of the jello mix. You can scrape it off with a knife or spoon or piece of cardstock, and throw into the garbage. This will give your plate a nice smooth surface.
  4. Slowly pour the hot jello mixture into the pan you have chosen to hold it. There may be some air bubbles in it. You can take these out with a spoon or pop them gently.
  5. Let your tray sit until it sets and can be moved to the refrigerator. It will need to sit for at least a few hours until it gets completely firm. At this point, you can cover it with a plastic wrap to keep it from drying out. I have used my plate sometimes for up to a week or more before it starts to crack and dry up.
  6. NOTE on GLYCERIN: If you replace 1 or 2 cups of the cold water with glycerin, the plate will last several times longer than with just plain jello.

Printing with the Jello Plate


  1. Put a small amount of paint in the center of the paint tray. Roll the brayer or rolling pin in the paint. Apply a layer of paint to the jello tray, rolling carefully so you don’t crack the jello surface. You can press down since the jello plate is fairly hard-just be careful.
  2. Arrange the objects for your print on the jello plate. Be careful with sharp edged objects-if you push too hard on them, they can cut into the jello. You can still use the plate: however, where the cuts are there will be a line in your print.
  3. Place your paper over the top of the objects and press down using your hands or a clean brayer or rolling pin. Be sure to cover the entire plate with pressure so that the paint attaches to the paper.
  4. Carefully start at one end of the shorter edges of the paper and pull the paper off the plate.
  5. Admire your print! You will notice that there are white areas where the objects were placed.
  6. Lay the paper flat or hang it up to dry.
  7. You can make several prints with one application of paint if you like. Try it and see what happens. Each print will get lighter and lighter.
  8. To clean the plate and make a different print, remove the objects and wipe the plate clean with paper towels or a soft cloth. You can use some water to rinse it if you like, but do not immerse the plate in water as it will fall apart sooner.
  9. When you are done printing for the day, cover your plate with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator. You can use the plate until it begins to crack…and even after that, if you want. Sometimes the cracks add interesting features to a print.
  10. Have fun and experiment. There is so much you can do with jello plate printing.
bird nest jello print
I added the brown twigs with acrylic paint after the print dried.


I hope you enjoyed this week’s Make-It Monday.

Have a great day, and don’t forget to play outside!


Nature Mamaw




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